Provided by The McGrath Academy of Irish Dance
Aisling Reynolds of Manassas was named the top Irish dancer in North America at the 2019 An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) 2019 World Irish Dancing Championships held in Greensboro, N.C., April 14 to April 19.
Reynolds placed eighth out of 138 dancers in the girls under 11 competition.
“I am so proud of Aisling,” said Lauren McGrath Dutton, ADCRG. “I knew from the first time I saw her dance that she possessed the talent to do well, but her hours of hard work and strong work ethic are what took earned her a world champion medal.”
Reynolds began dancing at McGrath Academy of Irish Dance when she was 5 years old. Last week, she competed in both a soft and a hard shoe dance. The top half of competitors were recalled and then performed a solo hard shoe dance. The three scores were averaged, and placements were announced late Sunday night.
“My goal was to place in the top 15,” said Reynolds. “I was excited when they didn’t call my number, and I was very excited to come in eighth place.”
Throughout the week, dancers competed in both solo and team events. In addition to the solo competition, Reynolds was also a member of dance drama and ceili teams.
The dance drama team took first place, and Reynolds performed in a lead role in “Banshee in the Bedroom.” The drama was choreographed by John Lawrence Morgan, TCRG, and inspired by a range of traditional Irish folklore, as well as the poetry of the poet W.B. Yeats and some contemporary musicals.
“Fantastic once again to choreograph and produce a world-winning drama for the third time,” said Morgan. “This time was particularly special having only been teaching in the States for 12 months and to walk away at a world championship in the states with a first place.”
Reynold’s ceili team placed 19th.
“Giving our dancers multiple outlets to compete is very important to their growth as dancers. Working independently and working as a team are skills Aisling will take with her for the rest of her life!” said Ariel Raguso, TCRG, who has worked with Reynolds since she was a beginner. “From her first day of class, where she struggled to master the beginner steps, to being on top of the world in all three competitions she was a part of, is a great feeling as her teacher!”