The 2011 North American Irish Dancing Championships were hosted by the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. Top competitors from all across North America and abroad from Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom vied for coveted podium positions, many as defending champions or past champions seeking the return of the top prize.

Seventeen North American championship solo titles were successfully retained, including three team championships. Two sets of sisters, the Dargans and the Sulgers, topped their age group's podium for the first time together and one school - Cashel-Dennehy - delivered two first-place under 16 ceili teams.  Ten North American titles were carried across the Atlantic to Ireland and the United Kingdom, but the majority remain in the United States and Canada.

With the 2012 North American Irish Dancing Championships just about a month away, the heat is on once again as new and old faces make their way to Chicago, Illinois in early July.  John Lonergan, five-time consecutive World Irish Dancing Champion and All Ireland Irish Dancing Champion from Kiely-Walsh in Cork, Ireland, has confirmed he will compete in Chicago and Mitchell Hodges from Carey Academy England will return to defend his title.

Among the boys and men who are 2011 North American Irish Dancing Champions, three clinched 2012 World Irish Dancing Championship titles: Peter Dziak, Michael Holland and Cathal Keaney. Two much-adored 2011 North American Champions and previous World Irish Dancing Champions - Joe Bitter and Drew Lovejoy - did not compete at the 2012 Worlds (Lovejoy was ineligible due to an adjudication conflict). Discounting the two youngest boys who were ineligible, the remaining six 2011 North American Champions all placed in the Top 5 at Worlds in 2012.

2011 North American Irish Dancing Champions - Boys/Men

Boys u8 Ronan O’Brien Anthony Costello Ireland
Boys u9 Collin Mountain Richens/Timm Ohio,US
Boys u10 Adam McGhee Coleman Ireland
Boys u11 Patrick Mello Harney Massachusetts, US
Boys u12 Sean Crosby Hagen New York, US
Boys u13 Owen Luebbers Broesler NJ/MD, US
Boys u14 Peter Dziak Trinity IL/WI, US
Boys u15 Mitchell Hodges Carey England
Boys u16 Drew Lovejoy McGing Ohio, US
Boys u17 Joe Bitter Carey England
Men u18 Nicholas Paulson Broesler NJ/MD, US
Men 18-20 Cathal Keaney Hession Ireland
Senior Men Michael Holland Richens/Timm Ohio, US

Stay tuned right here for more updates and future editions of the 2011 North American Irish Dancing Championships recap as we prepare for our role as the official live commentators for the 2012 Chicago event!

Like us on Facebook, comment in the box below, Tweet this post to your friends or follow us here on Irish Central's Irish dance page!  Feis America LLC is the world's most respected media feed for Irish dance and has been selected by the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America to provide live commentary and results at the 2012 North American National Irish Dancing Championships!

Boys under eight-year-old big winnersFeis America