Feis America hosted a Meet ‘n Greet for the Moms to Reel Boys FaceBook group at the North American Irish Dancing Championships in Nashville, Tennessee. Kristen Wilkins, mom to ‘reel boy’ Griffin Wilkins coordinated the gathering of Harney Academy (MA), joining with Kristin Tousignant from Ontario, Declan Meagher from Marie Moore in New Jersey and Ethan Long from McTeggart.

Feis America surprised the boys with a visit from Drew Lovejoy, the 2010 North American, World and All Ireland Champion Boy under 15 from McGing in Ohio. Drew holds the 2010 and 2011 All Irelands titles and took 2nd place at Worlds this year. He is a three-time Mid America Oireachtas champion and the 2010 North American champion. Drew has a 4.0 grade point average at the Ohio Connections Academy, an online, public high school and is a student ambassador. He is a fabulous role model for young dancers, and Feis America is delighted to count him among our most loyal supporters!

Patrick Mello from Harney (MA) and Declan Meagher from Marie Moore (NJ) are both multi-time champions in New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions of North America. Patrick also claimed the North American title in 2010. Harney boys Braedan Maloney, Patrick Mello and Griffin Wilkins all placed at the Worlds in 2010, with Wilkins and Mello placing at the All Irelands as well. Declan Meagher placed 12th at Worlds.

Andee, Drew’s mom and biggest fan, was an inspiration for the other parents. Drew smiled and laughed with the younger boys who had just been splashing in the fountain. He answered questions about conditioning and performing and his strong friendships with other dancers. Andee inspired parents with her remarks about their family’s commitment to Irish dance which includes a 2 hour drive each way to the McGing studio in Ohio where Drew practices.

We’re delighted to share that last night, both Drew Lovejoy and Patrick Mello clinched the North American 2011 titles in their competitions for the second year in a row!

Feis America on Irish Central has been expressly prohibited from posting live commentary and real-time results by the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America. Follow live at www.nanationals.net and stay tuned here for fun and photos all week long!

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Photos by Feis America LLC