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posted: 3/5/2014 7:40 AM

London Calling

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  • The Dillon-Gavin School of Irish Dance teachers and their six dancers representing North America are, from left: Bernadette Gavin; Patrick Holbrook, u15, Niles; Sarah Conneelly, u12, Arlington Heights; Kristjan Gudmundson, u14, Niles; Lindsey Kelly u21, Niles; Ronan Donahue u15, Park Ridge; Claudia Morrison, u12, Des Plaines; and teacher Maureen Yawger.Dawn Morrison

      The Dillon-Gavin School of Irish Dance teachers and their six dancers representing North America are, from left: Bernadette Gavin; Patrick Holbrook, u15, Niles; Sarah Conneelly, u12, Arlington Heights; Kristjan Gudmundson, u14, Niles; Lindsey Kelly u21, Niles; Ronan Donahue u15, Park Ridge; Claudia Morrison, u12, Des Plaines; and teacher Maureen Yawger.Dawn Morrison

 
Dawn Morrison

The Dillon-Gavin School of Irish Dance will be sending a record-breaking six dancers to compete in the World Championships of Irish Dance, to be held April 13-20, 2014, in London, England.

Thousands of dancers from all over the world will converge in London for a chance to earn the right be become a World Champion. All of these solo competitors had to qualify for the event at various regional and international qualifying championships. Dancing at the prestigious Irish Dance World Championships is likened to the Olympics, in the world of Irish dance.

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North American Irish dancers have two stateside opportunities every year to earn the distinction of becoming World Qualifiers. In addition, competitors can qualify by becoming World medal holders at the previous World Championships. In 2013, Dillon-Gavin had two dancers who earned the distinction of being World medal holders from the Championships that were held in Boston. These two dancers placed high enough at the 2013 Worlds, with Kristjan Gudmundson placing 4th in the u13 division (the highest placing North American in his group), along with Ronan Donahue in 11th in the u14 division, and both had therefore already qualified for the 2014 Championships.

Among the Dillon-Gavin dancers traveling to London will be the reigning 2013 North American u14 boys champion, Ronan Donahue. In 2013, Dillon-Gavin had four qualifiers at the North American National Championships in Anaheim, Calif., and added two more qualifiers at the regional championships, the Mid-America Oireachtas held last November in Grand Rapids, Mich. These qualifying championships can have over 100 dancers in each age-group competition, all of them vying for a spot to become a world qualifier.

The Dillon-Gavin School of Irish Dance is located in Des Plaines, and has been teaching Irish dance since 1996 by sisters Bernadette Dillon-Gavin, ADCRG and Maureen Dillon-Yawger, TCRG. Visit www.dillon-gavin.com for more information about the school.

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