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Trinity Irish Dancers perform for health care workers on St. Patrick’s Day

About 20 dancers performed outside Swedish Hospital in Ravenswood Wednesday. Patients watched from their windows, doctors and nurses took videos from the street, and health care workers’ kids leaped to the music.

When Olivia Dela Cruz arrived at Swedish Hospital to visit her mother, she didn’t expect to see dozens of Irish dancers hopping and prancing outside.

“This is like such a wonderful just break from the stress of worrying about your parent,” said Dela Cruz, who took videos of the performance to show her mom.

The dancers were from the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, and about 20 of them performed outside Swedish Hospital in Ravenswood on St. Patrick’s Day. Patients watched from their hospital windows, doctors and nurses took videos from the street, and kids of health care workers jumped to the music.

Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day 2021 to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital Wednesday. On St. Patrick’s Day, they typically would perform indoors, but due to the pandemic, adjustments had to be made.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

“We are really trying to bring, you know, the joy and the power of Irish dance to our health care workers,” said Shannan Bunting, parent of one of the dancers. “This is really our opportunity to give back.”

“This has been a, you know, a remarkably challenging year for health care and people in the community have found a few ways to try and kind of bring a little sunshine and this is just such a perfect example of that,” said Bruce McNulty, the vice president and chief medical officer of Swedish Hospital.

Given Chicago’s large Irish American population, the area, not surprisingly, has many Irish dance schools. Around St. Patrick’s Day, dancers from those schools typically perform at restaurants, pubs, church halls, retirement communities, hospitals and at other holiday gatherings throughout the region.

This year, of course, is different. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinity, like the others, modified its program, Bunting said.

“It’s really cool that we get to dance during a pandemic too,” said Reilly Leahy, who’s performed for almost 10 years. “We still have the opportunity to, like, make people happy and it’s my senior year, so I’m really glad that I get to do it my last year and don’t get to miss out on all these opportunities.”

Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital Wednesday. “People in the community have found a few ways to try and kind of bring a little sunshine and this is just such a perfect example of that,” said Bruce McNulty, the vice president and chief medical officer of Swedish Hospital.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers. Later in the day, they also visited Rush University Medical Center.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital Wednesday. They usually do lots of indoor shows around St. Patrick’s Day. And even though they had to adjust due to the coronavirus, dancer Reilly Leahy said it was “really cool that we get to dance ... We still have the opportunity to, like, make people happy.”
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Swedish Covenant Hospital doctors and nurses watch Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day.
Swedish Hospital doctors and nurses watch Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside hospital on St. Patrick’s Day.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital on Wednesday. The hard shoes — sometimes called “heavies” — are the ones that make all the noise and are worn for dances such as the hornpipe. Soft leather shoes, more like ballet slippers, are worn for other dances, such as the slip jig.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital Wednesday.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Children of health care workers and staff watch Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day.
Children of health care workers and staff watch Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Swedish Covenant Hospital staff and patients watch Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day.
Swedish Hospital staff and patients watch Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside the hospital on St. Patrick’s Day.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Swedish Covenant Hospital Bruce McNulty watches Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside the hospital in Ravenswood on St. Patrick’s Day.
Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Swedish Hospital Bruce McNulty watches Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside the hospital in Ravenswood on St. Patrick’s Day.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Covenant Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Trinity Irish Dancers perform outside Swedish Hospital on St. Patrick’s Day to show appreciation for health care workers.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Editor’s note: The online version has been corrected to reflect the proper spelling of the name of the chief medical officer.