All Ireland Dance Champs!

Author: Margaret Lloyd


Eight members of the Notre Dame/St. Mary’s Irish Dance Team celebrated the culmination of years of hard work in an enchanted performance at the All-Ireland Irish Dance Championship in Belfast, Northern Ireland in November.  Coached by Connor T. Reider (ND '14), the ND/SMC All-Ireland's Ceili Team of Kelly McGovern (ND '14), Lauren Kepley (SMC '14), Anne Marie Crowell (ND '14), Katie Herman (SMC '14), Grace Deardurff (ND '14), Cathy Cichon (ND '14), Mary Kate McGloughlin (SMC '15) and Katy Wahl (ND '16) brought home the winning trophy and wonderful memories of a perfect moment.   

The third year the team has competed in this international competition proved to be the charm as the team’s performance of “The Cross Reel” was “magical”.  The dancers were “on fire” and their performance was a “perfect moment” according to Reider.  The judges agreed.  The team was awarded individual gold medals and engraved names on a traveling trophy.  Selected last February and drawn from all over the country, the dance team trained wherever space was available – the racquetball courts in the Rockne Memorial, Rolfs Center and Regina Hall at St. Mary’s.  Dressed in their Notre Dame costumes, the team turned in their finest performance of the jig and reel, and it represented all the trials and group work the team had endured.

Accompanied by Irish Language and Literature Professor and club advisor Tara MacLeod, the team was able to sightsee in Dublin and Belfast, as well as tour surrounding areas in Northern Ireland.  The team was sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, St. Mary’s College, Darden Primary Center, Fiddler's Hearth, SAO and the Michiana Celtic Festival.