In a tradition that has withstood the years, Oakdale Elementary School Principal Holli Armstrong, recently treated her 300 plus students to a very special St. Patrick's Day assembly.
Courtesy of the folks at the Haley – O'Shea Chaplin – Hansen Keohane dance studios, former and current Oakdale Elementary students performed solo, traditional, and team sets of Irish Step Dancing at the school.
It is thanks to the hard work and devotion of people like Maureen Hansen Keohane (who opened her school in 1947 at the age of 15) – Rita O'Shea (who began teaching in 1954) – Maureen King Haley (teaching in Boston since the 1970`s) – that we are able to enjoy this taste of the Irish Culture. Many of these “former students” have gone on to become instructors themselves, as is the case with Dedham's own Alanna (Keohane) Maida.
Alanna has danced with her mother, as long as her memory serves. She is now a mother herself, passing along the knowledge and life-lessons she has learned to her own five children.
All of the instructors agree, it is important to carry on this tradition. The dancers perform throughout the year, at various shows, parades and festivals across the country.
Ms. Armstrong, along with her teachers and students, sat spellbound as the Irish music played and the dancers took to the stage – entertaining the crowd once again, during this annual celebration!