Aisling Reynolds: Top Irish Dancer in North America

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Provided by McGrath Academy of Irish Dance

Aisling Reynolds, 11-year-old daughter of Mike and Christine Reynolds of Manassas, won first place at the Irish Dance Teacher’s Association of North America (IDTANA) North American Irish Dance Championships. The championships were held in Vancouver over the Independence Day holiday.

“I started Irish dance when I was 5 because my cousin had started dancing and I thought it could be fun!” said Reynolds.

School founder Lauren McGrath Dutton, ADCRG, said she always knew Reynolds had that special something that captures judges’ attention.

“Aisling works hard in the studio, then lets her dancing shine on stage. I couldn’t be more proud of her,” said Dutton. Each dancer in the competition—there were 69 competitors—danced a soft shoe and a hard shoe dance. The top half of the dancers were recalled to perform a solo. “I knew after the first two rounds that she could win. I never get nervous watching my dancers compete. But that day was different. I knew she could do it if she danced as well as she had practiced. And she did!”

John Lawrence Morgan, TCRG, began working with Aisling at annual workshops in 2012, when she was just a beginner. In 2017, he joined the studio full time, teaching private and weekly classes, as well as weekend workshops.

“Aisling is one of the most stylish dancers I have had the privilege of working with,” said Morgan. “That, combined with her mature attitude toward learning and exceptional work ethic, it is unsurprising she has already established herself as one of the best dancers in the world at such an early stage of her dance career.”

In addition to the North American title, Reynolds also won first place at the 2018 Southern Region Oireachtas in December and, more recently, 8th place at the World Championships in April.

Six other McGrath Morgan dancers placed high enough to qualify to compete at the world competition. They are:

  • Jessie Welgos, 5th place, girls under 13
  • Liam Darnell, 5th place, boys under 13
  • Soph Rankin, 8th place, girls under 16
  • Reilly Savage, 9th place, girls under 12
  • Charlotte Cain, 14th place, girls under 12
  • Camille Shepard, 19th place, girls under 16



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