Don’t miss the Watt School of Irish Dance’s year end recital, A Touch of Irish. Come out and see the intricate costumes and listen to both traditional Irish music, reels, jigs, hornpipes, and current music with an Irish twist. Whether floating across the stage in their soft shoes or creating their own percussion in hard shoes, they are sure to please.
Spring Break has been a whirlwind for 11 year old Mélodie Kemp of the Watt School of Irish Dance. She and teammates, Emalee Chapple, Jordan Crawford and Stevie Mazur have just returned from Glasgow, UK where they competed at the 46th annual World Irish Dancing Championships. The four local dancers earned their place in the international competition with top placings at the Western Canadian Qualifier last November. Since then, the girls have been training intensely in hopes of making it to the final round of the World Championships, and perhaps earning a world medal.
Kemp, who competed in the Girls 10-11 category, did just that, returning with a world medal and a smile to match it. Placing fifteenth overall amongst the top 200 dancers around the globe, Kemp also achieved the title of top Canadian competitor and was the fourth highest placing North American in the age group. Attaining a coveted world medal is a milestone achievement most work toward their entire career. Needless to say, it was completely unexpected for the first-timer. “Going in, my goal was to make it to the third round. It was such a surprise,” says Kemp, “I’m beyond happy.” After the week-long event, Mélodie’s result left her with the fourth highest Western Canadian placement, ages 10 to 35.
Kemp celebrated with her teammates by attending Lord of the Dance at the EnCana Events Centre March 26. “The show was unbelievable; their feet were so impressive,” says Kemp, “I hope to do something like that when I’m older. I love to perform and travel the world!”
Now it is back to the studio for the Watt School of Irish Dance, this time in preparation for the North American Irish Dance Championships. Twelve members of the Fort St. John school will be competing in Orlando, FL this July: Kale Dietz (10), Naia Gibbons (10), Mélodie Kemp (11), Emalee Chapple (11), Haley Korfmann (11), Jade Gibbons (12), Gracie Chapple (13), Jordan Crawford (13), Courtney Cowger (15), Sarah Cowger (17), Marin White (21), and Stevie Mazur (23).
Two Fort St John dancers from the Watt School of Irish Dance are at the height of preparation for the World Irish Dancing Championships. The event will take place in London, England April 13-20 and will welcome more than 5,000 competitors from across the globe.
Vancouver hosted the Western Canadian Qualifier in November, 2013. The city welcomed the highest caliber of dancers, from British Columbia to Manitoba, all vying for a place in London. JordanCrawford, 11, earned a spot at the Championships with a third place podium finish & LindsaySurerus, 16, secured one with a fifth place win. Patricia Robertson, 20, had a remarkable first place win in the Ladies U21 category, the fifth win in her competitive career. Patricia, not only a top international dancer, is a third year UBC student, and sadly due to scheduling conflicts will have to forego the Championships for the first time in 7 years.
After a smashing success in Vancouver, the girls have continued with a streak, bringing in multiple wins- Jordan, third place in Calgary, first place in Edmonton. Lindsay, second place in Edmonton, second in Seattle, and first place in Portland.
Following the World Championships, Jordan, Lindsay & Patricia will join six of their classmates at the North American Championships. Nine dancers from the Watt School have qualified for this weeklong event in July. Until then, they have their eyes on the prize that is a World medal. The girls look forward to representing Western Canada at the “Olympics” of Irish dance. It will be both a privilege & honor to dance on the prestigious World stage.
Patricia Robertson and Stevie Mazur will proudly represent Fort St. John and Western Canada at the 40th annual Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne – World Irish Dance Championships – in Glasgow, Scotland this month.
These championships are more than just competitions. This celebration of Irish dance, heritage and culture binds together people in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and Australia. It is the gathering of an extended family of dancers, teachers, parents, musicians, officials, families and lovers of Irish dance.
This cultural event attracts around 4 500 dancers accompanied by more than 15 000 supporters to cheer them on. These talented contestants are the best-of-the-best from Irish dance schools in 32 countries around the globe, and have progressed through the ranks of their perspective regions to the top in their age categories.
Patricia and Stevie are talented and fierce competitors who spend many hours each week polishing their skills, and have advanced to compete with the top Irish dancers in the world. Winning both regional and North American national titles, these two will do their best to continue the tradition of excellence created by the past members of the Watt School of Irish Dance and make their presence known on the international stage.