McGrath Irish Dancers Begin Competition Season with Numerous National Placements and World Qualifications

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Provided by McGrath Academy of Irish Dance

Aine Callahan and Aisling Reynolds

Dancers from the McGrath Academy of Irish Dance claimed top placements at the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) in New Orleans over the Independence Day holiday. Many of those dancers not only placed, but took the top seat of all dancers competing from the Southern Region, which draws dancers from Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Mexico.

“I am so proud of all my dancers, they all danced beautifully,” said Lauren McGrath Dutton, ADCRG, TCRG. “Of the 15 who danced, 12 of them recalled – that’s an 80 percent success rate! And five of our dancers were the top Southern Region dancers in their competitions.”

Competitions are composed of three rounds: one hard shoe dance, one soft shoe dance. Dancers whose average scores place in the top half, are “recalled” to dance a third round, with is a traditional Irish hard shoe set dance.

Two McGrath dancers placed high enough to compete next year at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in April 2018: Reilly Savage placed 10th in the under 10 competition and Sophia Rankin placed sixth in the under 14 competition. They will join other McGrath dancers who previously qualified for the world championship:

  • Patrick Gareau, boys under 11
  • Alyssa Imorde, girls under 15
  • Aerin Raguso, ladies over 20
  • Claire Wolstenholme, girls under 11

Reilly Savage

Three McGrath dancers—Aine Callahan, Aisling Reynolds and Claire Wolstenholme—were the top southern region dancers in their competitions. Patrick Gareau placed 12th in the under age 12 competition and Aerin Raguso placed 13th in the Senior Ladies competition. To claim these placements, dancers beat 100+ championship dancers from across the country, Mexico and Canada, as well as some dancers who travelled from Ireland and Great Britain. 

September marks the beginning of the dancers training season for the Oireachtas (pronounced Or-ock-tus), the regional championship that will be held in Orlando the first weekend of December. More than 2,000 dancers will vie to qualify for national and world championships.

The fall dance session begins Sept. 11, 2017. Classes are available for beginners through champions, ages 4 and older. For more information, visit

McGrath Academy of Irish Dance, based in Manassas, was founded in January 2004.  Classes are also offered in Fairfax Station, Va., Purcellville, Va., Ashburn, Va., and Frederick, Md. Lauren McGrath Dutton, ADCRG, TCRG, is second-generation TCRG and 2003 world championship dancer. Ariel Raguso, TCRG, is a 2013 world championship dancer.


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