Dancers from Milwaukee's 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 is Wauwatosa’s own Meaghan Kenfield who took gold and is 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.”
Meaghan Kenfield took gold out of 117 competitors in solo dancing and also placed fourth with her team. Currently second in the nation, Kenfield has also placed fourth at the All Scotland Championships. With Trinity’s performance groups, Kenfield had the opportunity to perform on the “2010 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon”. Kenfield is a sophomore at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School where she is on the highest honor roll, won the 2009 Student Achiever Award and is involved in student congress, track & field and music programs. Teacher Laura McNamara states, “Meaghan really put the work in to get this placement. She had some challenges to overcome over the past year, but she pushed through them. No matter what, I know she’ll always have a smile on her face and will be ready to work hard.”
Marissa Wurster took eighth place out of 117 competitors in solo competition and also took gold in team dancing. She is now qualified for the sixth time to compete at the World Championships. A two-time World champion team dancer, Wurster also took gold with her team at the regionals. She is a former Mid-America champion and has placed in the top ten in the nation. Also a performer, Wurster has performed with Trinity on “The Martha Stewart Show”, “The Today Show” and “The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon”. McNamara states, “Marissa was challenged with injury this year, but through her talent, focus and determination, she was able to land in the top ten. I’m very proud of her in this achievement.” Wurster is a student at Wauwatosa East High School where she is involved in track and field and music programs.
Other Wauwatosa and surrounding area residents took great placements in the competition:
• Lilli Kenfield of Wauwatosa took 18th place out of 136 competitors in solo competition.
• Elizabeth Oliver of Elm Grove took 18th place out of 108 competitors in solo competition.
• Morgan Lucey of Wauwatosa, Lauren Morton of Brookfield, Victoria Felker of Elm Grove, and Emily Wilke of West Allis all took gold with their teams.
• Myah Trilling of Brookfield took 27th place out of 117 competitors in solo competition and took gold with her team.
• Reilly Koch of Whitefish Bay took 31st out of 145 competitors in solo competition and placed fourth with her team.
• Mikayla Linscott of Wauwatosa took 54th place out of 117 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 convenient location in Wauwatosa and is currently accepting new enrollment for the 2010-11 school year. Other locations include Milwaukee, Grafton, Appleton, Waukesha, Kenosha, Madison and numerous locations in Illinois. For more information, call 877-326-2328 or visit www.trinityirishdancers.com.
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