Trinity and Claddagh
The Irish Americans: Irish dance
As well as producing several individual winners, American dancers also proved successful in World Irish Dance Championship team competitions in Belfast. The Trinity Academy of Irish Dance from Chicago, pictured above, took first place in the minor girls ceili and minor girls figure competitions, and the Claddagh Dance Company from California captured the title in the junior girls ceili competitions.
The Trinity Academy of Irish Dance established itself in the late 1980s as the first American Irish dance team to bring home a gold medal from the World Championships in Ireland and has since dominated the ceili team competitions. This win brings Trinity’s world title count to a whopping 30. The Academy was established by Mark Howard when he was only 17.
The Claddagh Dance Company is the premier dance school in Southern California and includes over 50 North American Championship dancers in solo and team events. The school is under the direction of Moire O’Connell who moved to Ventura from Galway, Ireland in 1978.
This coming April, for the first time ever, the World Championships of Irish dance will be held on American soil, in Philadelphia. Hopefully a home advantage will result in even more American wins in 2009.
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