They gesture and step to the beat, all for the Love of the Dance.

The McElligott School of Irish Dance will perform on the bandstand at 7 p.m., Sept. 9 at the Palmerton Community Festival.

Heather McElligott Sparks, director of the school located in Stroudsburg, said this will be the first time the school has plied its trade at the event.

"We're very excited about it, we love all types of festivals, and the kids love all types of performing," McElligott Sparks said. "I think Palmerton is beautiful, the setting is very tranquil, and it's a nice way to kick off the fall."

McElligott Sparks said the school is a performance and competitive group that consists of a combination of choreography and individual dances.

"We're hoping to entertain the audience. We're sure they're there to enjoy the evening," she said. "If they've not been exposed to Irish dancing before, we hope we give a nice taste of all that Irish dancing has to offer."

At the school, dancers from the ages of four through adult, dance both competitively and for performances. The theme of the school is "Love of the Dance," and the families and students really feel that love in this school.

They enjoy the camaraderie that is developed among the students and parents. The students work together to make a solid, supportive, and competitive team of dancers from beginner levels through championship levels.

The classes are kept small and personal, so that each and every dancer can reach their personal best. Hard work and dedication to precision while still enjoying what they do is the aim for the students of the school. That teaching formula certainly works, as the school has enjoyed continuous success on the competitive level.

Those who would like to know more about the fantastic dance program and want to become a part of the McElligott School of Dance family are urged to contact them.

Over the years, the McElligott School dancers have had the opportunity to perform on television, in front of various governmental dignitaries - both National and International - as well as in parades, fairs, weddings, festival and other exciting events.

The dancers also had the opportunity to dance with world renowned Irish group, The Chieftains, and enjoy dancing on various occasions with the wonderful group Gypsy Reel.

The teachers are always creating new and innovative programs, and the dancers love the challenge and thrill that this creates. They love to perform and it shows.

Those looking for Irish Dancers for their next event are urged to contact the school so it can plan a great show.