Four North American Irish dancers topped the World Irish Dancing Championship podium in 2011, and one of them was a boy.  Peter Dziak from Trinity Irish Dance in Illinois/Wisconsin, who has placed in the Top 3 and improved every year since he started competing in 2009, defeated 2010 World Champion Eamon Kitching from Conway-Lally in Southern England.   

Dziak wasn’t the only North American male Irish dancer on the 2011 Worlds’ podium, however.  Thirteen young men from the United States and Canada took Top 5 positions with 2010 World Champion Drew Lovejoy from McGing and Michael Putman from Dennehy each clinching second place.  Ryan Broesler and Nick Paulson, both from Broesler, and Tyler Schwartz from Trinity, each placed third in their age groups.  Liam Grant, Jason Hays, Michael Holland, Owen Luebbers, Brian Perry-Carrera, Fred Nguyen, Conor O’Brien and Conor Reagan all stood in coveted positions on the box as well.

An additional fifteen young men from Canada and the United States placed from sixth to tenth in their age groups, bringing the total to 29 North American males in the Top 10 in the World in 2011.  They are Makulumy Alexander-Hills, Nick Andison, Lorcan Balfe, Conor Coleman, Jonathan Detullio, McKimmon Englehardt, Ian Gott, Lucas Lawton, Brian McLaughlin, Liam McMahon, Conal Mulhern O’Kane, Lockie Nidds, Christopher Parronchi, Jonathon Srour and Kelcey Steele.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the two most-populated regions in North America had the most Top 10 placements for boys/men.  Statistically, schools from the Mid-Atlantic Region (Broesler, Burke Conroy, Inishfree, Peter Smith, Petri and Rince na Tiarna) boasted the most with Broesler as the home of Ryan Broesler, Owen Luebbers, Lockie Nidds, Nick Paulson and Jonathon Srour.  Mid-America Region schools Dennehy, Trinity, McGing, McNulty and Mulhern had the second-most Top 10 placements.

Eastern Canada (Butler-Fearon-O’Connor and Short) boast 4 in the Top 10 while the Western United States and Western Canada each had two: Claddagh and Butler-Fearon-O’Connor (Western U.S.) and De Danaan and Irwin (Western Canada).  New England and the Southern Region of the United States were represented in the Top 10 by Conor O’Brien from O’Shea-Chaplin and Jason Hays from McTeggart, respectively.

Who is heading to Worlds in Belfast this week to defend a title or vie for a podium position?  Send your congratulations or best wishes in the comment box below and stay tuned right here all week as we bring you previews, articles, school and competitor profiles and hedge some bets as to top performers at this year’s World Irish Dancing Championships which begin March 31st.