This is Part 3 of a recap of the 2011 North American Irish Dancing Championships, hosted by the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. Top competitors from all across North America and abroad from Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom vied for coveted podium positions, many as defending champions or past champions seeking the return of the top prize
Team day at the North American Irish Dancing Championships means thousands of colorful dancers, dressed alike in groups of 8 or 16, with hundreds of fans packing ballrooms. While team competition is not a requirement at some Irish dance schools, those teachers who do ascribe to the philosophy put in the time and energy year-round. Some members of the teen-aged teams have been developing the coveted mirror image of a ceili since they first started Irish dancing as small children. Best of all, it is an opportunity for those dancers who may not be Open Champions to show their stuff and be a part of the national championships.
In 2011, there were eighteen team competitions and a couple of Irish dance schools hit the podium more than once. Celtic Steps from Colorado and Harney Academy from Massachusetts each won four titles. Celtic Steps swept the Girls Choreography titles, winning the under 13, under 16, and 16 & over events as well as the Mixed Ceili under 16 competition. Dancers from the Harney Academy clinched four top podium spots for Girls Ceili under 11 and under 13 and Mixed Ceili under 9 and under 11.
Cashel-Dennehy’s two teams made history when they tied for first place in the Girls’ Ceili under 16 event. Cashel-Dennehy also won the Girls Ceili 16 and over competition. Ohio’s McGing Irish Dance won the gold for its stellar Dance Drama performance, and California’s Whelan-Kennelly’s adult ladies took first place in that ceili competition as well as the Mixed Ceili 16 & over event.
2011 North American Irish Dancing Champion Teams
under 9 - Lavin-Cassidy
under 11, under 13 - Harney Team B, Harney Team A
under 16, 16 & over- Cashel-Dennehy Team C and A tied, Cashel-Dennehy Team A
under 9, under 11 - Harney Team A, Harney Team A
under 13 - Peter Smith Team A
under 16 - Celtic Steps Team A
16 & over - Whelan-Kennelly Team A
Ladies Adult Ceili -Whelan-Kennelly Team A
Girls Choreography - under 13 - Celtic Steps Team A, under 16- Celtic Steps Team A, and 16 & Over Celtic Steps Team A
under 11 -Mulhern Team A
under 13 - Drumcliffe Team A
16 & Over - Celtic Steps Team A
Dance Drama - McGing Team A
Stay tuned right here for more updates and future editions of the 2011 North American Irish Dancing Championships recap as we prepare for our role as the official live commentators for the 2012 Chicago event!
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