Meet the woman behind Amici Italiani, the Rockford dance troupe that keeps tradition alive

Aug 05, 2022 287

BY: Chris Green

A 1985 newspaper article about Shirley Fedeli's quest for dancers for her fledging dance troupe is the origin of Bea Ricotta's love for Amici Italiani. "My mom saw it and said, 'You like to dance. Why don't you do this?'" Ricotta found the dancing and the camaraderie to be so much fun that the dancers donned their costumes and danced the following year at her wedding. "It was really awesome," she said.

Performances by Amici Italiani, meaning Italian friends, are one of the highlights of Festa Italiana, a three-day festival that kicks off Friday on the grounds of Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, IL. Today, Ricotta is now the dance troupe's lifeblood, the driving force that keeps the group going strong year after year.

Read more


You may be interested