Severna Park’s Isabella “Izzy” Renzi won first place at the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) Southern Region Oireachtas last month in Orlando to defend her regional title in the under-12 age category.
Izzy was one of four McGrath Morgan Academy of Irish Dance members to earn solo titles. She is also the reigning North American champion and a member of the girls U12 ceili team, which placed second at the Southern Region Oireachtas.
“One of the most stressful times for parents, dancers and teachers is in the run up to defending their first major title,” said teacher John Lawrence Morgan. “Izzy and I made a conscious decision to focus on her dancing and how to deliver her best personal performance, something she could control, as opposed to her placement. Following the completion of her final round, I was blown away by the delivery of her set. I was delighted when she became regional champion for a second consecutive year.”
The Oireachtas (pronounced Uh-rock-tus) is a three-day regional championship where Irish dancers compete to qualify to participate at national and world championships. More than 2,000 dancers from across the southern region, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Mexico, competed in Orlando. Each competitor danced one soft shoe and one hard shoe dance, sharing the stage with one or two other dancers, depending upon age. Scores were tabulated, and the top half of dancers were recalled to compete in the third round, which is a hard-shoe solo set dance showcasing each dancer’s style.
Other McGrath Morgan Academy champions included Aisling Reynolds (U14), Jessie Welgos (U16) and Meghann Mullarkey (U18).
“These dancers have established themselves in the southern region,” said school founder Lauren McGrath Dutton. “They work hard in the studio and always leave it all on the stage at competitions.”
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