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Union Catholic students qualify to compete in the Irish Dance World Championships in Dublin

Union Catholic students Mikaila Farrell, Meghan Mahaffey, and Meghan Schirm recently competed in the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas in Philadelphia, PA and each delivered impressive performances.

Farrell, a sophomore who lives in Metuchen, placed 8th out of 152 competitors in her age group and qualified to compete at the World Championships in Dublin, Ireland in April. Mahaffey, a junior who lives in Scotch Plains, placed 18th out of 116 competitors in her age group and also qualified for the World Championships. Additionally, Mahaffey’s team placed 1st in their age group. Schirm, a sophomore who lives in Fanwood, placed 54th out of 150 competitors in her age group.

Farrell has been dancing with the O’Riain Academy of Irish Dance in Westwood for ten years. She is a two time World Qualifier and in 2017 she placed among the top 50 dancers in the world in her age group. 

Mahaffey has been dancing with the Marie Moore School of Irish Dance in Scotch Plains for twelve years. In 2018, Mahaffey’s dance team placed 2nd at the World Championships and in 2019, Mahaffey placed 22nd at the North American Championships in Vancouver.

Schirm has been dancing for eleven years and has placed in the top half of the region for the last three years. Additionally, Schirm competes in local competitions almost every weekend.

Farrell describes her training as intensive and focused.

“I train approximately four times per week and each session is three or four hours long,” said Farrell. “I participate in 3D movement training with a physical trainer, who reinforces my ability to move in all ways and in all directions.” 

Mahaffey says that practicing her craft is vital to her success.

“I practice six hours during the week for my solos, and I have two hour team practices on the weekends leading up to major competitions. We work on stamina, technique, and stage presence.”

Farrell and Mahaffey are looking forward to competing in the World Championships in April and all three dancers will compete in the North American Nationals in Nashville in July.

Best of luck!

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