They fly through the air with the greatest of ease, grace and athleticism. To become a competitive Irish Dancer requires years of practice. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to see the best of the best. It is an event for the entire family as the Michigan-based Ardan Academy of Irish Dance will host the 2013 Mid-American Regional Oireachtas Championship Competition from November 28 – December 1, 2013 at DeVos Place. Over 3,000 Irish dancers from fourteen Mid-American states will compete to earn their place at the 2014 World Irish Dance Championships in London, England.
“This is very exciting for our dance school,” says Liz Heinzman, Owner of the Ardan Academy of Irish Dance. “The dancers have competed throughout the summer at local dance competitions to qualify for this event, so they are already the top dancers in Mid-America.”
We had the opportunity to talk extensively to Darcy Mullet, dancer and teacher extraordinaire at Ardan Academy. She has been an Irish dancer for more than 28 years.
“Irish dancing is a way to express culture. It has a very athletic style and embraces music and long-standing tradition,” she explained during a phone interview.
The event is free to the public and there is also a vendor room with all things IRISH for visitors to attend.
Over 100 dancers will compete in various age groups, ranging from age 8 through adult. Saturday, November 30th is reserved for adult Team Competition, with over 20 teams competing. Throughout the weekend, the Ardan Academy of Irish Dancers is hosting various special events for competing dancers lodging in downtown Grand Rapids hotels.
The Oireachtas Championship Competition is open to the public beginning Thursday, November 28 through Sunday, December 1. Further detail, including a daily schedule of events, can be found at their website.
Expect to witness some of the best Irish dancers in the country at this competition in a wide variety of categories.