Lisa Chaplin McAllister, ADCRG with O'Shea-Chaplin Academy
siblings Claire and Conor O'Brien
New England Regional Irish Dancing Champions 2011
photo: courtesy Claire O'Brien

 The O'Brien and Sulger families have double the celebrating to do after the New England Irish Dancing Championships held November 18-20 in Providence, Rhode Island. Claire O'Brien, Ladies under 20 Champion and Charlotte Sulger, Girls under 8 Champion are the second child from each family to win the Irish dancing championship in New England in the same year as a sibling. Defending Men under 18 Champion Conor O'Brien and defending Girls under 14 Champion Anna Sulger were delighted to see their siblings climb to the top of the New England podium in 2011. The O'Briens and Anna Sulger are qualified to compete at the World Irish Dancing Championships which will be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2012.  Charlotte Sulger is too young to compete at Worlds, whose first competition category is Under 10.

Claire and Conor O'Brien, who grew up in Newton, Massachusetts are both students at Tufts University in Boston, where they are part of dance clubs on campus.   Fortunately, the O'Briens are able to continue their instruction at the O'Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dancing, where they have been studying Irish dance since before the age of five.

Founded in Ireland in 1954 and then in Boston in the 1960's by Rita O'Shea, ADCRG,O'Shea-Chaplin Academy is one of the longest-running Irish dance schools in the United States. Six former O'Shea-Chaplin students are now certified teachers at the school, with three - Brenda Crossen Finn, Maura Masterson and Lisa Chaplin McAllister - certified adjudicators as well. At the New England Regional Irish Dancing Championships this year alone, the school produced 35 recalls, 17 World qualifiers, 21 team and 4 traditional set placements.
Charlotte and Anna Sulger, sisters and
New England Regional Irish Dancing Champions 2011
with Erin Pender-LeVine and Kathleen Keady
photo: Dana Sulger
Charlotte and Anna Sulger, who study at the Pender-Keady Academy of Irish Dance in Stamford, Connecticut, are no strangers to the podium. In July, both girls claimed North American National Irish Dancing Championships in their age groups, Girls under 8 and Girls under 14.


Read More:

Pender-Keady Siblings Claim North American Irish Dancing Championships

Is Friendship Possible in the world of competitive Irish dance?

New England Irish Dancing Championships Girls Top 5 Results


Pender-Keady was founded in 1999 by regional and national champions Erin Pender-LeVine and Kathleen Keady, both certified teachers and adjudicators with An Coimisiun le Rince Gaelacha in Dublin, Ireland.  Their individual dancing careers include Top Three World Irish Dancing Championship placements as well as roles in the Broadway version of Riverdance.  Keady was also a member of the original cast of Lord of the Dance.

Kathleen Keady, ADCRG, said, ""We had a great Oireachtas at Pender Keady Academy; with 15 World qualifiers, 4 girls who won their championships, and 32 National qualifiers, it was a great weekend. We also had great results with our teams and traditional sets, so overall it was a very successful Oireachtas for us! "

Look for more spotlights on family stardom in Click! Feis America Digital, debuting Christmas Day with the 2011 North American Oireachtasi Yearbook.  Subscribe today for the special introductory price of $20 for 12 digital issues delivered to your email inbox anywhere in the world!

Special introductory price ends 12/31/11