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At the Cumann Rince Naisiunta National Irish Dance Championships in Anaheim, Calif., some Belisama dancers wished they’d brought bigger suitcases; they had not anticipated bringing home a national title and the trophy that goes with it.
Los Alamos dancers Maria Jones and Victoria Hypes took the highest honors at the CRN North American Irish Dance Championships on Oct. 30, placing first and second in the under-15 championship. Winning the championship means that Jones moves up to Craobh Grad, the fifth and highest level of Irish dance in the CRN organization; she is now one of only four Craobh Grad dancers in the U.S.
The championship consists of dancing a reel and a set dance, adjudicated by a panel of three judges. The competitors are level four and five dancers from all over the U.S. and Ireland. The win means that Belisama now has two Craobh Grad dancers, as Caitlin Kossmann moved up to level five in last February’s regional competition.
“One Craobh Grad dancer might be a fluke,” an enthusiastic parent said, “But with two, we must be doing something right!”
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