Shamrock Shuffle

Legendary Irish dance troupe kicks up its heels in a fast-paced flurry of moves.

Riverdance's success speaks for itself. In 13 years, the Irish dancing phenomenon has logged more than 10,000 performances on four continents, filling a trophy room of Grammys to boot. And for the 30 dancers who'll whip Akron into a post-St. Paddy's Day frenzy tonight, the show is a godsend. "When I first started Irish dancing, there were no job prospects, no matter how good you were," says cast member Maria Buffini, a 24-year-old lass who learned how to dance as a wee one in her native Dublin. "A lot of young Irish people learned it because it's a big part of our tradition, but it has transitioned into a job."Even Buffini is astounded at the show's off-the-charts popularity. But she's not complaining. "It has done wonders for our culture, especially in getting boys to attend dancing classes," laughs Buffini. "It just has staying power." Riverdance starts at 7:30 p.m. today through Thursday at E.J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill Street in Akron. Tickets are $25 to $55. Call 330-972-7570 or visit
Tue., April 1, 7:30 p.m., 2008