One of Derry’s most famous Irish dancing sons, veteran dancer Ron Plummer, returned to the city last week for a family reunion and told the Sunday Journal he was delighted to be back home.
Ron, the holder of ten world championships and 40 North American championships, has lived in Toronto for the past 46 years. A proud father of three, his son Ciaran has followed in his father’s footsteps into the world of dance and has already become an internet sensation with his own take on traditional dancing as well as being a member of the Lord of the Dance troupe.
Enjoying a tour of some historical sites at Ballyarnet on Friday, Ron thanked the Templemore Archaeology Society for hosting him. He recalled starting his Irish dancing career with well-known Derry teacher Brendan De Glin.
“It’s always lovely to be back home and the fact that my sisters were here from England too means we’ve had a lovely family reunion. I have been back since moving to Canada to bring the kids over to the World Championships here.”
Ron’s hopeful he’ll return to Derry in 2013 to watch it celebrate its year as City of Culture.
“I think it will be a fantastic year for Derry, with so much going on here.”
The Bishop Street native, who still teaches Irish dancing in Canada, said the culture of dance has changed radically since he first danced almost 50 years ago.
“Sometimes that’s for the better when you see how good things like Lord of the Dance are and you see the kids getting great opportunities. But some of the changes aren’t for the better when you look at how costumes have changed and how expensive it is now.”
Ron will return to Canada in the coming days but says he has so many fond memories of Derry adding: “It’s lovely to see how the city has grown and changed for the better in recent years. It’s been great being back.”