AUBURN, Mass. – Dancers from Auburn’s McInerney School of Irish Step Dance showed off their talents at the North American Irish Dance Championships earlier this month, and one of the dancers qualified for the world championships after a stellar performance.
From July 3 through 7 in Chicago, 16 local dancers excelled at the 2012 nationals competition, as Elizabeth Murphy from Sutton qualified for the world dancing competition. She finished in 20th place in the under-17 age group.
Murphy will be heading to the World Dancing Competition in Boston in March.
“All of the kids work very hard, and it’s nice when the hard work equals such a great achievement,” said Clare McInerney-Gentilucci, teacher at the dance school. “We had a great week there, and they did a great job representing the school. It’s such an honor for the kids to make it this far.”
Auburn’s Maeve Cahill also placed exceptionally well, coming in 16th place in the under-9 group. However, dancers cannot qualify for the world competition until the under-11 group.
But McInerney-Gentilucci said that Cahill, a fourth-grade student at Julia Bancroft Elementary School, is well on her way to a world qualifier spot.
“When you’re that young, it’s up to the teacher’s discretion whether the student should head to nationals. I put her in knowing how hard she has worked and how much she’s improved,” McInerney-Gentilucci said.
Other national competitors from the Auburn school included Keeley McInerney, Grace Kelley, Erin Murphy, Megan Stella, Kelly Walton, Caileen Foley, Aidan Farrell, Lauren Cahaly, Thomas Murphy, Jacqueline Sharry, Shane Murphy, Eileen O'Brien, Bridget Murphy and Jennifer Zollo.
The national qualifiers are from Auburn, Sutton, Hopkinton, Shrewsbury, Westborough, Southbridge, Millbury, Holden and Worcester.
In addition, the dance school at 65 Southbridge St. has students from other towns in central Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.
The school will be having an open house at that address on Aug. 29 and 30 from 6 to 8 p.m. on each day. For more information, visit the school's website.