Co-Champions Cyra Taylor and Melanie Valdes with their teachers
2012 Girls 13-14 World Irish Dancing Championship
Photo courtesy On The Feis

Cyra Taylor from Scoil Rince McConomy Bradley in the Ulster Region, Ireland defended her 2011 World Irish Dancing Championship title Monday, with one caveat.  Taylor, also the 2009 World Irish Dancing Champion (then as a McConomy student), shared the podium for the Girls 13-14 title with Melanie Valdes from the Petri School in New York.  Tied at a score of 700, the friendly rivals were reunited as it were, having shared the All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championship podium in 2011.

Cyra Taylor, 2011 World Irish Dancing Champion
Photo Feis America LLC
Taylor recently claimed the 2012 All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championship for Girls 13-14, her third All-Ireland title since she first competed at the event in 2008.  She also has only ever placed first or second in the World for her age group since she was eligible and qualified to compete starting 2009 and has won nearly every major competition she has ever entered.  Taylor, the youngest of three girls, started dancing at age three and never looked back, according to her mother, Gina Taylor in an article in the Belfast Telegraph.

Melanie Valdes, who clinched the prestigious North American Feis Commission's Minor Belt in 2011, first competed at the All-Irelands and Worlds in 2009.  Often placing 2nd to Taylor's 1st at major competitions (2009 Worlds, 2008-2009-2011 All-Scotlands), Valdes won the 2010 All-Scotland Irish Dancing Championship, beating Taylor for the first time.

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Both Taylor and Valdes are multi-time regional and national champions.  Valdes holds the North American National Irish Dancing Championship for her age group since 2009; Taylor reigns as the Ulster Region and Great Britain Irish Dancing Champion as well as the British National Irish Dancing Champion for several years.

On Facebook, Taylor said, "So happy!!  Can't believe I have won the Worlds four years ina row!!  I couldn't have done it without my two fabulous teachers Elan and Rosetta [McConomy-Bradley]!"

Melanie Valdes, 2012 World Irish Dancing Co-Champion
Photo: Gil Valdes
As many who know the girls well have said, they clearly inspire each other - and the other dancers in their competitions - to dance the very best on every occasion.  The joy they have shared in past achievements is simply the icing on the cake of a unique friendship between two outstanding young athletes.

2012 World Irish Dancing Championships
Girls 13-14 Top 10

Co-Champions Cyra Taylor from McConomy Bradley, Ulster Ireland
 and Melanie Valdes from Petri, Mid-Atlantic New York
3-Meghan Bonner from Bonner-Cannon, Ireland
4-Rohan Bole from Caroline Greene, Scotland
5-Ruby-Mae Anthony from Glendarragh, England/Wales
6-Jessica Everitt from Sean Eireann McMahon, England/Wales
7-Taylor-Lee Keating from Cowhie-Ryan, Ireland
8-Katelyn Babcock from Murray, New England USA
9-Caroline Cofoid from Mulhern, Mid America USA
10-Ciara Loughran from King, England

For up-to-the-moment commentary, visit Feis America on FaceBook! Top 10 results, photos and interviews will be added here on Go Feis! The Irish Dance Blog frequently all week as well.

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