World Irish Dance-Off

Form, function, and hair at the Irish World Dance Championships..

By Matthew Skwiat, Contributing Editor
June / July 2015

Hairspray, fake wigs, and oodles of bling were on full display in front of 20,000 spectators for the 45th installment of the Irish World Dance Championships which took place in

Montreal at the Palais des Congres in April. It marked the first time the event took place on Canadian soil and proved to be a massive crowd pleasing event that saw more than 5,000 competitors put their feet to work in a dance-off of epic proportions. This was no mere dance hall recital, but an event that saw the best of the best from around the world give it their all as the

audience looked on in amazement.

The event is commonly referred to as the “Olympics of dance” as top dancers work as much as 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. The championship has been growing in both popularity and attendance every year since its founding. Dancers, both male and female, compete either individually or as teams and are accompanied by a band with live musicians.

The event proves beneficial not only for the dancers, but for the behind the scenes activities which involve finding the right shoes and the trials and tribulations of settling on a wig, some of which go for as much as $250.

This year the 17-time world title holders from Illinois, the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, had hoped to add number 18 to their ever-growing list. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite make it. But dancers Mackenzie Holland and Peter Dziak came in 7th and 8th place respectively – not bad for 5,000 competitors. ♦

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