Three students of the Burke School of Irish Dance in Youngstown have qualified to compete at the 42nd Annual Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne, also known as the World Championships of Irish Dance. Meghan McCarthy of McDonald, Christine Kerrigan of Boardman and Natalie Super of Cortland, all qualified at the Mid-America Oireachtas which was held in Chicago last November.
Within the individual, or solo, competition, McCarthy placed third and Kerrigan placed fifth in their respective age groups. Super and McCarthy placed fourth as team members of the Senior Ceili along with six other dancers from the Burke School in Cleveland.
In order to qualify, these young women competed against dancers from 15 Midwestern states. The world competition will be held this year at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the week of April 1. They will again compete in their respective age groups against dancers from the USA, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England, and Australia.
Natalie Super, Meghan McCarthy, Tessie Burke and Christine Kerrigan are preparing for a trip to Ireland in April to compete in a world dance competition.
This year will be the sixth time McCarthy has qualified to dance at the world championships. Last year ,she placed 27th overall. She has been dancing for the Burke School for 14 years. McCarthy will not only dance in solo, but this year she will also compete on the Senior Ceili Team. She is an 18-year-old senior at McDonald High School, is a member of National Honor Society, Student Council and the varsity track team. She is the daughter of Therese and Patrick McCarthy and an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.
This is the second year to qualify for the world championships, for 17-year-old Kerrigan. She has been dancing with the Burke School for 12 years. A junior at Ursuline High School, she is a member of National Honor Society, Student Council Executive Board, S.O.S. (Students of Stewardship), and the girls varsity tennis team. Currently, she is the vice president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 6- Junior Division and a member of Youth Leadership Mahoning Valley 2012. She is the daughter of Mimi and Jim Kerrigan and is a parishioner at St. Christine Church.
First-time qualifier Super, also 17 years old, has been dancing with the Burke School for 13 years. She will compete on the Senior Ceili Team. She is a junior honor student at Lakeview High School where she is a member of the Junior Executive Board and the school newspaper. She is the daughter of Robin and Don Super and is a member of both Blessed Sacrament Parish and St. Robert's Parish.
Theresa "Tessie" Burke, founder of the Burke School of Irish Dance, is one of the first teachers of Irish Dance in America, and has been teaching in Youngstown since 1965. "Tessie" as she is fondly known, was honored in 2005 with an induction into the Irish Dance Hall of Fame and celebrated 50 years of success teaching Irish dance. Her dancers have continuously won top prizes at the regional, national, and world level competitions. She also maintains dance schools in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Burke resides in Cleveland, but travels weekly to Youngstown and Pittsburgh. The Youngstown school is in Cornersburg and includes more than 60 dancers. More information may be obtained at the website: www.burkeirishdance.com.