April 3, 2013

Stewart ’15 Finishes Fourth at World Irish Dancing Championships

Stewart ’15 Finishes Fourth at World Irish Dancing Championships

During the week of March 24th, Emily Stewart '15 competed in the World Irish Dancing Championships at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, placing fourth in her age group. The 2013 competition marked the Valencia, Calif., native's sixth appearance at the world championships--she placed 11th in her age group at the 2012 competition in Belfast, Ireland.

Stewart has been Irish dancing since the age of five. Her interest in the dance was sparked after seeing a performance at her brother's elementary school talent show.

"I knew right then that's what I wanted to do," Stewart said. "I told my mom that I wanted to take lessons."

In the years that followed, Stewart trained to compete in solo competitions all over the globe. She has traveled to Ireland four times and to Scotland twice, as well as to Canada and all over the United States.

"I love to travel," she said. "It's a lot of fun and I've had so many great experiences."

Among the other numerous honors and awards she's acquired, Stewart was crowned the North American Irish Dancing Champion in her age group last summer in Chicago and recently finished third at the All Scotland Championships in Glasgow.

She currently trains, at times up to six days a week, at Scoil Rince Naomh Attracta (St. Attracta's School) in Brighton, Mass., under Lord of the Dance veteran Attracta Quinn. Having had the opportunity to learn from Quinn at dancing workshops in California, the prospect of training with her full time brought Stewart to Boston after high school. Stewart said that Quinn's family has become like a second family throughout the transition, and she is happy to have found a second home in Emmanuel College. She is in the Honors Program and recently declared a major in accounting.

Even with her rigorous course load at Emmanuel, Stewart shows no signs of slowing down. After she's finished competing, she wants to be certified as a teacher of Irish dancing, but at present, she's relishing wherever her talents take her.

"I definitely want to dance through college," she said. "Then, I'm not entirely sure. I'm just going to keep enjoying it for now."


Check out the video below to see Emily in action.