Two Teelin Dancers Earn National Titles!

2016 NAIDC Champions

The North American Irish Dance Championships (NAIDC), held in Orlando, FL, July 1-5, 2016, showcased over 2000 competitors from the United States, Canada and Mexico, each vying for top recognition as “national champion” in their age group of solo dancing championships. This highly competitive event was also open to competitors from abroad, and included dancers from the countries of Ireland, England, Scotland and Australia, to name a few. Two students from the Teelin School of Irish Dance in Columbia, Maryland, successfully earned the title of North American Champion by winning first place last month in their respective age groups: Saoirse DeBoy of Mt. Airy, age 17, a rising 12th grader at Mount De Sales Academy in Catonsville; and Gaby Stratmann of Ellicott City, age 16, a rising 11th grader at River Hill High School in Clarksville.

“We are over the moon to have two of our students from Teelin School earn this prestigious title this year!” boasts Maureen Berry, Owner/Director of the Teelin School of Irish Dance.

2016 NAIDC Champion
Gaby Stratmann – U16 North American Champion

The Irish Dance Teachers of North America (IDTANA) is an international organization operating in conjunction with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (Irish for “The Irish Dancing Commission” based in Dublin, Ireland), with the mission to promote Irish dance throughout North America. The popularity of Irish dancing has skyrocketed since the inaugural performance of Riverdance in 1995, and the success of subsequent shows such as Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Irish dancing schools throughout North America, and indeed throughout the world, continue to attract new students to this high-energy style of dancing.

The Teelin School of Irish Dance is comprised of approximately 250 students hailing from seven Maryland counties, and is co-owned by sisters, Maureen Berry, TCRG, and Kathleen Young, TCRG. Teaching staff also includes Whitney Hanson, TCRG, Shawn Stratmann, TMRF, and Gayle Shields, TMRF, who were each present in Florida to share in the excitement of these recent wins. Along with Saoirse’s and Gaby’s titles, a total of seven Teelin School students earned high enough placements in their solo championship age group to qualify for the World Championships, which will be held in Dublin, Ireland April 9-16, 2017 – Saoirse DeBoy (1st place in Girls 16-17); Gaby Stratmann (1st place in Girls 15-16); Ellie King of Arnold (3rd place in Girls 15-16); Emma Donahoe of Woodstock (6th place in Girls 10-11); Alyssa Savard of Bowie (11th place in Girls 14-15); Isabella Pelura of Millersville (13th place in Girls 11-12); and Katie Ortel of Glenwood (17th place in Ladies 17-18). Additionally, although too young to compete in the World Championships yet, two of the youngest champ soloist competitors from Teelin School placed among the top 10 dancers of their age groups – Lillian Cimbora of Glenwood (7th place in Girls 8-9) and Jonathan Brinker of Crownsville (10th place in Boys 8-9).

2016 NAIDC Champion
Saoirse DeBoy – U17 North American Champion

In Berry’s words, “I am very proud of each of my students – they are hard workers and passionate dancers. We teach our dancers that their own effort and attitude are really the only things that they can control, and their goal is to put their personal best onstage every time. In the end, when a dancer can take pride in their own effort, that is as much of a success as any award they could win. It also boosts a dancer’s self-confidence, which usually leads to that dancer eventually earning awards for their efforts.”

A school-wide celebration is being planned for October 21st to share the excitement of Saoirse and Gaby each earning the title of North American Champion.

Students at Teelin School of Irish Dance range from age 4 through adults, beginners through champions. Training focuses on a solid foundation in traditional Irish step dancing, with the opportunity to explore challenging choreography developed with innovative style. Participation in competitions is optional, and students may independently decide the extent to which they are willing to train. Performing at a championship level requires significant time commitment, with many top champions training upwards of 20 hours weekly. Separate and apart from competitions, a subset of advanced level students from the Teelin School also choose to audition for the Teelin Irish Dance Company, which is an elite team of approximately 45 dancers who stage performances, big and small, throughout central Maryland on a regular basis.

Known for performing traditional steps with innovative style, the Teelin Irish Dance Company is being featured on Saturday, February 25th, 2017, at 7:00pm at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, in “Celtic Storm”, an original dance show. Many of the top competitors from Teelin School will be performing in this show, alongside a talented cast of dancers and musicians. Ticket information is available at http://www.weinbergcenter.org.

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Photo credit ©Shamrock Photo.

Teelin has a World Champion!

The World Irish Dancing Championships, hosted by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (Irish for “The Irish Dancing Commission” based in Dublin, Ireland), are akin to the Olympics of Irish dancing. Approximately 5000 competitors from around the globe participated in this year’s championships held March 20-27, 2016, at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Scotland. Dancers, who each qualified to compete at this event by placing in the highest percentage of their regional or national championships earlier in the season, were vying for top recognition as “World Champion” in their age group. Saoirse DeBoy of Mt. Airy, age 16, a student of the Teelin School of Irish Dance in Columbia, Maryland, and an 11th grader at Mount De Sales Academy in Catonsville, earned that coveted title by winning first place in the solo championship for girls age 16-17.

World Champion (girls age 16-17), Saoirse DeBoy
Saoirse with teachers Maureen Berry, TCRG, Teelin School Owner/Director; Shawn Stratmann, TMRF; Gayle Shields, TMRF

“Saoirse is the first student from Teelin School to earn this title, and one of only three students from IDTANA’s Southern Region to achieve this status in the 46-year history of the World Irish Dancing Championships. This is a very exciting win, not only for our school, but also for our entire region!” boasts Maureen Berry, Owner/Director of the Teelin School of Irish Dance.

