FORT PIERCE FOLKS
THE LADIES OF
Chanda Rondeau Newman strikes a classic starting pose before leading her advance class of Irish step dancers through a practice run of an Irish reel. From
left, the students are Julie Vitek-Riddle, 25, of Fort Pierce; Lauren Neiman, 16, of Fort Pierce; Katelyn Anderson, 18, of Port St. Lucie; Katherine DiSandro,
16, of Vero Beach; Sherrie Short, 15, of Port St. Lucie; and Desiree Crum, 15, of Fort Pierce.
Long before ‘Riverdance’ came along in 1994, Fort
Pierce was already making Irish dance popular
BY GLORIA TAYLOR WEINBERG
PHOTOS BY ED DRONDOSKI
handa Newman stands in front of a dozen
of her Irish step dance students and demonstrates
part of an original choreography.
“This step has seven moves,” she says,
“and here is what it looks like.”
Eyes roll. Dancers moan.
“Looks easy, right?”
“Yeah, right,” says one of the giggling girls.
They try the step five or six times, and then a few of them
“Yeah,” says the teacher. “There you go!”
Smiles spread across faces beaded with perspiration, and
girls pair off to execute the complicated step again.
And again, and again.
The plywood floor quakes beneath them and the carpeted
walls throb with the sound of an Irish reel.
From the door of the studio, Kathleen Rondeau beams with