Sommerset Dance Studio hosting ceilidh in Emerald

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Somerset Dance Studio hosts a Winter Ceilidh at Emerald Community Centre on Friday, Feb. 12, 7:30 p.m., featuring Johnny Ross, Peggy Clinton and Nathan Condon, with performances by the Somerset Steppers.

"Need a remedy for those late winter blues? Well, don't miss this show! Our dancers are teaming up with some of the liveliest entertainers around," says Marlys MacLaren, director and choreographer at Somerset Dance Studio.

Ross, a piano player who is known for performing with The Ross Family and Haunted Hearts, is thrilled to return to Emerald. Ross's trademark style and hijinks — including kicking his bench back and dancing while playing — are certain to get the audience going, particularly when combined with Clinton's rich vocals and bubbly presence.

Ross and Clinton have developed a memorable sound that is high in energy, with influences ranging from Loretta Lynn and Jerry Lee Lewis to Miranda Lambert and The Rankins. In 2014, Clinton released her debut recording, showcasing her favourite self-penned songs. The duo's past appearances in Emerald yielded capacity crowds and encores.

Condon, a fiddler, joined Ross and Clinton in 2014 at their summer ceilidh in Brackley Beach: Dunes 'n' Tunes. His take on Tennessee Waltz has become a signature number and his fast-paced jigs and reels are sure to ignite the Somerset Steppers at the Winter Ceilidh.

With 75 students presently enrolled, Somerset Dance Studio is an active P.E.I. step dance school, founded in 2002. Each year in May, students participate in the British Association Teachers of Dance (BATD) Festival of Dance in Halifax. The past three years at the BATD event saw students capturing highest mark in their category and becoming Maritime champions. For 2016, over two dozen students, ranging in age from six to 15, look forward to participating in the BATD competition; funds raised from the Winter Ceilidh go toward travel and costume expenses.

"Grab some friends and come out for a great night of warming up in Emerald, where Johnny Ross will be raising the roof," says MacLaren.

To combine dinner and drinks with the ceilidh, the Boxcar Pub & Grill opens at 5:30 p.m. Emerald Community Centre and Boxcar Pub & Grill are located under the same roof at 1910 Nodd Rd. Admission is $10. For information, contact MacLaren at 902-887-3232.

Organizations: Emerald Community Centre, British Association Teachers

Geographic location: Emerald, Brackley Beach, Halifax

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