World Championship Hits the USA

An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the world’s oldest and largest Irish Dance organisation, will host the 49th annual World Irish Dancing Championships at the Koury Convention Centre, Greensboro NC, USA for one-week beginning Sunday, April 14th and completing on Sunday, April 21st.

“This is the ‘Olympics’ of Irish Dance,

a prestigious event where elite dancers from every corner of the globe will converge on Greensboro and battle it out to become “Champions of the World,” says Orfhlaith Ni Bhriain, Public Relations Officer for the CLRG. 

This is the first time that the CLRG’s Worlds has been hosted in the Southern USA Region and the fourth time the event has taken place in North America. The CLRG’s affiliated Irish Dance Teacher’s Association of North America (IDTANA) is divided into seven regions, two in Canada and five in the USA. The Southern USA region is a growing area for Irish Dancing and the region is honoured to host the very prestigious World Championships.

The World Championships are expected to attract in excess of 5,000 competitors in solo, céilí, figure-choreography and dance drama categories in a variety of age-groups. It’s estimated that a further 25,000 (TBC) spectators, comprising friends, family, teachers and supporters are expected to make the trip. In all, the competition will boost the city’s economy by around $20 million. 

This year’s Championships in Greensboro will be a truly vibrant Worlds, presenting the best in Irish Dancing. Throughout the days of intense competition, former World champions will defend titles and new champions will be crowned. “We will see breathtaking displays of talent from the world’s most skilled dancers, who have worked relentlessly for 12 months to ensure they bring their very best to North Carolina,” explains Orfhlaith.

Spectators will also view spectacular team dancing at the Worlds. Irish Dancing teams are made up of eight or 16 members, and they dance traditional ‘céilí’ or figure dances with precision and synchronization. Teams and solists will battle it out all week for the title of World Champion. 

Unlike competition in most other dance forms, all competitors dance to live music from outstanding musical talent who specialise in Irish Dance music. One mis-step of a dancer going off-time to the live music can cause a significant drop in the dancer’s ranking. The competitions are mesmerizing to view as a spectator.  

Participants will enjoy special events such as music and Irish language sessions, social events for dancers and an annual World Championships Ball. The Club area of the host hotel, the Sheraton, will be renamed The Temple Bar in honour of the event’s Irish roots where spectators will find lively music and dancing every evening.

The organisers are also hosting movie nights for children showcasing a variety of dance films. The annual World’s Ball will have a special theme of Springtime in North Carolina and will be held in the magnificent Grandover resort with transport shuttles provided from the host hotel.

The 2019 Worlds brings a major difference to the judging system. In the past dancers competed in two preliminary rounds whereby all the competitors were ranked based upon their combined scores from two rounds and a maximum of 50 dancers made it to the final round. This year, due to a significant increase in participant numbers, all but two of the youngest age groups will compete over two days in a system involving heats, semi-finals and a final round.

Who will win the coveted 2019 World titles? Follow Irish Dancing Magazine @irishdancingmagazine on Facebook and Instagram to catch all the action visit for results and other updates.




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