All champions: Alicia Keys, Emma Farren, Emily Colangelo, Ailbhe and Seoda Liu Wang all dancrs with the McNelis Cunningham School of Dance
While Dublin may have established a stranglehold on Gaelic football over the last number of years, there is no doubt that Donegal has matched them toe to toe in Irish dancing having captured the national championships in the UK in the last week.
The county has simply dominated the boards, producing two senior world champions, male and female this year alone as well as numerous titles at a younger level.
Last week 15-year-old Dungloe girl Emily Colangelo, who takes the ferry to school in Arranmore every day, dominated the championships in Southport in the UK. Once again, she brought home gold as did many of her junior colleagues from the McNelis Cunningham Boyle Dance school.
The Wang sisters from Donegal town have been on the podium on a number of occasions. Emily is the current world champion while also retaining the Irish, British and All-England championships following very much in the footsteps of Gerard Byrne from Donegal town.
Gerard has now a hat trick of silver globes having three world titles to his name and has danced with Riverdance and Titanic Dance and has toured China and most of Europe.
Gerard said: ”It’s like playing with the Donegal team - non-stop training and fitness, no drinking and pure dedication!
“I am dancing every night for the summer in Killarney and there is no room for slippage - it simply requires a top level of fitness. I can tell you it’s not for the fainthearted.”
Gerard added: “On that note it felt great to be a Donegal man in Killarney last weekend!”
For Emily and her brother Thomas, there is a summer of dancing ahead. The young pair dance for all the cruise ships coming into Killybegs appear at numerous public functions and will perform at the upcoming Randox Gala Ball in Dungloe next week.
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