Under 10 competitors await awards at North American Nationals 2011
Photo Megan TeeKing
The second youngest category at the All Ireland Irish Dancing Championships is the 10-11 age group, and for the girls, this competition was held Saturday following the 9-10 year olds.  This year 127 dancers from Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States were entered in the Girls 10-11 category, which is close to the number from years past.  Of the 127, however, only twelve were from North America and half had placed at the All-Ireland Dancing Championships in Killarney in 2011.  These numbers and the placements for North Americans are an improvement over recent years.

North American competitors for Girls 10-11 were Nora Rose Ahern from Gilleoghan, Ciara Blomberg from Goulding, Farran Dougherty from Broesler, Samantha Dwyer from Hagen, Meghan Gibbons from Mullane Healy Godley, Emily Marino from Rince na Tiarna, Anna McMahon from Lavin Cassidy, Sydney Niewiedzial from Trinity, Lenna O'Handley from Ni Fhearraigh O'Ceallaigh, Samantha Ryzner from Trinity, Rieley Schiavone from Hughes and Capri Van Olm from Short. These competitors represent New England, Mid-Atlantic, Middle America and Eastern Canada regions.

Clodagh Davis, Emma Casey and Farran Dougherty
Top 3 2011 All Ireland Irish Dancing Championships

photo courtesy dance.net and Finnegan

When all the dancing was finished and the tabulation was done, Clodagh Davis from the Carson Academy and Emma Casey from McConomy, both in the Ulster Region of Ireland, retained their first and second placements, respectively, earned in 2011. Leah Carter from Anthony Costello placed third, bumping Farran Dougherty from Broesler to fourth place. Rince na Tiarna's Emily Marino jumped from 14th place in 2011 to 5th and Nora Ahern from Gilleoghan climbed to 9th place from 23rd.

Read more:

All Irelands Top Five Girls in 2011

Schedule of Competitions for All Irelands 2012

Ways to Save Money in Irish Dancing

Three North Americans in the Top Ten for Girls 10-11 is a great improvement over 2011, when Ava-Marie Schroder from Mattierin was the highest placing North American in 13th place.  Only 9 of 50 who recalled were from Canada or the United States. In 2010, though New York's Julia O'Rourke clinched the championship and three additional North Americans - Margaret Nowakowski, Caroline Leeber and Riley Maeve Dolan - were in the Top Ten, it was just twenty percent of those who recalled.

Julia O'Rourke won the Girls 10-11 All-Ireland Championship in 2010.
Photo courtesy Annelyn O'Rourke.

The 2009 All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championship for Girls 10-11 was the last year North Americans had a strong showing, and it's no coincidence that the sparks then have gone on to become even brighter stars now.  Seventeen of 48 recalled dancers - 35 percent - were from Canada and the United States!  While the highest placement was Sydney Foley-Klyczek in 8th, there were six North Americans in the Top 25:  Melanie Valdes, Colleen McCarthy, Aine Clare Sheehan, Kelli Devlin and Ciara Murphy.

Congratulations to all the young ladies who danced their hearts out today!  Now relax and enjoy your time in Dublin with your Irish dancing friends!

For official results, live commentary and photos from All-Irelands, register with www.onthefeis.com, the official partner of An Coimisiun le Rince Gaelacha.

Bookmark this page and check back here on Irish Central's Irish dance page for timely updates and news from Dublin all week long!