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Port Elizabeth Irish Dancers shine at South African Championships

Oct 8, 2019
Port Elizabeth Irish Dancers shine at South African Championships

Port Elizabeth - The 14th annual ‘Oireachtas Rince Afraic Theas’ - Gaelic for South African Championship, was held at Beaulieu College in Kyalami from the 27th to the 29th of September and saw Irish dancers from all over the country competing in solo and group events for three wonderful days!

"‘SA Champs’ - as it is affectionately known - is the annual qualifying event for the World Championships and something the dancers look forward to and work towards the whole year!" said M.A.D teacher and owner, Jenny McWilliams.

She said that the M.A.D dancers from McWilliams Academy of Dance in Port Elizabeth, were rewarded for all their hard work, when NINE of their dancers qualified to represent South Africa at the golden anniversary of the Irish Dancing World Championships to be held in Dublin, Ireland from the 5th to the 12th of April 2020:

  • Courtney Pearce (10th qualification)
  • Jenna Hayes (6th)
  • Carma Stephenson (3rd)
  • Tammy Forbes (2nd)
  • Irene Pitsiladi (2nd)
  • Channaed Oosthuizen (2nd)
  • Jemima Opperman (2nd)
  • Shanna du Plessis (2nd)
  • Josie Opperman (2nd)

THREE of their dancers were also crowned SA Champions in their respective age groups:

  • Jemima Opperman (4th title – 12-14 yrs. )
  • Shanna du Plessis (3rd title – 11 yrs. and under)
  • Jenna Hayes (2nd title – 16-17 yrs.)

The junior dancers also fared very well at SA Champs, with two of them winning their PC (Pre-Championship) competitions:

  • Megan Walker won PC1, 12 yrs. and over
  • Lara Fowlds won PC4, 11 yrs. and under

"This year’s SA Champs was adjudicated by Dara O’ Shea, Marie Casey and Katie Maguire - they were extremely impressed with the high standard of Irish Dancing in South Africa and commended the dancers, parents and teachers on the wonderful sportsmanship and camaraderie they witnessed the entire weekend!" McWilliams added.

The M.A.D dancers will be hosting many fund-raising events in the near future, to help their dancers get to Ireland and the public are invited to get involved and to keep an eye on their Facebook page for details.

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