The 2017 New England Oireachtas (or Irish dance championship) is coming to our home city of Hartford from November 17-19th. Over the Oireachtas weekend, competitors from all six New England states will gather to compete for titles and placements in three main disciplines - solo championships, traditional set, and ceili.
Our solo championship competitors will be vying for positions within the top 50% to earn placements and medals at the evening award ceremony. From there, competitors will also look to earn berths to the 2018 North American Championships in Orlando, FL and/or the 2018 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Our solo championship representatives are Colleen Williams of Amston, CT & Isabella Jensen of Somers, CT in the Girls Under 11 category, Emma Feeley of Springfield, MA, Emily Messier of Glastonbury, CT, Emma Magnani of Springfield, CT, Kayla Purcell of Hebron, CT, and Mackenzie Richards of East Longmeadow, MA in the Girls Under 14 category, Tara Lynch of Cheshire, CT in the Girls Under 17 category, Lindsey Hoffman of Columbia, CT in the Girls Under 18 category, and Rebecca Kall of Farmington, CT in the Ladies Under 22 category. Lynch, Hoffman, and Kall are already pre-qualified to attend the 2018 North American Championships.
Our traditional set dancers are preparing to compete in the solo championship category in the future by showing mastery of their technique, timing, and musicality in one of the seven traditional set dances. These dances stem from the dance masters that would travel from village to village or county to county in Ireland teaching steps to men, women, and children. Various versions were passed on and preserved and are still prominent in the dance tradition today. Representing SRL in various age groups include Isabella Robinson, Jane Carty, Nora Carty, Mairi Carchrie-Leigh, and Irelyn Lash, all of South Windsor, CT, Cara Williams of Amston, CT, Ciara Doyle and Abby Quinby of Windsor, CT, Audrey Miner of Tolland, CT, Paige Miele of Westfield, MA, Katelyn Hall of Manchester, CT, Cassidy Thompsen of Ellington, CT, Lilly Bluestein of Broad Brook, CT, Ellie Diver and Gabby Gorman both of Farmington, CT, and Kelly Beyus of Harwinton, CT.
In the ceili category, dancers compete on teams of 4, 8, 16, or in Dance Drama. The 4 and 8 hand ceilis are another passed down, traditional aspect of Irish dance. A book of 30 dances must be mastered as part of the teacher certification process and features in the competitive repertoire to preserve historic pieces of Irish dance. The 16 hands and Dance Drama competitions represent the more modern interpretations of Irish dance with new, innovative, teacher generated choreography. SRL has three four-hand ceilis; our U8s featuring Isabella Robinson, Jane Carty, Nora Carty, and Cara Williams, our U10s featuring Michael Jensen, Mairi Carchrie-Leigh, Ciara Doyle, and Angelina Mundo, and our U12s featuring Isabella Jensen, Colleen Williams, Irelyn Lash, and Audrey Miner. SRL also has a eight-hand ceili in the Under 15 section featuring Gabby Gorman, Kayla Purcell, Emily Messier, Lilly Bluestein, Ellie Diver, Paige Miele, Cassidy Thompsen, and Mary Gombos.
Competitions will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center all day November 17, 18, and 19. Admission is free for spectators and we would love your support!
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