Local dancers heading to world competition

Apr 4 • Arts, Feature StoryNo Comments on Local dancers heading to world competition

Andrea Dick, left, Graham Vandernaalt and Emma Howitt, members of the Cornell School of Irish Dance, are heading off to Ireland this month to compete in the World Championships of Irish Dance.

Andrea Dick, left, Graham Vandernaalt and Emma Howitt, members of the Cornell School of Irish Dance, are heading off to Ireland this month to compete in the World Championships of Irish Dance.

Cornell School of Irish Dance students, Emma Howitt, Andrea Dick, and Graham Vandernaalt will be heading off to Dublin, Ireland this April to compete in the World Championships of Irish Dance.

The students, ranging in age from 10-17, qualified at the Eastern Canadian Championship held in Toronto this past November. Andrea and Graham placed first in their age categories and Emma placed fourth.

Dance teacher Devin Cornell said only a small percentage of the best dancers in Canada qualify to attend the yearly world championships overseas.

The students have been spending many hours a week in the studio preparing for the big competition which takes place from April 9-16.

The world championships are both a celebration and a gathering.

“It is a celebration of the beauty and athleticism of Irish Dance and the common Celtic heritage that binds the people of Europe, the America’s, Africa and Australasia together. More importantly it is a gathering of an extended family of dancers, teachers, parents, official, friends and fans,” Cornell said in a release. “The gatherings promote the means of continuing and elevating to new standards the skill and artistry that are the heartbeat of Irish dance. The championships in Dublin 2017 will be a truly colourful festival, indeed an extravaganza, presenting all that is best in Irish dancing through its international family.”

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