Irish dancers bring home accolades from Canada |

Dancers from the McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance (McMa) took three major honors at the North American Irish Dance Championships, held in Montréal more than the Independence Working day vacation:

• 14-yr-aged North American Champ: Aisling Reynolds (who also gained in 2019).

• 11-yr-previous North American Champ: Isabella Renzi.

• Dance Drama Staff North American Champs (also reigning world and southern-location champions).

Reynolds and Renzi, together with a dozen best-inserting solo dancers, are experienced to contend at the 2023 World Irish Dancing Championships, to be held in Montréal following spring.

Reynolds, of Manassas, reclaimed the title she very first won in 2019, in advance of COVID canceled subsequent competitions.

College founder Lauren McGrath Dutton claimed she usually understood Reynolds, who started dancing at age 5, experienced that unique anything that captures judges’ focus.

“Aisling has established herself as an exceptional dancer by successful the Southern Region title 4 consecutive yrs,” stated Dutton. “This national title is extremely elusive, specifically coming out of the pandemic. And now she has received it 2 times.”

Each and every dancer in the levels of competition – 120 competition from Canada, United States and Mexico, as effectively as Ireland and the United Kingdom – carried out a tender-shoe and a hard-shoe dance. The top 50 percent of the dancers were being recalled for a solo set dance.

“Her very first two rounds had been clean,” Dutton claimed of Reynolds’ functionality. “But that solo set dance? It was flawless. It took my breath away.”

Reynolds credits her supportive teachers, spouse and children and close friends for hard and supporting her in the months main up to the competition. “This year was significantly more challenging, since there was a large amount of strain to retain my title,” she claimed.

It all paid out off, specially in that final spherical, exactly where all three judges placed her 1st, supplying her a exceptional fantastic rating.

Renzi, of Severna Park in Maryland, began dancing at age 9 right after attending a demo class with her sister.

“I desired to start out having lessons right away,” she stated. “I beloved the type of dance. It appeared like a ton of exciting.”

Fun, but also a large amount of difficult do the job.

“It’s incredible to feel that Izzy only started off with us two many years back,” claimed John Lawrence Morgan of the academy. “Her function ethic is exceptional. Her notice to detail and skill to refine her dances are testomony to her success.”

Renzi gained the under-11 girls’ title at the Southern Region Oireachtas in December, as effectively as many neighborhood competitions, known as feiseanna. While she felt confident in her education and choreography, she had to beat 80 dancers to assert the North American title.

“The competition was filled with truly gifted dancers, and I just preferred to go out there and dance my very best,” she stated. “I have the most effective lecturers in the globe, and I’m so grateful to them for assisting me put together for these types of a huge level of competition, and for their ongoing religion in me. They are usually pushing me to attain my goals, and winning was a dream occur real.”

Both Reynolds and Renzi have been members of the 20-human being drama team that took very first location with their functionality of “The Belle of Belfast.” Choreographed by Morgan, the drama characteristics a storm that destroys the roof of St. Anselm’s university a course of feisty school little ones divine intervention that qualified prospects their trainer, Sister Madonna, to contend in a area elegance pageant and the shenanigans that ensue with rivals vying for the title (and financial prize) “Belle of Belfast.”

“I’ve competed in solo and classic ceili workforce competitions considering the fact that I was 10 a long time previous. But that is incredibly diverse than dancing in a drama with 19 other dancers, where acting is involved,” explained 21-year-outdated Mary Kate Gareau, who dances the guide purpose of Sister Madonna/Belle of Belfast.

Gareau is a veteran member of the drama team that has founded alone with many titles: 2018, 2019 Oireachtas champions 2018, 2022 nationwide champions and 2019, 2022 globe champions.

“I was so happy for this drama team finishing its remaining effectiveness of ‘Belle of Belfast’ in Montréal,” claimed Morgan. “Now they can say they are regional, earth and now countrywide champions. Correctly, at the time once again successful the ‘grand slam’ of titles.”

These McMa dancers certified to contend at the earth championships, which will be held in Montréal in the spring:

• Jessie Welgos 2nd, ladies less than 16. • Annabelle Baker, 3rd, women beneath 14. • Meghann Mullarkey, 4th, women beneath 18. • Ciara Foley, 6th, girls underneath 10. • Patrick Gareau, 6th, boys underneath 17. • Gabrielle Brown, 8th, ladies less than 11. • Reilly Savage, 8th, girls underneath 15. • Shawn Dongieux, 9th, boys below 19. • Bridgette Hettinger, 9th, ladies below 10. • Kendall Smith, 14th, women under 15. • Rory Kipp, 15th, girls underneath 15. • Kate Doherty, 16th, girls below 11.

Lauren McGrath Dutton established McGrath Academy of Irish Dance in 2004. In 2012, John Lawrence Morgan began doing the job with dancers, then joined the university in 2017. McGrath Morgan was established in March 2019, with studios throughout the area coaching dancers from ages 4 to 50.

For information and facts, see the Web page at

[ provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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