From students to stars: Inside the journey of Ridgewood Irish Dancers

The Ridgewood Irish Dancers brightened up a cloudy Bergen County Saint Patrick's Day parade Sunday before making their way to Duffy's in Paterson as a part of their busy March schedule.

"This is our busiest season, but it’s funny thinking back to when I was a dancer what we considered busy," Ashling Daly-Stanek told FOX 5 following the parade. 

She's gone from student to teacher taking lead of the dance program for the last three years, pouring her heart into the dancers.

We followed her and the girls for two of 50 parades and performances scheduled over the next couple of weeks.

Family Day at Duffy’s has become an unofficial alumni event to show off their hard work. 

Not only has Daly-Stanek maintained the dance company, but she’s grown it in honor of her late mom and coach Susan Daley-Stanek.

"When I lost mom, I just wanted to be at the studio. That’s where I wanted to be. And I couldn’t imagine losing her and the studio and that community. That just would’ve been too much," she told FOX 5

Instead, the group of girls are using their performances to sharpen them up for perhaps the most important performance CRDM Irish Dance World Championships coming up in April. 

"I have 7 dancers heading off to the world championships in Dublin. This is my 3rd year bringing dancers over, so make sure they know every opportunity to dance they’re using for training," she added. 

In the meantime, they’re using each performance to spread joy and heritage one tap at a time.