Wexford People

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Dance Hub opens with a flourish as James (99) struts his steps


James McManus (99) doing the tango with Vivian Brodie Hayes

James McManus (99) doing the tango with Vivian Brodie Hayes

James McManus (99) doing the tango with Vivian Brodie Hayes

The new Dance Hub at the Creative Hub was opened in style on Friday night.

The new addition to the Creative Hub is aimed at offering space for all types of dance and movement practices, to open dance up to people of all ages and abilities.

The hub was officially opened by Wexford County Council Arts Officer Liz Burns who was delighted to see another string being added to the artistic bow of the Creative Hub.

Run by choreographer Vivian Brodie Hayes, the hub is already offering classes in contemporary dance, yoga and tango, a genre of dance which played a big role in Friday's launch party.

The first dance of the night, fittingly, fell to Vivian and tango dancer James McManus who is 99, with 80 years of dancing experience!

Originally from Scotland, James is a decorated war hero, having fought in World War II. He subsequently served in the Merchant Navy and worked in telecommunications.

About 25 years ago, he moved to Ireland with his partner, settling in Waterford and learning tango through a teacher in Kilkenny.

In 2014, he and local woman Ellina Shmarkovskaya, who hails from Russia, founded Tango Wexford. Following an event last year, it was decided to start a Go Fund Me page to give James an extra special 100th birthday present - a month-long trip to Buenos Aires for a tango experience like no other!

The Dance Hub is situated upstairs in the Creative Hub. Further information on the range of classes can be found on the hub's Facebook page.

Wexford People