When the littlest girls finished their first two rounds at the World Irish Dancing Championships, the second group to take the stage seem like old hats at this major international competition thing.  After all, as girls aged 11-12 they could already have one World Irish Dancing Championship experience under their belt.  Most have competed at the All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships this year or last, and they performed well at a qualifying event or they wouldn't have made it here.

The big stage and bright lights are less intimidating than one might remember.  There are seven adjudicators watching instead of five or three, and it can be a bit daunting when announcements are made in Gaelic before English.  But when the music starts and the rhythm clicks in, the steps are as natural as the beating of one's own heart.  It has been said that for these youths, there is nothing in the world that comes close to the thrill of Irish dancing on the Worlds' stage.

Read more:

World Irish Dancing Championships International Adjudicator Panel

World Champion Irish Dance School McGing Ohio

World Irish Dancing Championships Preview

A whopping 64 Irish dancers from North America comprised nearly half of the 143 registrants for the Girls 11-12 competition.  After the heavy and light rounds had been danced, just 14 North Americans made it to the recall round.  In the end, two-time North American National Irish Dancing Champion Ava-Marie Schroder from Mattierin rose to the top position of all North Americans in 8th place.

Ashley Smith, Chloe Williams and Laura Pentimone-Pace
from Ardmore Academy in Rutherford, New Jersey
Photo: Jodie Williams
Three additional United States' dancers made the Top 20:  Caitlin Ward from Donny Golden (13th), Orla Mullane-Godley from Mullane-Healy-Godley (14th) and Margaret Muise from Tim O'Hare (17th).  Ten dancers from across North America placed from 21st to 47th:  Kerri Betz from Ryan Kilcoyne, Julia Marino and Emily McEwen from Rince na Tiarna, Nicoletta and Julianna Bremer-Summa from Bremer, Seana Isaac from O'Grady-Quinlan, Jayne Rush from Mullane-Healy-Godley, Chloe Williams from Ardmore, Grace Metcalfe from Butler-Fearon-O'Connor Eastern Canada and Caitlyn Maurer from Petri.

Special congratulations go out to Keeva Corry from Croghan-Greene in the Ulster Region, Ireland on defending her title as the 2011 World Irish Dancing Champion for Girls 10-11.

2012 World Irish Dancing Championships
Top 10 Girls 11-12

1-Keeva Corry  Croghan-Greene, Ireland
2-Mairead Trainor-Aitken  Trainor, England
3-Liadh McGrath-Sylvan Kelly, Ireland
4-Beth Monaghan-Carey, England/Wales
5-Niamh Neale-Doherty, Ireland
6-Lucy Lynch-Ui She, Ireland
7-Tegan Rodden-Ar Rialla O'Donoghue, Ireland
8-Ava-Marie Schroder-Mattierin, Canada
9-Aoibheann Doyle- Ni Chearra O'Baolain-McMahon, Ireland
10-Ellie Conlon-McLaughlin, Scotland

Stay tuned for the next installment... more articles and results every day here on Go Feis! The Irish Dance Blog!

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