Potters Bar Irish dance group celebrate Dublin success

The academy travelled with 10 students and brought home four podium places for the team and England. 

The academy travelled with 10 students and brought home four podium places for the team and England. - Credit: Conor Wells

A Potters Bar Irish dance group jigged over to Dublin for its first major competition since the pandemic.

The Toilbreacha Academy competed in the WIDA All Ireland Championships earlier this month, with the 10 students taking part bringing home four podium places for the team and England. 

Laura Rice and Darina Nazarova, who competed at a Primary and Intermediate level respectively, both won their Premierships.

Darina said: "I was really nervous to dance in my first open championship but I’m happy that I did and it was a great experience."

Laura Rice and Darina Nazarova who competed at a Primary and Intermediate level respectively, had won their Premierships.

Laura Rice and Darina Nazarova who competed at a Primary and Intermediate level respectively, had won their Premierships. - Credit: Conor Wells

Sunday was the Open Championship Day where the girls danced three rounds for three judges for a combined over-all score.  

In the Under 8 category, Aurora-Rose Malgieri won second place, in the Under 9 category, Caitlin Worell also won second, while Lucy Worrell came fifth, Conne Taylor scooped sixth and Emily Lopex landed seventh place. 

This was the first time these girls had competed at this level and their teacher and principal, Conor Wells said: "I am so proud of how well they did and they come away with such amazing results.

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"When Laura won her Premiership on the Saturday she called me straight away to tell me and was so excited that she had won her first Premiership - it was a very lovely moment."

In the Under 12 championships, Areilla Malgieri came home with eighth place; in Under 15, Katelyn Rice won ninth and in Under 19, Izzy Deed was third. 

Finally, in the Under 30 Championships. Darina Nazarova danced for the first time at open level and came home in eighth place. 

Conor added: “The standard of dancing for the whole weekend was brilliant and the girls came up against some very stiff competition. 

“I have trained most of these kids since they were young children and to see them grow and progress not only in their dancing but also their confidence is the most rewarding part of my job as a dance teacher. 

“They all did me very proud this weekend and we all had a great time and made lots of memories. We can't wait for the next one.”