March 17 is a busy day for Irish step dancer Tara Reid, who will perform with the band Sin E Ri Ra at the Celtic Feis Festival at New York-New York. From 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., she’ll dance on the remodeled bridge in front of the resort, then the evening will bring the band inside to Nine Fine Irishmen from 9 p.m.-2:15 a.m. (The festival itself runs from March 15-17, complete with corned beef and a very green fountain.) Reid, who has thrice competed in the World Irish Dancing Championships, also runs a dance school in Las Vegas, Scoil Rince Ni Riada.
So, St. Patrick’s Day is like your Christmas?
Yes, especially for me because I also have the dance school, and I’ll be going back and forth between New York-New York and where my dancers are performing. So it’s definitely like Christmas, visiting all your different family members spreading all your St. Patrick’s Day joy, so to speak.
How did you get into Irish dancing?
It’s a family thing: My mom took us back to Ireland when we were little, and my aunt had a school there. They brought us for class, and my sister and I didn’t know how to do anything. So my mom got an earful: “They’re Irish, and they don’t know how to Irish dance? Are you kidding me?” We came back to the States, and my mom quickly started an Irish dance school in Kansas. I’ve been Irish dancing for almost 24 years now.
What is your favorite part of performing?
When you’re doing the tap-shoe part of it, you do a lot of jumps in the air, and it just allows you to fly. You get that feeling, that amazing feeling when you’re flying through the air, the feeling that you have all the power in the world—and all the time in the world.