Four North American females hold 2011 All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championship titles and three of the four will not be in Dublin next week to defend their position at the top of the podium. Meet two New Yorkers and two Eastern Canadians whose records of competitive Irish dancing success are envied the world over.
Michaela Hinds dances with Butler-Fearon-O’Connor in Eastern Canada and is the only North American to hold three consecutive World Irish Dancing Championship titles, 2009-2011.
In 2011, Miss Hinds added the Great Britain Irish Dancing Championship to her multiple North American National titles. This inspirational young lady also holds seven consecutive Eastern Canada Regional Championships and an eighth earned in 2003.
Emily Penner, also from Butler-Fearon-O’Connor in Eastern Canada, won the Senior Ladies’ title for the All-Irelands in 2011 and promptly clinched the World Irish Dancing Championship title a few months later.
Dancing since age 5, Miss Penner, now 22 years old, has earned twelve Eastern Canadian Regional Championships titles. She has won three North American National titles, two Great Britain Championships, and one each at the British Nationals and the All-Scotland Irish Dancing Championships.
The pool of outstanding dancers in Penner’s competition grows as dedicated adult dancers move from single year solo competitions to the group labeled ‘over 21’.
Ann Paige Turilli from the Inishfree School in New York won the 2011 All-Irelands for Girls 14-15 after clinching the 2010 World Irish Dancing Championship for Girls under 14 and the 2009 Great Britain Irish Dancing Championship in 2009.
A two-time North American National Champion and four-time Mid-Atlantic Regional Champion, Miss Turilli also was the 2006 British National Champion and holds the North American Feis Commission Minor Cup from 2008.
Melanie Valdes from the Petri School in New York tied for first place with Cyra Taylor from McConomy in Ulster Region, Ireland at the 2011 All-Irelands for Girls 12-13 and then took 2nd place at both the World and Great Britain Irish Dancing Championships the same year. 2011 was the third consecutive win for Miss Valdes at the North American National Irish Dancing Championships and she is also a three-time Mid-Atlantic Regional Champion.
This dedicated dancer was the 2010 All-Scotland Irish Dancing Champion and holds the 2011 North American Feis Commission Junior Trophy. While Miss Valdes will not be at All-Irelands (her teachers are adjudicators), she is looking forward to Worlds in Belfast!
Stay tuned right here on Irish Central for daily editorial, news and photos about the 2011 All Ireland Irish Dancing Championships!
Top five 2011 All Ireland Irish Dancing Championship results.