Dillon-Gavin Irish Dance Has Two Top Placing World Championship Dancers
The Dillon-Gavin School of Irish Dance, Des Plaines, recently sent five qualified dancers to compete at the World Irish Dance Championships held March 24-31, 2013 in Boston, Mass. This is only the second time that the World Championships have been held in North America. This annual, week-long competition featured top Irish dancers from all over the world, totaling over 6,000 dancers, with dancers from Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, and all over North America, to name a few. This annual championship event is the Olympics of Irish dance. Qualifying for Worlds can happen at the annual National and Oireachtas (regional) Championships.
All the solo dance competitors compete within their age group and dance two rounds, one in their hard shoes (treble jig or hornpipe), one in their soft shoes (reel or slip jig). The top dancers from each competition are recalled and compete a third time, with an additional, individual hard shoe dance (set dance), which gives them the opportunity to show their excellent rhythm. Basically dancers get four minutes to prove their skills, then an additional two minutes to strut their stuff.
Kristjan Gudmundson (U12), Niles, placed fourth overall and Ronan Donahue (U13), Park Ridge, tied for 11th, in their respective age groups at World's. Both dancers are now World Medal Holders and are therefore qualified for next year's World's competition in London, England. Kristjan earned the distinction of being the highest placing North American dancer in his age group and has proven that you don't need to be of Irish descent to excel at the sport.
The Dillon-Gavin School is owned and operated by sisters, Bernadette Dillon-Gavin, ADCRG, and Maureen Dillon-Yawger, TCRG, both of Palatine. Bernadette herself danced as a soloist at many World's competitions and Maureen competed in many World's team competitions as a ceili and choreography member. Together the sisters have taught Irish dance for over 15 years to many dancers from all over the Chicagoland area, including Chicago, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Mt. Prospect, Niles, Palatine, Park Ridge and Arlington Heights. Feel free to visit www.dillon-gavin.com for more information about the school.