The Irish Dance Teachers of North America (IDTANA) is an international organization operating in conjunction with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, with the mission to promote Irish dance throughout North America. The popularity of Irish dancing has skyrocketed since the inaugural performance of Riverdance in 1995, and the success of subsequent shows such as Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Irish dancing schools throughout North America, and indeed throughout the world, continue to attract new students to this high-energy style of dancing. The IDTANA Southern Region includes dance schools in 14 US states spanning from Maryland to Florida to Texas, plus the District of Columbia and Mexico.

The Teelin School of Irish Dance is comprised of approximately 250 students hailing from seven Maryland counties, and is co-owned by sisters, Maureen Berry, TCRG, and Kathleen Young, TCRG. Teaching staff also includes Shawn Stratmann, TMRF, Gayle Shields, TMRF, each present in Scotland to share in the excitement of Saoirse’s recent win. Saoirse was one of twelve students from Teelin School who qualified for the 2016 World Championships, and nine of those students were able to travel to Scotland to perform on this most prestigious competition stage. In addition to Saoirse’s winning title, Gaby Stratmann, age 15, of Ellicott City, earned 11th place in the girls age 15-16 solo championships; and Isabella Pelura, age 11, of Millersville, earned 43rd place in girls age 11-12 solo championships. Six other soloists from Teelin School each performed beautifully, but were not ranked among the top 50 dancers in their respective age group.

DUD_9824In Berry’s words, “I am very proud of each of my dancers – they are hard workers and passionate dancers. We teach our dancers that their own effort and attitude are really the only things that they can control, and that their goal is to put their personal best onstage every time. In the end, when a dancer can take pride in their own effort, that is as much of a success as any award they could win. It also boosts a dancer’s self-confidence, which usually leads to that dancer eventually earning awards for their efforts. Saoirse is a wonderful example of a dancer who works hard, stays positive, and doesn’t give up.”

A school celebration is being planned for later this spring to share the excitement of Saoirse earning the title of World Champion.

Students at Teelin School of Irish Dance range from age 4 through adults, beginners through champions. Training focuses on a solid foundation in traditional Irish step dancing, with the opportunity to explore challenging choreography developed with innovative style. Participation in competitions is optional, and students may independently decide the extent to which they are willing to train. Performing at a championship level requires significant time commitment, with many top champions training upwards of 20 hours weekly. Separate and apart from competitions, a subset of advanced level students from the Teelin School also choose to audition for the Teelin Irish Dance Company, which is an elite team of approximately 45 dancers who stage performances, big and small, throughout central Maryland on a regular basis.

Download this press release: .docx | .pdf

Teelin Irish Dancer Crowned 2015 North American Champion

First Place Winner – Saoirse DeBoy, Age 16

The North American Irish Dance Championships (NAIDC) held in Providence, RI, July 1-5, 2015, showcased over 2000 competitors from the United States, Canada and Mexico, each vying for top recognition as “National Champion” in their age group. Saoirse DeBoy of Mt. Airy, age 16, a student of the Teelin School of Irish Dance in Columbia, Maryland, and a rising 11th grader at Mount De Sales Academy in Catonsville, earned that title by winning first place last month in the solo championships for girls age 15-16. The competition was also open to competitors from abroad, and included some dancers from the countries of Ireland, England, Scotland and Australia, to name a few.

“Saoirse is the first student from Teelin School to earn this title, we are all very excited!” boasts Maureen Berry, Owner/Director of the Teelin School of Irish Dance. “I am very proud of each of my dancers – they are hard workers and passionate dancers, and we’ve had a very good run at the competitions this year.”

Saoirse DeBoy, 2015 NAIDC Champion
Saoirse DeBoy with her teachers – Maureen Berry, TCRG; Shawn Stratmann, TMRF; Gayle Shields, TMRF.
Photo credit: Shamrock Photography. To request press images, contact info@teelin.com.

The international Irish Dancing Commission based in Dublin, Ireland governs the competitions which are held locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. In December 2015, four students from Teelin School won first place in their age group at the Southern U.S. Regional Championships – Saoirse DeBoy; Gaby Stratmann, age 15, of Ellicott City; Isabella Pelura, age 11, of Millersville; and Colleen Bartel, age 8, of Severna Park. At the North American Championships this July (also referred to as the National Championships), six Teelin School students earned high placements in their solo championship age group and qualified for the World Championships, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland March 20-29, 2016 – DeBoy (1st place in Girls 15-16); Stratmann (4th place in Girls 14-15); Pelura (4th place in Girls 10-11); Ellie King of Arnold (6th place in Girls 14-15); Jade Shields of Clarksville (19th place in Girls 16-17); and Katie Ortel of Glenwood (22nd place in Girls 16-17).

The Teelin School of Irish Dance is comprised of approximately 250 students hailing from seven Maryland counties, and is co-owned by Berry’s sister, Kathleen Young, who serves as Business Manager. Training focuses on a solid foundation in traditional Irish step dancing, with the opportunity to explore challenging choreography developed with innovative style. Upon achieving an advanced level of proficiency, a subset of students from the Teelin School choose to audition for the Teelin Irish Dance Company, which is an elite team of approximately 45 dancers who stage performances, big and small, throughout central Maryland on a regular basis.

Known for performing traditional steps with innovative style, the Teelin Irish Dance Company is being featured on Saturday, March 5th, 2016, at 7:00pm at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, with the debut of “Celtic Storm”, an original new dance show. Many of the top competitors from Teelin School will be performing in this show, alongside a talented cast of dancers and musicians. Ticket information is available at http://www.weinbergcenter.org.

Download this press release:  .docx  |  .pdf