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About Us
There are many powerful elements to the following story!

It shows the Universality of cultures, binding cultures together in our multi-cultural world which is the making of our New York society today and most of the USA.

It provides a platform of excellence for all other parts of the children's lives. It increases confidence, tolerance of other cultures, team work, perfection and most importantly belief in oneself. The most important lesson I try to teach the children is that nothing is impossible. Believe in your dream. Work as hard as you possibly can to make it happen!!!!! Have no regrets!!!

These children are making History. Never before have African American and Hispanic students from a Public school anywhere in the USA had an Irish dance program which has highlighted the idea of fusing cultures together through Irish dancing to this extreme! The students can be seen performing Irish dancing to Spanish rhythms, African rhythms and even pop music and vice versa.

This project showcases diversity at its finest, showcasing Public School children who now know and believe from experience and support nationwide that
"No matter where you come from, nothing is impossible!!!!"

Our Story

The Keltic Dreams Irish Dancers, are a group of 33 children ages 7-12 from Public School 59, PS 59 in the Bronx, NY. The school is situated in a low Socio Economic area in the Bronx and has a 95% poverty rate. The students are all African American and Hispanic and have no background in Irish culture. Hired by the Department of Education, I, Caroline Duggan, moved to New York over 4 years ago and began teaching music in the school. I had no intention of staying more than one year in the school but fell in love with the children's drive to become professional. After being constantly asked by the children why I spoke funny I told them that I was from Ireland. The fascination began with questions about the Irish lifestyle, leprechauns and Irish dance. They questioned me about a huge photo of Riverdance I had hanging in the classroom . I showed the children a few steps and was truly amazed by how quick they grasped even the most complicated steps. They were fascinated with the Riverdance video from Radio City, which I still show them on a regular basis. Especially how the show incorporated different cultures into Irish dancing. With this idea in mind and with the amazing support of the principal and school, I began an Irish dancing program after school twice a week. The group The Keltic Dreams was born and have since had their own one hour show on The Plaza at Lincoln Center, in the Bronx Botanical Garden for Bronx week , St Barnabas Nursing Home, on the Band shell at Central Park, at Lehman College in the Bronx and in The Manhattan Mall at Herald Square NYC. They were the sole performers at the St Patrick's Day Parade in Queens for Mayor Bloomberg and afterwards all the students marched in the parade joined by their parents. The Irish dance program has encouraged huge parental involvement, bringing the whole community together!!!! Much to my surprise some of the children had never been to Manhattan before they performed in these shows!!

The Keltic Dreams have had an enormous amount of media coverage from NY1, The Irish Voice, Channel 12 News, The Bronx Times, , The Boston Globe, The Boston reporter and The Sunday Tribune in Ireland. Thanks to an article in the Irish Voice encouraging the public to donate to the dancers, The Keltic Dreams made it to Canton in Boston in June of 2006 and were invited to perform at the famous Irish Connections Festival thanks to the support and donations from people all over the United States and stole the hearts of the crowds. This was the trip of a lifetime. We took the children to see a movie "Cars", the night we arrived in Boston and some students had never been to a movie theater before. Over 35,000 people attend the Irish Connections festival in Canton near Boston every year. The children won the first ever building Bridges award and a cash prize of $1000. They were featured in The Boston Globe the next morning and in the Summer, they had an amazing article written in the Sunday Tribune newspaper in Ireland.

But right now we urgently need the help of all our friends and supporters for our next project. The dream we have all had for 4 years now! The project has even been nicknamed "A Bronx Tale" by The Department of Education. We plan to fly the 33 children ages 7-11, 11 parents, 6 teachers and the principal to Dublin, Ireland from May 23 - 28. The entire troupe will perform in a number of venues in the land where their dance was born including a live performance on The Late Late show hosted by Pat Kenny on May 25th. The plan is to depart JFK on an Aerlingus flight on Wed May 23 and return on Monday May 28. On Thursday and Friday the children will tour Dublin city. They will be brought to the Pheonix Park to pass where the Irish President lives. The children will perform in Comhltas Ceolteori na hEireann on Thursday evening in Dublin. Then on Friday night, they will perform on The Late Late show where the famous Riverdance was performed. On Saturday they will meet up with Irish children and all go to Wicklow and Glendalough for their first real glimpse of the famous green Irish countryside. On Sunday we plan to perform in the Center of Irelands capital City, Dublin in St Stephens Green Shopping Center and then go on a Viking tour around Dublin. They will then see a live Irish dance show while having dinner in the Arlington Hotel before flying home to NYC the next day. The students have performed Irish dancing all over NYC and now Ireland are in for a huge surprise with our multi cultural group!!!

The children can compare United States to Ireland and can even speak the basic Irish language. They can speak about currency differences, food, the flags and all the states of America compared to the counties of Ireland. As a result of being a part of and performing in The Keltic Dreams dance troupe, the quietest children have come out of their shells and now have great confidence in themselves. They believe they can reach for the stars!!!! And they are constantly encouraged to write thank you letters and host shows for people who support them such as our recent show in the Manhattan Mall, Herald Square in NYC which attracted hundreds of people on December 18, 2006.

With the amazing support of The Consul General of Ireland Mr Tim O Connor, who has kindly passed on the story, The American Ireland Fund have donated the majority of our flight expenses matched by other donors which amounted to $30,000 a figure that seemed impossible to The Keltic Dreams. The producer John McColgan, producer of Riverdance and the new Broadway musical The Pirate Queen, has donated $10,000 to the Keltic Dreams and kindly invited us to a practice in the Hilton last week. He also put The Keltic Dreams on the The Pirate Queen Castcom website under Feb 23.We are now on our way to meeting our target of $60,000 which includes flights, accommodation, busing, food and daytrips for the entire group. An article in The Irish Voice newspaper featured The Keltic Dreams as a cover story for a week before Christmas. The article titled A Christmas Wish stole the hearts of people all over the United States and encouraged them to write letters of support and encouragement to The Keltic Dreams troupe! Now we do need that final financial help to make the dream come true. We have worked so hard over the past few years to make this happen and have come so far and we certainly will not give up.

I am truly overwhelmed by the generosity from people all over the United States and Ireland who believe in us. This support teaches the children the most powerful lesson in life. No matter where you come from that if you have a dream, work as hard as you possibly can to make it come true, you can reach for the stars. The encouragement from people, some whom have never even seen the children perform is breathtaking.

Our next major show will be at The St Patrick's Day parade in Queens on March 4, 2007. We have also been promised a large donation for a performance we have scheduled for March 21 in The Robert Treat Academy in New Jersey. In the upcoming few months, the children plan to host many fundraising events including school dances, bake sales and performances around New York City.