Please join us in wishing the very best of luck to our six dancers attending the North American Irish Dance Championships this week in Orlando, Florida. They have qualified through the regional championships and/or achieving Open Championship status, the highest level within the competitive ranks.
They will represent Scoil Rince Luimni, Connecticut/Massachusetts, and the New England Region in the championships against the United States, Canada, Mexico as well as dancers traveling from Australia, Ireland, the UK, and beyond. We are proud of their hard work through their preparation and are looking forward to their training shining on stage.
Colleen Williams, 11, of Amston, CT and Bella Jensen, 11, of Somers, CT will compete in the Girls Under 12 division on Wednesday July 4th. They are best of friends and are practically inseparable, making training enjoyable for them while they make each other laugh almost constantly. It will be Colleen's second time attending the NAIDC and Bella's debut.
Emma Magnani, 15, of Springfield, MA and Kayla Purcell, 15, of Hebron, CT will compete in the Girls Under 15 division on Monday July 2nd. Both are first time qualifiers and looking forward to experiencing this heightened level of competition together.
Tara Lynch, 17, of Cheshire, CT will compete on Sunday July 1 in the Girls Under 18 division. She is a second time qualifier and learned a lot at her previous NAIDC in New Orleans last year. She is bringing her wisdom and experience with her this year and loves to perform on the big stage. Lindsey Hoffman, 18, of Columbia, CT will compete on Saturday June 30 in the Girls Under 19 division in her fourth appearance at the championships. After recovering from injury last year, she is giving it everything she has and brings more maturity and perspective than ever before.
Each division has approximately 130 - 180 competitors and the top 50% of each group will be recalled to dance a third round before being awarded at the end of each day. No matter the outcome, we are proud of each dancer for qualifying for this major championship and their growth as dancers, performers, and competitors in their preparation for this week.
You can follow the highlights on our Facebook page or for a more detailed look at each day, you can follow us on Instagram through our posts, stories, and IGTV.
Exciting news out of our class of 2018! Among our Scoil Rince Luimni dancers, two have been named their class valedictorian for 2018. We congratulate Lillian Bluestein, St James School Class of 2018, and Tara Lynch, Cheshire Academy Class of 2018, on their outstanding achievement in their respective schools. Both Lilly and Tara exemplify how Irish dancing and academic achievement go hand in hand.
As dancers progress, their time in the studio increases and coupled with getting older, dancers quickly have to learn how to manage their time in order to stay on track in school and with their dancing aspirations. We tend to see dancers figure out how to manage their time rather than curtail their dance career, a trend that is seen not only within our school but the greater Irish dancing community as well. Over the last few years we've seen the oldest competitive age bracket expand and split to manage the higher number of dancers pursuing their competitive goals after college graduation, joining the workforce, and beyond.
As dancers learn how to manage their time, they also learn to prioritize what is really important to them. It's no surprise that both Lilly and Tara find time to fit in community and family time as well as other commitments - Lilly is involved in her church and Tara is a soccer player. Other dancers within our school are involved in school clubs and sports which gives each dancer 3-5 priorities that come before screen time, trivial activities, or getting into trouble ;)
Irish dancing is a disciplined and fairly regimented sport so this continues to feed the goal-focused, work-first, and continuously striving mindset that brings achievement in both academics and dancing. We teach goal setting and maintaining a positive mindset in ways that go beyond dancing and can be practiced in real life.
We are sure Lilly and Tara will continue to do great things both in and out of the studio! Lilly will continue her studies at Northwest Catholic High School in the fall and Tara has been accepted to Ithaca College for communications.
Find all of our latest news on our Scoil Rince Luimni Facebook page!