On August 21, 2013, two Irish dance organizations merged together to form a larger open platform organization. Earlier that month, the National Irish Dance Federation (NAIDF) split, with many of the individual schools being welcomed into various organizations. Many Irish dance schools that previously participated in NAIDF were welcomed into the World Irish Dance Association (WIDA). Sean Gavan, founder of WIDA is confident that the merger will benefit dancers of both organizations.
"This merger will give people who want to try something different from the existing large dancing bodies an organization with a wider geographic reach as something to be part of,"Gavan says.
Both WIDA and NAIDF were open platform organizations, which means that any dancer can participate in competitions, regardless of the organization that they belong to, and even if they are self-taught. The merging of organizations combines the efforts of each one to bring more experiences to those who are involved. It will now be easier for all Irish dancers to make choices that are suitable for them and their families. Gavan says, "In times past, the options of choice were limited, but today that has certainly changed and we look forward to seeing the awareness of Irish dance increase and become more accessible for everyone."
Among the other options available to those who were affected by the NAIDF split is a new organization called Rince Tuatha Nua, which means, "a new Irish dance community". More information about many Irish dance groups who participate in open platform competitions can be found at The Road Together website.
"We are very happy to welcome so many new schools in to the WIDA organization," Gavan says. "We look upon ourselves as a family and we welcome all the new schools in to our dancing family."
Readers: Are you an Irish dancer or a dance school, competitive or not, with a story to share? Would you like to inspire others to feel your passion for Irish dancing and culture? Do you have a question about Irish dancing? Please visit www.christydorrity.com.