Abby Coyman (pictured here at 2011 World Irish Dancing Championships)
clinches 6th place in Girls 13-14 All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships

Photo by Lynn Academy of Irish Dance

Monday, the third day of the 2012 All Ireland Irish Dancing Championships, is one of the biggest competition days for this first major international Irish dancing competition of the year. There are three solo competitions and three team competitions, and the dancers, teachers and families account for a good portion of the thousands who have traveled to South Dublin this week.

The team events this day are Minor Girls Ceili, for girls under 13, Minor Mixed Ceili, for boys and girls under 13, and Minor Figure, for under 13. There were no North American schools represented in any of the team events, but dancers from Canada and the United States made up a solid 20-30 percent or more of the boys' and girls' solo competitions.

Of 158 dancers registered for the Girls 13-14 event, 35 were North Americans representing 21 Irish dancing schools in Canada and the United States. These An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha-certified schools are Butler-Fearon-O'Connor Western U.S. and Eastern Canada; Pomeroy from Western Canada; Clarkson, Lavin-Cassidy, McGing and Walsh-Kelly from Middle America; Cleary, Kelly, and Maguire from the Western U.S. Drake, Walsh-Kelley and Watters from the South; Gilleoghan, Gray, Lynn, O'Shea-Chaplin and Stillson from New England; and Hagen, McDade-Cara, O'Grady-Quinlan, and O'Sullivan from the Mid-Atlantic region.

Due to adjudicator conflicts (a dancer may not compete in a year that her teacher or a teacher associated with her school is judging), there were a number of contenders missing from the Girls 13-14 event this year. Melanie Valdes, from Petri, tied for first place in 2011 with Cyra Taylor from Doherty. Valdes and Ciara Murphy, another Petri dancer, could not compete due to this conflict. Two other 2011 Top 20 dancers - Aislinn Bevill from Pender-Keady and Mary Kate Guinan from Mulhern - also had teachers adjudicating.

Aine Claire Sheehan from McDade-Cara pictured here at the
Mid-Atlantic Regional Irish Dancing Championships with Champion Melanie Valdes
Photo Shamrock Photo

Monday, after the heavy round was danced by all the Girls 13-14 entrants, 21 North Americans recalled to dance a heavy step for a single adjudicator, Colleen Mulhern, ADCRG. After the light round, 18 North Americans recalled for the solo round. There were just 11 North Americans - Amanda Bills, Abby Coyman, Alanna Cregan, Annie Garcia, Nicole Greco, Claire Lawless, Hannah McNeill, Kaela Gray Milewski, Ciaran O'Brien, Lily Schwoerer, and Aine Claire Sheehan - who recalled overall to dance a contemporary set for the panel of adjudicators.

Read More:

North American Boys Place at All Irelands Sunday

Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship Team Results

Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship Solo Results Part 1

Abby Coyman from the Lynn Academy of Irish Dance in Connecticut was the highest-placing North American in the Girls 13-14 event. Coyman placed 6th, and three more Top 20 dancers - Aine Claire Sheehan from McDade-Cara, Nicole Greco from Gilleoghan and Ciaran O'Brien from Hagen placed 15th, 18th and 19th respectively. Kaela Gray Milewski from Gray, Lily Schwoerer from Lynn, Hannah McNeill from Brady, Alana Kregan from Drake, Amanda Bills and Annie Garcia from McGing and Claire Lawless from Drake all placed in the Top 50.

Congratulations to all the dancers, teachers and their families!

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