Ricochet News

Port Elizabeth Irish Dancers impress international judges

Jul 23, 2019
Port Elizabeth Irish Dancers impress international judges

Port Elizabeth - The M.A.D dancers, from the McWilliams Academy of Dance in Port Elizabeth, represented the city well at the South Coast Irish Dancing Championships that were held at Victory Christian Academy in La Lucia, Durban, on Saturday.

"The M.A.D dancers from the McWilliams Academy of Dance in Port Elizabeth were extremely keen to compete, as this would be the first time that a local, regional competition, known as a ‘Feis’ would be adjudicated by three international judges, viz," explained said M.A.D teacher and owner Jenny McWilliams.

They were:

  • Niall Holly, from Dublin, Ireland, a former World Champion; principle lead dancer in Lord of the Dance for over 4 years and the director of Holly & Kavanagh Dance Academy
  • Michelle Greene from Glasgow, Scotland who is the holder of 43 world medals which she won at various world championships for solo and team dancing
  • Sarah Clark, from London, England who had a leading role in the Lord of the Dance world tour for 7 years and teaches Irish Dance in Paris and West London

"The Competition was well supported by all the Irish Dance studios throughout South Africa, which made the event very competitive!" McWilliams added.

"The championship ran for about 10 hours, with the dancers taking part in solo rounds in the Feis; Ceili’s (group dances); Priomh Comórtas (Pre-Championship) and Craobh Comórtas (Open/ senior Championships)."

She said that the M.A.D dancers made Port Elizabeth proud, earning good placings and bringing home many medals! The following dancers did particularly well:-

  • Shanna du Plessis won the CC 14 years and under, with Jemima Opperman placing second
  • Jenna Hayes placed second in the CC 15-17 years, with Irene Pitsiladi earning a fifth place
  • Courtney Pearce placed 4th in the CC 18 years and over
  • Mia Jonker won the PC3 ‘Tus Ghrad’ and also placed third in the PC4 ‘Advanced Tus Ghrad’
  • Eden Oliver and Nicole Wright placed second and third respectively in the PC5 ‘Mean Ghrad’

"Niall Holly commented that in his opinion, South Africa is the best of all the ‘developing regions’ in the world of Irish Dancing!"

McWilliams added: “I am delighted by the outstanding results our dancers achieved at a very competitive event! We are now continuing our preparations and training for the South African Championships, which take place at the end of September in Johannesburg!”

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