2011 North American Irish Dancing Champion Girls under 8
Charlotte Sulger from Pender Keady (CT)
photo copyright 2011 Photography by Harrington

2011 North American Irish Dancing Champion Girls u14a
Anna Sulger from Pender-Keady (CT)
photo copyright 2011 Photography by Harrington

Tuesday night's awards at the 2011 North American Irish Dancing Championships in Nashville, Tennessee delivered a double whammy delight to the Sulger family from Connecticut! Sisters and Pender-Keady dancers Charlotte and Anna Sulger clinched the titles for their age groups before a crowd of thousands.

Kathleen Keady, ADCRG, of Pender-Keady Academy of Irish Dance said, "We were thrilled with how all of our students did at the North American's this year, and the icing on the cake was having Meghan Lucey win the Senior Ladies and then to top if off having both of the Sulger sisters win their championships on the same night!"

Charlotte, who turned 8 in May, placed 12th at her first North American Nationals last year and 2nd at the 2010 Regional Oireachtas. New Englanders recall the joy captured in photos when Charlotte and her best friend, Brigitte Reid, also a Pender-Keady dancer, realized they were the Top Two in their competition. Charlotte was only 7, competing in the under 8 event at that time.

This is the SECOND North American Irish Dancing Championship title for Anna, who won the Girls under 12b event in 2009. Anna, who will turn 14 on July 30th, did not compete at the NAIDC in 2010 due to a hip injury, but came back strong last fall to defend her New England Oireachtas title. Anna placed 3rd and was the highest placing North American in her age group at both the 2011 and 2010 World Irish Dancing Championships. Consecutive Top Three placements followed a 4th placement in 2009 and 9th placement in 2008 at her very first Worlds as a under 11 competitor. Anna also placed 3rd at the 2011 All Irelands following a 6th placement in 2010 and 5th in 2009.

The Pender-Keady Academy of Irish Dance website says, "Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in anyway."

With three 2011 North American champions, seven Top Ten and a total of 27 dancers recalling, clearly the Pender-Keady teaching team inspires excellence and the very best in their dance students.

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