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Monthly feature with an Irish dancer - Twenty questions for a Reel Boy

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Every month, an Open Champion Irish dancer will be featured here on the Moms to Reel Boys blog.

This month, I interviewed Brandon Asazawa of Ohio, USA. He came in 18th at the 2011 World Championships of Irish Dance in Dublin and 4th at the 2011 North American Nationals. Most recently, Brandon came in 1st place at the 2011 MidAmerica Regional Oireachtas.

Brandon at the 2011 MidAmerica Regional Oireachtas with his 1st place cup and feis friends. Photo: Sandi Asazawa
What is your name?
Brandon Asazawa


Do you have any nicknames?
None that I know of.


How old are you?
I am 16yrs old.


What Irish dance school do you dance for?
I am from the Leneghan Academy of Irish Dance located in Cleveland, Ohio.

When did you start dancing?
I began to dance when I was 4 years old.

In a few words can you tell us why you started Irish dance?
Because of my mother’s Irish heritage I began to gain interest in the Irish culture.

Brandon in 2001, 5 years old- first feis. Photo: Sandi Asazawa

Any Irish dance siblings?
Although I have great friends that I consider family, I am an only child.

What is your current Irish dancing goal?
My main goals today are to win the Nationals and at least medal at the World Championships.


Any goals for the future that include Irish dance when you're an adult?
I have always dreamed of participating in a Irish Dance company, and I have also looked into becoming a teacher in the future.


What is your favorite feis to compete at other than majors?
One of my favorite feis’ is the North Coast Feis here in Cleveland, Ohio. My mother takes part in the running of the feis, and I am committed to helping the feis to succeed.

What is your current set dance or favorite set?
My current and favorite set dance is the Drunken Gauger.


What brand of hard shoes do you wear?
Fay's

What is your greatest accomplishment in Irish dance?
Winning the 2011 MidAmerica Oireachtas last year was a dream come true.


What is your best Irish dance memory?
Seeing my teacher, Catherine Leneghan, walk up on stage at the 2011 MidAmerican Oireachtas and be acknowledged for all of her hard work.

Any injuries that have made you stop or slow down in Irish dance?
I have had multiple injuries to my right ankle resulting in a lot of time off and I have also had a history of back issues. Luckily, I have not had any serious injuries.

Who made your current waistcoat/vest?
Elevation Designs.

Brandon on stage at 2011 North American Nationals- 4th place. Photo: Sandi Asazawa
Other than Irish dance music what is your current favorite song or artist to listen to?
I am very into R&B so I enjoy listening to Chris Brown or Ne-yo.

Do you do sports or any other forms of dance?
Although I do not play any sports on a team, I love to play basketball and football as well.


Do you play any musical instruments?
I have attempted to play various instruments but I have realized that all of my talents have gone into my feet.

Any pets?
I have a cat named Taiko.

Brandon 14yrs old, Christmas 2010 with Taiko. Photo: Sandi Asazawa

Best advice you can give to boy Irish dancers who are wanting to become champion level dancers?
Never allow outside judgments to effect your drive and put passion into every step.

When I grow up, I want to be...
Although I know I would like to be in an Irish dance company and go to college, I have yet to decide what profession I would like to partake in when I am older.

Brandon, thank-you for answering all of my questions! :)

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