Ivy Engelhardt, 5, (left-right) Elise Barr, 7, with teacherHeather Richendrfer work through Irish and Scottish dance steps during a recent practice in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Ivy Engelhardt, 5, (left-right) Elise Barr, 7, with teacherHeather Richendrfer work through Irish and Scottish dance steps during a recent practice in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

A chance to see, another to learn, Irish and Scottish dance

Watch the Celtic dances at the Imagine Children’s Museum or try them at the Everett Boys & Girls Club.

It’s never too late to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Clan Heather Dancers, a local children’s group, will be performing March 23 at the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett.

“They do Irish and Scottish Highland dancing,” said Raniere, who directs the museum’s creative arts programs. “It’s a cultural experience for our visitors.”

The performance is part of a monthly program at the museum called “Celebrate Our World,” which showcases cultures from around the world.

The children’s dance group is led by Heather Richendrfer, who teaches Scottish Highland and Irish step dance in Everett, Mount Vernon, Bellingham and Ferndale.

The steps can be tricky to master: Balancing on one leg and lifting the other, pointing it nearly parallel to the ground, as well as a hop step.

During a recent practice session, Richendrfer sometimes called out movements to her students while Celtic music played in the background.

“Jump! Brush, (the shoe along the floor) tap, tap,” she said. Students perform in both soft and hard-soled shoes.

Ivy Englehardt, 5, a student at Everett’s Emerson Elementary School, has been a member of the dance group for 1½ years.

“She loves it,” said her mom, Lichelle Engelhardt. Her daughter tells her the Irish and Scottish music chosen for their routines “is like fairy music.”

Ivy said the reason she likes the dance group so much is because of the friends she’s made.

Another class member, Elise Barr, 7, is in second grade at Immaculate Conception School in Everett.

“I like the music and it’s really fun,” she said. “I like my teacher.”

The class practiced various dance steps for about an hour, with Richendrfer giving instructions for how to improve their moves.

“Why do we have toes? Because you need to point them,” she reminded them.

Students will have an opportunity to learn the dance moves with new classes being offered at the Everett Boys & Girls Club. Irish dance begins March 19; Scottish dance begins April 16.

The classes are an example of a growing list of programs at the club. “It’s not just sports,” said Jake Marsh, the club’s director.

Other offerings include cooking, health and fitness, and nutrition classes, with plans to offer leadership and healthy relationship classes for teens in the spring.

Irish and Scottish dance forms “are lively, energetic and very graceful,” Richendrfer said.

You don’t have to have Scottish or Irish heritage to enjoy the class. “I’ve had kids of all ethnicities involved,” she said. “Kids like tapping and rhythm.

“My top dancers are all super athletic. Kids don’t realize that can can help them in other sports as well.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com.

If you go

Clan Heather Dancers, a local children’s dance group that specializes in Irish and Scottish dance, is performing at 1 p.m. March 23 at the Imagine Children’s Museum, 1502 Wall St., Everett. Admission to the museum is $12 for adults and children. Infants 12 months and younger get in free.

Two new classes on Irish and Scottish dance are being offered at the Everett Boys & Girls Club, 2316 12th St., Everett. The introductory programs are for children ages 6 to 10. The Irish dance begins March 19; Scottish dance begins April 16. Both programs are four weeks long and are scheduled for Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Registration is $80 and includes a membership to the Boys & Girls Club. A limited number of scholarships are available. Call 425-259-5147 for more information.

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