GALLERY: Offaly dancers achieve stunning success with Emerald Lakes Academy of Irish Dance

Edenderry, Rhode and Croghan dancers part of clean sweep at the WIDA Irish Open Championships

Offaly Express Reporter

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The Emerald Lakes Academy of Irish Dance of Rochfortbridge run by local man Kevin Lyster have yet again made a clean sweep at the WIDA Irish Open Championships 2016 at The Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny, Co Dongeal last weekend.

Among the dancers were a large contingent from Offaly including Edenderry, Rhode and Croghan.

The Championships also serve as a qualifier for The WIDA World & International Irish Dance Championships to be held in Killarney, Co. Kerry next April.The Emerald Lakes Academy noted for its Irish Dance Drama and Show talent after its recent Production by Kevin Lyster called 1916 ' Forgotten Children' which had a two night sell out at the Mullingar Arts Centre in November made its mark in Donegal at the National Championships.

A large contingent from the Rochfortbridge based school made their way to the North West and all impressed the judges who hailed from Spain, USA, Russia, Germany and England. The Emerald Lakes Academy had excellent results all round and some of the highlights were the Open Championship winners Marilyn Loran who swept the score boards to take the O/35 Open Championship title and huge gains over the past number of years, followed by Tanya Ennis Daly in 2nd and Niamh Gallagher in 3rd all beating off strong opposition in the category.

Mullingar native Alice McDonnell who made a clean sweep over the two day event and was crowned U/12 Open Championship Champion 2016, making history for the Academy. Alice is the first U/12 Open Championship winner at the Nationals for Emerald Lakes. But The Offaly dancers within the Westmeath based school all danced their way to huge and impressive success.

Christian Taylor of Rhode is one of Ireland's most recognised leading Male Irish Dancers who's talents have not gone unnoticed by the best in the Irish Dance Industry. This young man at 13 years of age is at the top of his game in Irish Dance and took Donegal by Storm with 4 National Titles and numerous awards. Christian is currently on tour with 1916 'Forgotten Children' Production as a Lead Dancer.

Christan's younger brother James and sister Aisling also danced to success at the Dongeal venue to impress the international Judges to scoop some big titles. Parents Martin and Barbara are extremely proud of how their children have achieved at the National Championships and have put their childrens success down to commitment and passion.

Tracy Hannon of Croghan took Donegal by storm with her performance in Open Championship having been recalled and now ranked 4th in her age group in Ireland. Croughan gave Tracy a triumphant welcome home on her return from the major championships.

The Edenderry trio of Aine Usher, Katie McLoughlin and Sinead Flynn also took numerous titles and Silverware home to there hometown. The talented family who are all related swept the boards to much delight. Sinead Flynn has gone from strenght to strenght over the past number of years and Aine Usher has climbed into the National and World Rankings. Katie McLoughlin also impressed to be ranked 2nd in Ireland. This year has been yet another very successful year at the top Midlands School.

The Emerald Lakes Academy move on to now take to the stage yet again at Tuar Ard Arts Centre for a one night only on December 17 at 8pm for another outstanding performance of 1916 'Forgotten Children' The Show recently sold out at Mullingar Arts Centre to spectacular reviews. Joe Duffy in RTE has given his seal of approval along with Westmeath County Council. This is a show not to be missed.

Tickets available for Tuar Ard Moate. 090-648 2042