Group Dancers

Dance Dance: Jiggin’ in Parades and on the World Stage

Catherine Duplisea

By Catherine Duplisea

As we wrap up the St. Patrick’s Day season, where Irish dance schools throughout the state of Ohio have been spreading culture and joy with music and dance, the competitive side of Irish dance is in the final days of preparation and training for the highest major competition of the year!

The numerous performances throughout the state, on and around St. Patrick’s Day, at nursing homes, shows, parades, and parties are a fun way for dancers to display their love, joy, and talents with the greater community without the pressure of judges and placements. Back in the studios, however, the best dancers around the world are gearing up for the CLRG World Championships, hosted in Glasgow, Scotland this year, from March 24th through March 31st.

Several dancers from various Irish dance schools in Ohio have qualified to represent the United States in “the Olympics” of Irish dance. Qualifying is quite the accomplishment itself, as dancers need to place in approximately the top 10% of their age group in the region to be eligible to compete at the World Championships.

These amazingly talented children have been training 4-7 days a week, balancing school, and other extracurricular activities, to be the best versions of themselves at this prestigious event. Once dancers arrive in Scotland, they will continue to practice, stretch, and mentally prepare until the day of their competition, starting day one with the youngest dancers competing in their very first World Championships under 11!

Dancers complete two rounds and hope to get a recall to come back for a solo set round and a world medal. All dancers dance a soft shoe round and a hard shoe round. Those scores are tallied, and the top half get called back for a third round.

To make things fairer, five judges give scores for each round, and the high and low for each dancer is dropped. The top five winners in each age group get to take home a globe trophy for the year, and their name is added to the base of the trophy forever.

Irish dance family
Three Cleveland Burke School dancers are heading off to compete in the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Beauty of Irish Dance
Irish dance is a beautiful and disciplined sport, rooted in deep tradition and now paired with elite athleticism. From physical fitness, perfect posture, intricate footwork, and stage presence, there is always more to work on and improve.

This sport fosters a growth mindset and a level of grit and perseverance that shapes futures. Irish dance is a great sport for teaching many life lessons, such as not everyone gets a trophy; sometimes you win and sometimes you lose; and no matter how hard you work, things don’t always go as planned.

The ups and downs naturally instill a sense of humbleness and encourage dancers to strive for excellence through hard work and dedication. Through all these lessons, the greatest beauty of being an Irish dancer lies in the friendships that become more like family along the journey. Friends not only in your own dance school, but in neighboring schools and even across the globe.

Group Dancers
Brady Campbell Irish dancers will compete in Glasgow over the Easter holiday in the World Championships!

Best of luck to all the Ohio Irish dancers heading to Scotland. May you dance to the best of your ability, take in the experience of representing the USA on the prestigious World Championship Stage, and embrace new friendships of fellow dancers from around the world. The entire state is rallying behind you and is proud to have so many young people carrying on the Irish traditional dancing, maintaining the Irish culture in Ohio.

Catherine Duplisea


Dance kids
dance kids
Click on icons below to share articles to social.

Recent issues

E-Bulletin Signup

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive news and event emails from: iIrish. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
New to Cleveland Ad

Explore other topics