The Gaiety Theatre in Dublin was taken over by Irish dancers who took part in a ‘Riverdance-athon’ in the name of an important cause.
It was all to raise awareness and funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).
Among the 400 dancers taking part were professional dancers, including members of the cast of Riverdance – as well as students from over 20 Irish dance schools from all over the country.
They danced for 12 hours straight from 10am-10pm, performing iconic dances from the hit stage show.
They attracted a huge crowd and volunteers with card readers and collection buckets helped to raise funds.
Riverdance picks an Irish charity every year to benefit from their danceathons. This year the IMNDA was selected.
Róisín Duffy is the Chief Executive of the IMNDA. She thanked the dancers for choosing her charity and explained how important it is for them to receive funding.
She said: “We are here today to raise much-need funds for our association. The money raised will go to our core essential services, like our outreach nurses who visit families in their homes, counselling services, topping up home care grants, and equipment.
“Our main aim is to keep people in their homes. They should get the care they deserve and need, at home.”
Maura McHugh, who has motor neurone disease, spoke at the event.
She said: “I was diagnosed six years ago. I am one of the lucky ones because it’s not progressive.
“I’m just asking you please to donate as much as you can so we can find a cure for this horrible, horrible, disease. It’s 24 years since the tablets we are on [were invented], so dip into your pockets, just nobody can imagine what it’s like.”
Associate Director of Riverdance, Paudriac Moyles said: “The attention and care that the dancers give, they way they donate their time, energy, skill and talents… its a donation essentially, there’s nothing in it for them bar helping out a great cause.
“Nobody complains. They say ‘how much can I do?’. It’s one of the most uplifting things to see.”
He also spoke about his delight in being able to help the IMNDA.
He said: “When you get a better understanding of what they do, and the fact that 83% of their funds come from charitable donations, we really wanted to get behind them, donate as much as we can, and build awareness.”
Take a look at the video below.