For the first time EFCO Youth have decided to theme their events for 2016 in a bid to help members collaborate and understand each other’s work. The theme for 2016 is ‘FAMILY’ and it’s very open to interpretation.
EFCO Youth Ireland ran an event in February for it’s members and their families and here’s how it went in the words of some of the youth members…
Sarah and Grace McNamara are sisters who are both part of EFCO Youth Ireland and love helping out and staying active in the organization. They have both taken part in European youth exchanges and have helped in hosting visiting groups here in Ireland. Both sisters have also helped teach our youngest members Irish dancing.
Sarah: On Sunday February 7th the members of the Irish National Folk Company (INFC) came together to have a Family Céilí. Our dancers arrived ready, with their families in tow, to do a few 1, 2, 3’s, all in the name of fun! It was a great opportunity for the dancers to show their families and friends something they enjoyed to do and to share the fun of it with them.
Grace: It was especially nice as every class was represented from the children to the adult social classes. The groups meet on different nights and don’t always get to meet up and see each other so it was a great opportunity for this. In this way it not only fitted with the Family theme of the EFCO youth project but it also showed the younger kids what they have to look forward to and that anyone can get involved.
Sarah: The Family Céilí was a great way for all of our dancers to come together and mix in a fun environment. Not only were they being active and meeting new people, they were getting involved with and supporting local events in the community.
There was really something for all tastes as the dance choices weren’t specific to just Ireland. This was a Family Céilí with a difference. We included dances from around Europe which have been learnt on trips abroad with the INFC. Some of the dances we had learnt on youth exchanges some it was a great feeling to be able to share them with other generations. These dances went down a treat with many giggles and much enthusiasm from all the mums, dads, sisters, brothers and even a few grandparents too! Between the Irish dances and the international dances most seats were empty as everyone was on the floor.
Grace: We thought it definitely wasn’t a day to be forgotten so a photo-booth area with silly props was organized. With the popularity of that section in particular, we’re sure that your photo albums will be full in no time! We got some great family shots and the parents could email them to their own email accounts so now they have a memento of the occasion. The kids got really creative and even the parents got into the spirit of it and put on silly hats and made funny faces. The kids loved it and we’ve had loads of emails thanking us for this special element.
Sarah: There were a lot of happy faces and just the one that was in tears because he didn’t want it to be over because he had so much fun. I think it’s definitely something we’ll need to do again. I think other EFCO Youth groups would have great fun with this project too and we can’t wait to see what they do!
Molly and Mel are some of our junior members and they brought along some family members to join in the fun …
Molly: My highlight of the day was that you could bring your friends from outside of dancing and show them what goes on in our group.
It was nice for the families as it was something different for them and like your granny and then baby brothers and sisters could all come so it’s something for all the family.
We brought or Spanish student with us, she thought it was great, so I think people from other countries would enjoy it. Dancing is great fun.
Mel: I think the highlight of the day was dressing up with Deirdre’s photobooth. Other things families could do would be have a competition for the parents for Irish dancing. It was a fun way to spend time with your family and friends so I really enjoyed it.
The Irish National Folk Company and EFCO Youth Ireland wishes to thank each and every person who attended and supported the Céilí. It would not have been the same without the enthusiasm and generosity you provided!
Go raibh míle maith agaibh!