Students move to the rhythm at Christmas ceilidh

Student enjoys getting into the rhythm of Irish dancing

Disabled students from the Seashell Trust enjoyed a Christmas ceilidh to celebrate the festive season.

Irish dancer James Keegan, Michael Flatley’s successor in Lord of the Dance, to dance with the students

Wythenshawe pipe and drum band Fianna Phadriag with their own Irish dancing star: Sharon Stubbs gave the students from the Cheadle Hulme charity a taste of Celtic culture.

At the inclusive ceilidh, around 70 Seashell Trust-run Royal College Manchester students had the chance to dance and make music with the professionals.

All the students have complex disabilities including significant learning difficulties with deafblindness, autism, physical disability and a number of rare syndromes.

Royal College Manchester teacher Emilie Brothers said: “Some students who hardly ever attend our big events joined us. They enjoyed the performance through multi-sensory participation: hearing, watching and also feeling the vibrations through the floor. When James danced, students were so inspired they just got up and danced beside him without being prompted.”

She added: “The generous dancers and band all donated their time graciously. The band let the students look at and touch instruments and the dancers taught us a few steps. Students loved it. It contributed to students’ work on The Arts Awards, a nationally recognized accreditation from the Arts Council.”