Billy Petrocelli took 4th place in the Boys under 12|
North American National Irish Dancing Championships 2011
Photo: Feis America LLC
Recently, Billy competed at the All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships in Dublin, Ireland. In addition to the twenty questions I asked him about Irish dancing, I had some additional questions about Billy's experience competing at the All-Irelands.
Petrocelli at All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships 2012|
Photo: Elaine Petrocelli
Petrocelli: Yes, when I was 9.
Feis America: How many boys were in your solo competition at All Irelands?
Petrocelli: Only 21 which was really small, because at Worlds there was 45, so I was expecting more. I was hoping for a bigger group.
Feis America: Had you been to Ireland before, and if so, when were the trips and what were they for?
Petrocelli: I had been to Killarney for All-Irelands, and was at the Worlds in Dublin last year.
Feis America: Are you going to the World Irish Dancing Championships in Belfast this year?
Petrocelli: Yes, I am going to Worlds in April.
Feis America: Do you think that going to All-Irelands helped you prepare better for Worlds?
Petrocelli: Definitely! I think going to the All-Irelands helped me prepare for Worlds because it helped me know what I need to improve and gave me practice dancing on the big stage.
Feis America: After All Irelands, what area of your dancing are you going to focus on going into practicing for Worlds?
Petrocelli: Control of my upper body.
Feis America: Who traveled with you to Dublin?
Petrocelli: Just my mom.
Feis America: Did you get to do any sightseeing while you were there?
Petrocelli: No, we just stayed at the venue and watched my friends dance.
Feis America: When you've gone before, what did you see or what was your favorite excursion?
Petrocelli: When I was in Dublin last year, my favorite excursion was to Trinity College where I want to go to college.
Twenty questions with Open Champion, Brandon Asazawa
North American boys place at All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships Sunday
North American Irish dancers clean up at the All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships
Feis America: And now, onto the regular twenty questions: How old are you?
Feis America: What Irish dance school do you dance for?
Petrocelli: Bremer School of Irish Dance in Salem, Massachusetts.
Billy Petrocelli in 2006 at Nation's Capital Feis|
First Preliminary Champion Competition
Photo: Elaine Petrocelli
Petrocelli: I started dancing when I was five.
Feis America: In a few words can you tell us why you started Irish dance?
Petrocelli: I saw Riverdance at my great-grandmother's house and I wanted to try dancing like that.
Feis America: Any Irish dance siblings?
Petrocelli: No, my 15-year old brother plays football and lacrosse.
Feis America: What is your current Irish dancing goal?
Petrocelli: My current goal is to recall at Worlds. Someday I would also like to win Nationals.
Feis America: Any goals for the future that include Irish dance when you're an adult (teaching, performing with a professional group, doing your own thing)?
Petrocelli: In the future I would like to dance in a show like Lord of the Dance and become a TCRG.
Feis America: What is your favorite feis to compete at other than Majors?
Petrocelli: My favorite feis is the Harvest Time Feis because I like the Halloween-themed trophies and my dance friends are always there.
Feis America: What is your current set dance or favorite set?
Petrocelli: My current set is Drunken Guauger but my favorite set is Blackthorne Stick.
Feis America: What brand of hardshoes do you wear?
Petrocelli as Boys under 10|
2009 New England Regional Irish Dancing Champion
Photo: Elaine Petrocelli
Petrocelli: My greatest accomplishment in Irish dance is placing fourth at Nationals or winning the New England Oireachtas three times.
Feis America: What is your best Irish dance memory?
Petrocelli: My best Irish dance memory is winning the New England Oireachtas for the first time when I was under 8.
Feis America: Any injuries that have made you stop or slow down in Irish dance?
Petrocelli: I have Osgood Schlatters which slows me down sometimes, and when I dance five days a week training for a Major, sometimes my hip hurts.
Feis America: Who made your current waistcoat/vest?
Petrocelli: Elevation made my current jacket.
Feis America: Other than Irish dance music what is your current favorite song or artist to listen to?
Petrocelli: My favorite artist is LMFAO.
Feis America: Do you do sports or any other forms of dance?
Petrocelli: I play football and lacrosse and track.
Feis America: Do you play any musical instruments?
Petrocelli: I play the keyboard and I used to play the fiddle and tin whistle.
Feis America: Any pets?
Petrocelli: My Siberian Husky Nikita.
Feis America: What is the best advice you can give to boy Irish dancers who are wanting to become champion level dancers?
Petrocelli: I would tell any young boy who wants to be a champion Irish dancer that it's a lot of hard work, and that you will have disappointments along the way, but it's worth it in the end when you do well at a Major. You have to really love what you do though to spend so much time training, and don't let anyone discourage you.
Feis America: Last question... "When I grow up, I want to be..."?
Petrocelli: A forensics scientist.
Feis America: Thank-you so much, Billy for answering my questions! I wish you great success with reaching all of your goals!
If you know a boy or young man who is interested in being profiled for a Moms To Reel Boys feature, please email me!
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