Through the Parade, Step by Step

Freshman Irish Dances in St. Patrick’s Day Parades


Ferris Bueller only got one day to shine in a parade, but freshman Amelia Hooper has starred in multiple. But unlike Ferris, who entertained the crowd with his singing, Hooper is an Irish dancer and charmed the crowd as she intricately step-danced.
“It’s really fun getting people all excited for [the parade],” Hooper said. “It was good to work with some of my friends too.”
Hooper has been in many different St. Patrick’s Day parades, showcasing her Irish dancing.
“I was in the Brookeside parade, Shawnee Mission parade, and then I didn’t do it this year, but I’ve been in the Kansas City parade,” she said. “During the Brookside parade, we did a performance. It was one of the dances they do in ‘Riverdance’ — so it is pretty fun.”
She participated in the parades through her dance studio, Driscoll School of Irish Dance, which treats these St. Patricks celebrations as a tradition.
“Our Irish dancers went to the parades to perform and give some spirit for them,” she said. “My dance studio [does] it every year, except for Covid, [which] we were really sad that it was canceled.”
Though the type of dance seems jolly, Hooper shared the dancer’s perspective and said it can be tiring.
“We take a few breaks in between steps but not very many, so it’s basically just all Irish dancing,” she said. “It’s very tiring. Your feet hurt at the end. I’d say the parade was like an hour and a half. We did a performance in the middle, so it was even more tiring.”
The work put into the performance was physically draining, but the overall experience was enjoyable.
“It’s really fun,” Hooper said. “It’s really good to spread cheer around St. Patrick’s Day.”
Hooper has been dancing since she was four years old and participates in parades annually, so this activity is very close to her.
“I love Irish dancing,” she said.  “It’s something that helps me when I’m stressed out.”