PE dancers impress at South Coast Irish Dancing Champs

2019-07-31 06:02
Dancers from McWilliams Academy of Dance in PE competed in the South Coast Irish Dancing Championships on July 20.    Photo:ADRI DU PLESSIS

Dancers from McWilliams Academy of Dance in PE competed in the South Coast Irish Dancing Championships on July 20. Photo:ADRI DU PLESSIS

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DANCERS from McWilliams Academy of Dance in Port Elizabeth brought home plenty of medals after competing in the South Coast Irish Dancing Championships in Durban on July 20.

This was the first time a local, regional competition, known as a ‘Feis’, was adjudicated by three international judges.

They are Niall Holly from Dublin, Ireland; Michelle Greene from Glasgow, Scotland; and Sarah Clark from London, England.

Holly, who is a former world champion, was the principal lead dancer in Lord of the Dance for over four years and is the director of Holly and Kavanagh Dance Academy.

Greene has 43 world medals to her name that she won for solo and team dancing, while Clark had a leading role in the Lord of the Dance world tour for seven years and teaches Irish Dance in Paris and West London.

The championship in Durban ran for about 10 hours, with the dancers taking part in solo rounds in the Feis, Ceili’s (group dances), Priomh Comórtas (pre-championship) and Craobh Comórtas (open/senior championships).

The following dancers did particularly well:

. Shanna du Plessis won the CC 14 years and under, with Jemima Opperman coming second

. Jenna Hayes was placed second in the CC 15-17 years, with Irene Pitsiladi earning a fifth place

. Courtney Pearce was placed fourth in the CC 18 years and over

. Mia Jonker won the PC3 ‘Tus Ghrad’ and also came third in the PC4 ‘Advanced Tus Ghrad’

. Eden Oliver and Nicole Wright were placed second and third respectively in the PC5 ‘Mean Ghrad’

Holly commented that in his opinion, South Africa is the best of all the ‘developing regions’ in the world of Irish dancing.

MAD owner and teacher Jenny McWilliams said, “I am delighted by the outstanding results our dancers achieved at a very competitive event! We are now continuing our preparations and training for the South African Championships, which take place at the end of September in Johannesburg”.

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