The North American National Irish Dance Championships
will be held in Chicago, Illinois in July.
with Caitlin Buck, Feis America LLC contributor

Now that World Irish Dancing Championships have whirled past, feet are now flying to prepare for the North American National Irish Dancing Championships. Held in the Windy City, July 3rd through July 7th, an expected 5,000 dancers will compete in solo and team events with up to 25,000 spectators will attend . World-class competitors will be sweeping in from across the states, Canada, Mexico and overseas. The competition is open to all Open Championship dancers across the globe as another adrenaline-charged chance to qualify for the 2013 World Irish Dancing Championships in Boston, Massachusetts.

Young ladies from one of the two under 17 events
at North American Nationals 2011.
Photo: Grace Hulseman

“Members of the Irish Dance Teachers Association of Mid-America are so proud to host this championship competition in city as vibrant at Chicago,” said Julie Showalter, ADCRG, Artistic Director of World Academy of Irish Dancing and co-chair of the event’s host committee. “The level of commitment, refinement and athleticism that Irish dancers are required to attain in this art form sets them apart from all other types of dance, and we’re excited to share such a high-level of dancing with the city of Chicago.”

Maura Whaley, Hali Thorne and Nicole Greco from Gilleoghan Irish Dance in Connecticut
after awards at the 2011 North American National Irish Dancing Championships.
Photo: Megan TeeKing

For the majority who will be flying into Chicago, the mid-America Region has, “contracted several large American airlines and secured booking codes to be used when making airline reservations, which will ultimately reduce the total cost of your airline travel to Nationals. The booking codes may only be applied to travel in and out of Chicago on the following airline carriers: American Airlines, Delta, Air France, KLM, United Airlines and Continental.” For more info see the airline promo.

Dancers from the Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Massachusetts
check in at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in 2011.
Photo Feis America LLC

Accommodations are at either the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers (where the dance competitions will be held), the Hyatt Regency Chicago (result presentations) or Embassy Suites (overflow hotel).  Teachers will also be treated to a night on the Spirit of Chicago for their annual convention on July 2nd.

Read more:

North American men score big at World Irish Dancing Championships

Recap of solo award winners at World Irish Dancing Championships

Southern region Irish dancing championship photos

An international panel of adjudicators includes: Joanie Cass, Maureen Cunniffe Daly, Maura Dixon, Michael Fitzpatrick, Jan Curry Henderson, Helena and Kevin McCarron, Marie Moore-Cuniffe, Eddie Murphy,Sharon O'Brien, Patrick O'Hare, Kathleen O'Keefe, Pauline Shaw, Mary Sweeney, and Brendan Tiernan.

Girls in the under 8 competition at awards 2011.
Photo: Grace Hulseman

Feis musicians scheduled to play include: Merv Bell, Darren Checkley, Dean Crouch, Anthony Davis, Billy Furlong, Brian Grant, Kevin Joyce, Pat King, Chris McGrory, Chris McLoughlin, Tony Nother, Paul O'Donnell, Cormac O'Shea and Brian O'Sullivan.

Girls from the under 13 ceili competition.
Photo: Grace Hulseman

For more information visit the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America's website or visit North American National Irish Dancing Championships on Facebook.

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