Stepping Across the Pond
Have you ever wanted to learn how to step dance in the Irish tradition? Of course you have! And you will have your chance to do just that on July 24 at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts in Wellsboro. That’s when the Irish band Across the Pond will be making their third appearance at the Endless Mountain Music Festival, and when, for the first time, they will offer stepping lessons in the Deane Center lobby before the concert. According to band member Dan Diviney, award-winning step dancer Emily Warren will be on hand to show us Lord of the Dance wannabes how it’s done. “Anybody of any age will be able to learn the basics of step. Just wear comfortable shoes, no need for special footwear,” Dan says.
Across the Pond, based in New Oxford, Pennsylvania, will also have guest vocalist Marilyn Dally joining the band musicians. The band has been performing together for over seven years. Band members include Dan, who plays the whistle and the bodhrán (an Irish frame drum), Mike Morrison on guitar, and mandolin and fiddle player Chuck Krepley.
“We mostly play traditional Celtic folk music dating back to the 17th century and some Appalachian mountain music,” Dan says. In addition to performing as Across the Pond, all three musicians also do solo gigs and occasionally play with other bands.
The band released their first CD in 2014, Kid on the Mountain, and was named in the top twenty Celtic folk bands worldwide by Marc Gunn, nicknamed The Celtfather for his championing of the Celtic folk music genre.
Across the Pond will be bringing their Celtic sound to several festivals around the region this summer in addition to the Endless Mountain Music Festival, including the Central PA Festival of the Arts in State College, the People’s Choice Festival in Boalsburg, and the Adams County Irish Festival in Gettysburg.
This fall you can catch Across the Pond at the European Festival in Winchester, Virginia, and the National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville, Pennsylvania.
Luckily, however, you won’t need to wait long or travel far to see them. Experience their traditional Celtic sound in July in Wellsboro at EMMF and learn how to step dance—all on the same night. And remember, comfortable footwear is all that is required. “Certainly don’t wear spike heels,” Dan says, chuckling.