Irish at heart

Freshman performs with Irish dance troupe in St. Patrick’s Day celebration


Freshman Alyssa Libasci prepares for her Irish dance performance at Busch Gardens’ St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 20.

Freshman Alyssa Libasci took interest in Irish dance 10 years ago, purely through curiosity, and now she has the opportunity to share her talent with others. It all started when her sister Samantha Libasci took a few Irish dance classes. Then Alyssa decided to try it out, and the rest is history.

She is now a member of the Rhodes Academy of Irish Dance.

On March 20, just days after Saint Patrick’s Day, she performed in the Busch Gardens St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
The limited-capacity celebration is held on select days from March 5 – March 28. Several dance schools performed, featuring dancers of different ages and levels.

“My dance teacher had performed in Celtic Fyre for about 10 years, and through that, Busch Gardens asked us [along with some other dance schools] to perform there for St. Patrick’s Day,” said Alyssa.

Her group gave three different performances throughout the day.

“We did a mix of traditional steps with a bit of modern twist, and we danced in both hard shoe and soft shoe,” said Alyssa.

Busch Gardens expanded the event to include other dance schools in hopes to draw people towards the park after an extended closure due to COVID-19. 

“There was a pretty big crowd for all the performances, and my teacher brought over all the other performers to watch us,” said Alyssa.

Though this was Alyssa’s first year at the Busch Gardens celebration, she has showcased her talents in other events such as the 2017 International Tattoo. In 2019, she danced with Celtic band, Gaelic Storm, who notably appeared in the film “Titanic” and recorded songs on the movie’s soundtrack.

“They were going on tour and wanted some dancers to perform with them. We performed here in Virginia Beach at the Elevation 17 venue,” said Alyssa.

Alyssa plans to continue her passion for Irish dance in high school. 

“My favorite part about Irish dance is being able to share my talent with other people,” said Alyssa.