Written by Colleen Maidhof, email@example.com Wednesday, 26 February 2014 00:00
More than 1,000 Irish dancers from all over North America jigged to classic Irish melodies at the Annual Inishfree School Feis (competition) held at Berner Middle School on Sunday. Amongst the crowd were members from the Massapequa Inishfree School who had competitors ranging from ages 5 to 25.
The competition consisted of Beginners, Advanced Beginners, Novices, Prizewinners and Championship levels. Each dancer danced in front of judges hoping to be placed in the top rankings.Massapequa resident Kathleen McGowan, 23, competed in the Championship category, and she placed 5th out of 21 dancers. She will be representing the U.S. in the 2014 World Championships in London this April.
“To qualify for the World Championships you need to get placed in the top percentage,” said McGowan. “I am pretty excited to go to London. I’ve been to many different areas to compete including Scotland and Ireland. In July, I’m competing in the Nationals in Montreal. There I will find out if I qualify for next year’s big competition.”
McGowan explored her love for Irish dance at Inishfree since she was six-years old, and she has competed for about 18 years.
“This is my 8th solo,” she said. “I’ve been with Inishfree my entire life, and I love dancing for my own school’s Feis.”
To get prepared for her competitions, Kathleen practices whenever she can.
“I go to class four or five days a week for about three hours,” she said. “When I don’t have class, I practice at home for at least three hours.”
McGowan hopes to continue dancing and to also teach it someday.
“Inishfree has become a huge part of me, and I would love to teach others who love dance,” she said. “I’m training to become a teacher. I have to take a big exam, and I plan to take it in the next few years.”
Amongst the Advanced Beginners, Christina Mullan, 10, from Massapequa, also represented Inishfree. She placed third, and she will advance to the Novice category in the dances that she performed next year.
“I love competing,” said the young dancer, who has competed since she was eight-years old. “It is really fun and nerve wracking at the same time. I placed in reel and hard shoe. I can’t wait to compete in next year’s Feis.”
Katie Greve, 6, from Massapequa also competed in the advanced beginner category. She started dancing when she was almost five-years old.
“She dances throughout the house all night long, and she views this as fun not just a competition. She loves it,” said her mother Lisa.
Gillian Hughes, 12, Plainedge, also competed. She has been dancing for about eight years, and she plans to always include dancing in her life.
“I practice Monday through Friday, and I love doing this. I love the excitement of competing. I always aim to get placed in the top five,” she said.
The goal of the school is the promotion of Irish Culture, the enjoyment the art of dance, and perfecting dance for competition. “The Feis is a major event where dancers practice for the world championship. All of the dancers here are very talented, and Inishfree has many tough competitors,” said Sean Reagan, director and teacher at Inishfree in Massapequa.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
With kids today obsessed with all the latest electronic gaming gadgets — the Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, and the like — you’d think that the comparatively antiquated concept of pushing a piece of plastic along a sheet of cardboard would be eschewed by your average teenager; however, judging by the crowd of kids at the Massapequa Public Library’s Board Game Café, this actually may not be the case.
Young Adult Services librarian Peter Cirona, who created the Board Game Café at the library’s Central Avenue branch (in addition to a whole host of other young adult programs), said that it’s a great way for kids to socialize and play some classic board games in a fun and friendly environment.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal pannel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards. Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
Outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites High School graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:47
One of Major League Soccer’s top front office executives has many fond memories of growing up in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Bill Manning, the President of Western Conference champion Real Salt Lake and the club’s field, Rio Tinto Stadium, played for the LIJSL Select Team from 1979 to ‘83 as well as the Massapequa Soccer Club from 1972 to ‘83.
Manning’s Massapequa teams had virtually the same players from Under-10 to Under-19, but kept changing their name depending on who their coach was. He played for the Massapequa Flying Dutchmen (coached by Kurt Knoblauch), the Massapequa Bugs (Dick Roche), the Massapequa Cosmos (Jerry Lyons) and the Massapequa Bulls (coached by his father, also named Bill Manning). The Bulls might have lost in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Open Cup finals to B/W Gottschee in overtime in 1983, but his teams won the LIJSL division championship in 1974, ‘76 and ‘79 plus the Long Island Cup in 1980 and ‘83.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:58
If the games were played on paper, Massapequa would’ve had no shot. The Chiefs faced a tall order last week playing Elmont, which boasted a 12-3 record and four premier scorers. They gave a tremendous effort, but ultimately had their season cut short, 69-62, despite Alex Cosenza leading the scoring with 29 points.
“I can’t ask for anything else from these guys,” said Head Coach Matt Voigt. “I am so proud of them. I applaud their efforts,”