Sisters from St. Ambrose School prepare for Irish dance world championship

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Sophia and Reilly Savage, both students at St. Ambrose School in Annandale, will travel to Glasgow, Scotland, to compete in Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2018, the world championship of Irish dance later this month.

The sisters, who are enrolled at the McGrath Academy of Irish Dance in Manassas, have spent hundreds of hours practicing during the last two months.

“I started Irish dance because I saw dancers at a dinner event around St. Patrick’s Day,” said Sophia, a seventh-grader. “My mother said she had the number for lessons on speed dial. I remember my first class and thought how good all of the dancers were and I didn’t know how to dance. An older girl helped me learn how to do skips, and I have loved it ever since.”

Reilly, a fifth-grader, started dancing when she was 4 years old.

“I started Irish dance by following my older sister around the house when she would practice. I couldn’t wait to start taking lessons,” said Reilly.

In December, both girls qualified for the world competition when Sophia placed 13th and Reilly placed 8th at the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America Southern Region Oireachtas. Nearly 2,000 dancers competed at the event.

“It’s hard enough for one dancer to qualify for the World Championships,” said Sophia. “We are extra lucky that both of us did it in the same year.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018