Mequon dancers from the famed Trinity Academy of Irish Dance took high placements at the Mid-America Irish Dance Championships, held Nov. 26-28, 2010, in Chicago. Coming in at the top are Margaret Nowakowski and Daniel Fehrenbach who are now qualified to represent the United States in the 2011 World Irish Dance Championships to be held in Dublin, Ireland from April 17-23.
School wide, Trinity had a record breaking 16 gold medal placements in solo and team competition, more than twice the number of gold medals for any other school. As the Mid-America Championships is the qualifying round for the World Championships, Trinity now has 44 dancers who are qualified to compete at the Worlds in solo competition in 2011, another first for the Mid-America region. Of those qualifiers, 88% placed in the top ten and 77% placed in the top five.
Trinity founder, Mark Howard, states, “We’re known for being an internationally renowned team school, but the solo results both local and internationally have surged in the last several years. It’s an exciting time for us because the adjustments we have made in the way we teach are paying dividends for our students. That being said, this competition didn’t bring the results for some of our dancers that they had hoped. In terms of training, those losses are just as important because of the life lessons that they bring. I know that in the long run, those placements served dancers just as well as the ones who came out on top.”
Margaret Nowakowski once again took the gold, this time out of 84 competitors. This was her second gold from regional championships and she is currently ranked second in the nation and fourth in the world. Nowakowski is a sixth grade student at the University School of Milwaukee and is involved in tumbling, tennis and team sports. Teacher Laura McNamara states, “Maggie is one of the most determined people I’ve ever worked with and she’s just ten years old. Her work ethic is solid – both in class and through practicing at home.”
Daniel Fehrenbach took the bronze in his competition. Fehrenbach is a season competitor, having placed as high as fifth in the nation. Also a performer, Fehrenbach is a member of Trinity II, Trinity’s performance group, and recently traveled to Toulon, France to perform in the 37th annual Festival les Cultures du Monde. Fehrenbach is a senior at Pius Xi High School where he is involved in cross country and track and field. Teacher Laura McNamara states, “Daniel has put in a lot of work to improve his dancing while at the same time helping younger dancers to improve their skills. His coaching skills are very impressive, bringing those dancers to new heights and giving young boys a positive role model in dance.”
Two other Mequon residents took great placements in the competition:
• Mary Papageorge placed 21st out of 146 competitors in solo competition and took gold with her team.
• Olivia Hare placed 27th out of 117 competitors in solo competition and took fourth place with her team.
• Isabel Reed placed 52nd out of 108 competitors in solo competition.
For nearly 30 years, Trinity Academy of Irish Dance has thrilled audiences with inspiring showmanship. From humble beginnings in church basements to recent engagements as U.S. ambassadors on international stages, Trinity dancers consistently possess a unique energy and passion for Irish dance and culture.
Trinity’s unique program gives dancers the power of choice in their journey with lessons of commitment, hard work and team building. As one of the best Irish dance schools in the world, Trinity offers unique opportunities including monthly visits from athletic trainers, rare and exceptional performance opportunities, consultants from Ireland, dedicated classes for boys and a plethora of fundraising opportunities. Trinity teachers shape the lives of their students by passing down not only impeccable dance technique, but also lessons in gracious sportsmanship and how to act with dignity and integrity. Trinity was founded on these principles and is unwavering in its dedication to the next generation of Irish dancers and their communities.
Trinity Academy of Irish Dance has a location in Grafton at the North Shore Academy of the Arts and is currently accepting new enrollment for the 2010-11 school year. Other locations include Milwaukee, Appleton, Wauwatosa, Waukesha, Kenosha, Madison and numerous locations in Illinois. For more information, call 877-326-2328 or visit www.trinityirishdancers.com.
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