O'Grady Quinlan Students to Compete at Worlds Irish Dancing Championships
The O'Grady Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance, under the artistic direction of Colleen Schroeder and Maureen O'Grady, is proud to announce that 17 solo dancers qualified to compete at the prestigious 2013 World Irish Dance Championships to be held in Boston, Massachusetts March 24 through March 31.
This is only the second time in more than 40 years that this esteemed competition is being hosted in the United States--the first being in 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
These 17 dancers are currently very hard at work perfecting their steps, foot placement, posture, and timing under the watchful eye of Colleen Schroeder, ADCRG. Colleen recently passed her adjudicator certificate and is the first and only CLRG (Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha, the International Irish dance commission) certified Irish dance judge in the Lehigh Valley. This remarkable accomplishment enhances Colleen's ability to choreograph complex dance steps for these dancers, giving them a competitive edge on the international stage.
The solo world qualifiers are Sean Cousland (Lehigh Valley Christian Academy); Rachel Flicker (Nazareth Intermediate); Seana Isaac (Springhouse Middle School); Tess Geishasuer (St. Catharine of Sienna/Reading); Nina Hart (Moravian Academy); Shannon O'Neill (St. John Vianney); Mary Kate Fogarty (Northeast Middle School); Breanne Toolan (Saucon Valley High School); Jessica Vent (Nazareth High School); Abigail Lefebvre (Nazareth High School); Isabella DeJesus (Liberty High School); Trevor Miller (Freedom High School); Brigid Rosendale (College of St. Elizabeth, N.J.); Austen Keim (Metro Beauty Academy); Corey Purcell (DeSales University); Erin Green (Health Educator Weller Center); and Patrick Rosendale (Teacher, Sussex County, N.J.).
In addition to the 17 solo World Qualifiers, O'Grady Quinlan will be sending four ceili teams to compete at the World Irish Dance Championships. Ceili (pronounced kay-lee) is team dancing of usually four to eight dancers doing specific named dances while switching partners, and moving with military precision on their toes in time to lively Irish music. Ceili is a visually dazzling spectacle to behold.
This talented group of dancers, boys and girls, men and women, will be showcasing their talents at various upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebrations throughout the Lehigh Valley. O'Grady Quinlan believes strongly in giving back to the community and performs at many institutions, ceremonies, and schools the entire year, but most importantly during St. Patrick's week.
Joining Colleen Schroeder and Maureen O'Grady are skilled teachers Stacie Greiner, Joanie Feeney Ohrt, and Teresa Hesener. Stacie, a former O'Grady Quinlan student, is a graduate of Penn State with a degree in exercise physiology and assists Colleen in the Bethlehem location. Joanie Feeney Ohrt runs the O'Grady Quinlan studio in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. Former O'Grady Quinlan star student, Teresa Hesener, also a graduate of Penn State with a degree in Management, conducts classes in the newly opened studio in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. Teresa also assists Colleen in Bethlehem. Teresa is an accomplished dancer in her own right, having placed 9th in the World Irish Dance Championships in 2007.
Maureen O'Grady and her husband Patrick White have been selected to be the Queen and King of this year's Allentown St. Patrick's Day Parade. The parade steps off on Sunday, March 17 at 1:30 starting at the Allentown Fairgrounds and proceeds through the charming West End of Allentown. This is quite an honor for Maureen and her husband Patrick. Maureen started dancing when she was four for the revered Peter Smith School in New Jersey. By the time Maureen graduated from high school, she had competed at the World Irish Dance Championships six times. Patrick also danced for the Peter Smith School when he was a child, meeting Maureen in dance class years ago! The entire O'Grady Quinlan community could not be more proud of this honor bestowed upon Maureen and Patrick.
The O'Grady Quinlan Academy is the only certified Irish dance school in the Lehigh Valley sanctioned by the An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha. The O'Grady Quinlan Academy is committed to providing its students with intense competitive training, while fostering a life long love of Irish Dance.