The admission fee to the annual Irish Dance recital in New Lenox was extra important this year, as it's helping pay for students to go to Ireland to compete in the World Championships.
Three students from the in New Lenox recently qualified for the Irish Dancing World Championships. They join 37 other dancers from across the U.S. for the annual event, which is held in Belfast, Ireland from April 2-8. The students are:
- Emelia Misischia, of Frankfort, representing the Under 14 category;
- Sara Dreyer, of Frankfort, representing the Under 15 category; and
- Konahr Shirley, of New Lenox, representing the Under 19 category.
"I'm so excited. I've been dancing since I was 3," Shirley said. "It's a great workout and I met all my friends here."
The school put on its 12th annual recital March 11 at Lincoln-Way Central. It featured numbers by dancers of all ages and helped raise money for the trip to Ireland. Shirley said she's traveled to most states for dance, and has been to Ireland once before (though not for dance).
"This is so much better," she said. "And my family is coming for support."
To qualify for the World Championships, the girls needed to place in the top 10 from the Oireachtas Midwest Championship Competition, which was held over Thanksgiving weekend at the Chicago O'Hare Hyatt.
"It is one of the toughest competitions around," Beth Sullivan said. "We have the biggest area for Irish dancing so it's a really tough competition. For three of our girls to get in is phenomenal, so we're very proud of that."