Oak Knoll Juniors Earn First Place in Irish Dance Competition
Oak Knoll juniors Mary Kate Vowells ’21 and Madeline Morton ’21, both of Chatham, earned a first place award at the 50th anniversary of the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas Irish Dance Competition held in Philadelphia over Thanksgiving. The OKS juniors scored first place out of 71 teams in the Ladies 4-Hand 15 and over competition, with a traditional ceili (or team) dance performed by four people. Ceili dances are a popular form of folk dancing in Ireland. This is the third time that Vowells and Morton have won their 4-Hand ceili competition in the past five years.
“I was so proud to be representing Oak Knoll School at my regional competition over Thanksgiving break,” says Morton. “The discipline and perseverance that has been instilled in me throughout the years here at Oak Knoll School has helped to propel me in the competitive Irish dancing world.”
Vowells and Morton share their first place award with two other Chatham High School juniors, Grace McCormack and Hannah LeRoux. All of the dancers practice with Heritage Irish Dance Company located in Greenbrook, and have won many other prestigious awards while competing in national and world dance competitions. This spring, Vowells and Morton are headed to Ireland to compete in the 50th Anniversary of the World Irish Dancing Championships.