The University Concert Hall in the University of Limerick will play host to one of the biggest meeting of dancers in the Irish dance calendar on March 1. More than 400 dancers will descend onto the 1000 seat auditorium on the day to compete against each other in five dance categories: Irish dancing, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Mixed.
Since its inception in 2008, the Dance Intervarsity competition has grown both in size and in standard. Colleges from far and wide travel to take part in the event: Queens University Belfast, University College Cork, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, and IT Carlow, to name but a few.
This year’s competition will be hosted by Dance UL, one of UL’s largest clubs. Masters of ceremonies will be none other than ‘The Wolf of UL’ Tommy Bolger, Student Union President, who shot to fame after his campaign video for Student Union President went viral, racking up more than 300,000 views. Joining him on the day will be Dance UL co-founder Jennifer de Brún. Judging each category will be a number of experts in the field with Cian Nolan (Lord of the Dance lead) as one of the Irish Dance judges, and John Walsh Brannoch (Chicago The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Cabaret on West End) on the Jazz panel, both Limerick-born talents.
Coming off of two first-place wins in Hip Hop and Irish dance last year, The University of Limerick’s Dance Club Dance UL will be competing with four routines this year: Hip Hop, Jazz, Irish, and Contemporary.
Set up in October 2008, Dance UL teaches a range of classes in Ballet, Hip-hop, Irish dance, Jazz, Contemporary, Yoga, and Zumba. The aim of the club is for students to have fun and meet new people while practising and learning the art of dance. Winning “Best New Club 2009” in UL’s Clubs and Societies ball, Dance UL has also been granted countless awards at the All-Ireland Intervarsity Competition each year, including two first-place finishes last year. Dance UL currently has 200 members and encourages both non-dancers and dancers to join. Feel free to check out their Facebook page here for class schedules and updates, and their YouTube channel here for their videos.
There is no charge to enter the event. There will also be a rehearsal day for all the performers on Saturday February 28. There are special performances by local Limerick dance groups at the half time show, a beautiful set-up at the University Concert Hall, and to wrap up the weekend, an after-party at Crush Nightclub.
The All Ireland Intervarsity Dance Competition welcomes the wider Limerick community to come out and enjoy incredible dancing from all over Ireland. And what better way than keeping the energy of Limerick City of Culture 2014 alive than by coming to support this event?
And remember: life is better with a beat.
Check out the Intervarsity Dance Competition Facebook page here.