Meet Patricia McManus: the founder and director of Queen’s McManus Irish Dance and Jiggy TotsⓇ- toddler pre-dance and movement. Patricia leads our Summer Kids’ Jiggy Tots program Tuesdays at 3:00pm. Patricia also helps coordinate other LIC events, such as the Queens Irish Heritage Night , which will take place on September 14th.
1. First off, quick background info! Tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you do.
Patricia McManus, from Sunnyside NY and I’m the owner and head instructor of McManus Irish Dance and Jiggy TotsⓇ- toddler pre-dance and movement.
2. How’d you get into Irish dance? How long have you been doing it?
I am first generation American so my parents had found local classes to keep us “involved in our culture” and had my older sisters in Irish dance and music lessons for a few years before I was even born, so for me- its been literally, my entire life— although I formally began taking lessons around age three and a half.
3. What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love teaching- seeing my students progress and improve and sharing Irish culture with as many people as possible! One of my favorite things is the opportunities I’m able to give our students through many cultural events - many of them have already danced in incredible venues such as on field at Citi Field for the Mets and on major stages in NYC. Some have even traveled all over the North East with our dance program. A few may begin competing in international competitions next year!
4. How is teaching/performing in the park different than your typical venue?
Teaching in the park has a lot more variables- outside/weather, the beautiful views and usually quite a large attendance- non of which are the norm for standard classes. But, all those variables make each summer of programming such a fun and unique experience!
5. When you’re not teaching, what is your favorite thing to do in the parks?
When I’m not teaching I like to enjoy the outdoors and our beautiful city by relaxing in the park or taking a stroll for some fresh air.
6. Lastly, how do you motivate/energize yourself when you’re feeling lazy?
Besides coffee… my students motivate me with their positive energy and spirits, it’s easy to go to “work” when it involves some of the best kids in the world each day!