Fall 2015

Lady of the Dance

Performing with the best Irish stepdancers in the world

By Bruce Morgan

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We’ve all encountered the Lord of the Dance at some point. The 45-member assembly, known for its symmetrical, tightly ordered musical stage performances, represents a covey of the finest Irish stepdancers in the world. Kaitlin Haines, ’16, certainly knows the drill. She discovered step dancing at age 4, then leaned in and rose steadily through the ranks.

Haines began by practicing on hardwood floors upstairs in her family home in Vernon, Connecticut. “That didn’t go over too well,” she jokes. Later her parents installed a dance floor in the basement. Haines practiced for hours daily. Every week, she would have her lesson on Friday night at the town’s American Legion Hall; she would practice all day Saturday. On Sunday she would compete, routinely placing among the top three contestants in New England, and later, the country.

In college, Haines performed with Lord of the Dance across the eastern U.S. as one of just four Americans in the Irish/English mix.

How much fun was it? Haines describes herself as basically shy, but,
she says, “There are no words for when you’re on stage in front of an audience that’s loving the show.”

Bruce Morgan, the editor of this magazine, can be reached at bruce.morgan@tufts.edu.

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