Aisling Reynolds Wins Third Regional Irish Dance Title

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Provided by McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance

Five dancers from the McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance brought home first place trophies from the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) Southern Region Oireachtas, held in Orlando the first week of December.

The 2020 SRO champions from McGrath Morgan Academy are:
• Ciara Foley, U8 Girls Champion
• Gabby Brown, U9 Girls Champion
• Aisling Reynolds, U12 Girls Champion
• Meghann Mullarkey, U16 Girls Champion
• Sophia Rankin, U17 Girls Champion

Reynolds and Rankin both defended their titles, each claiming the top spot for the third consecutive year.

“I am proud of my dancers who trained throughout the quarantine, especially these five champions who showed what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication,” said school founder Lauren McGrath Dutton, ADCRG. “My dancers have won before, but this is the most first places we’ve had. Ciara and Gabby have set the groundwork for long, successful futures in Irish dance. Meghann set her sights on the top spot and worked at every class to achieve it. Aisling and Sophia have both won their titles three consecutive years – they train like the champions they are.”

The Oireachtas

The Oireachtas (pronounced Uh-ROCK-tus) is a three-day regional championship where Irish dancers compete to qualify for national and world championships. The southern region, of which McGrath Morgan is a member, includes Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Mexico.

Almost 2,000 dancers competed in Orlando. Each competitor danced one soft shoe and one hard shoe dance. Scores were tabulated and the top half of dancers were invited back to compete in the third round, which is a hard shoe set dance.

A Local Winner

McGrath Morgan Irish Dance

Aisling Reynolds

Twelve-year-old Aisling Reynolds of Manassas claimed her title for the third consecutive year.

“It’s so exciting to be a three-time champ! I’m so proud that I’ve held on to my title,” she said, noting that training was more challenging this year because many classes were taught on Zoom. Regardless, she learned a new set dance, Planxty Hugh O’Donnell, which has become her favorite. “I love the choreography! I’m finally old enough to dance on block.”

Thirteen McGrath Morgan dancers qualified to compete in the world championships, which will be held in Dublin in the spring. An additional nine dancers qualified to compete at the North American championships this summer in Phoenix.

About McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance

Lauren McGrath Dutton, ADCRG, founded McGrath Academy of Irish Dance in January 2004. Although based in Great Britain, John Lawrence Morgan, TCRG, began visiting the studio to conduct semi-annual dancer workshops in 2012. In 2017, he relocated to the United States to join the faculty full time. McGrath Morgan was created in March 2019. With studios throughout the DMV, Lauren and John train a wide range of Irish dancers, from age 4 to 50, beginner through world champion. McGrath Morgan dancers have danced for U.S. Presidents and foreign dignitaries, as well as nationally renowned bands, including The Chieftains, We Banjo 3 and the Flaming Shillelaghs. They have danced at the Kennedy Center and in countless parades, nursing homes, weddings and community events.

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