|Farrell Granath from Pender-Keady Academy|
of Irish Dance in Connecticut
proudly wears her Irish dancing costume
which honors America!
With costumes trending toward sparkles and sequins, the annual North American World Qualifying competition is an ideal time to showcase the United States of America's flag features.
|Sean Patrick Dwyer and family ready for the Boys under 9 competition.|
|Regan Rankin dancers from the under 13 competition between rounds.|
Irish dancer goes from "Feet of Flames" to professional photography
North American Irish Dancing Championships kick off in Chicago
For the love of competition - Irish dancing builds character
|Katherine Malloy shows off today's 'uniform' for Mulhern Irish dancers|
complete with sparkly blue flats and a flag hairbow.
The sheer numbers of entrants in most of the female age groups require that the year be split into two groups, and birthdate determines which half of the group one is assigned to. This results in two championships for most of the girls' age groups, where up to 150 or more Irish dancers may compete in a single group. Dancers perform two rounds in each of the heavy and light shoe and about half are recalled to dance a third round. After tabulation, awards are made which include a top percentage who is qualified to compete at the 2013 World Irish Dancing Championships which will be held in Boston.
|Aidan Farrell and Bridget Murphy from McInerney in Massachusetts.|
The 2012 North American Irish Dancing Championships began Tuesday with solo competitions for some of the larger groups including Girls under 10 and Girls under 15. Competitions are divided by gender and age; while some of the country's youngest Open Champion dancers are permitted to compete in the under 8 category and the oldest group is that of Men over 20 and Ladies over 20, most events are for a specific year of age, i.e. 9 years turning 10 during calendar year 2012.
|Patriotic dancers and fans from Donny Golden in New York!|
Tuesday's competitions saw solo events in the Girls under 10 and Girls under 15 categories, as well as Ladies under 19 and Ladies under 20 competitions. Afternoon fans were delighted with the stamina and power of the older male Irish dancers with the Men under 20 and Men over 20 events. World, national and regional champions, many of whom perform professionally with Riverdance or Lord of the Dance, or serve as a student Irish dance teacher, vied for the 2012 North American Irish Dancing Championship titles while visiting with friends from around the world sidestage
|Happy 4th of July from these three belles from North Carolina!|
|Celtic Steps in Colorado family decked out for Independence Day!|
|Lindsey Ferguson from Bell with her family between rounds.|