Dancers from The Academy win world titles
Members of The Academy team that won the world title in minor Irish dancing included: (front row, from left) Maeve Gerrity, Cosette DeBourbon; (second row) Grace Hyden, Ciara Gerrity and Gia DeBourbon.
A 2-year-old central Ohio Irish dance school took top honors at an international competition last month.
Two teams from The Academy took the world title in the minor category for girls ages 13 and younger and junior category for girls age 16 and younger.
A senior team, for girls 16 and older, took second place in the world championships and a few Academy dancers also placed in individual competition.
"It was a long, exhausting week," Instructor Bryon Tuttle said of the competition that ran from March 24-31 in Boston.
"It was an emotional rollercoaster ride," Tuttle said.
"To be winning the first world title on Tuesday was every emotional and exciting, and on Thursday to win another world title was completely unexpected," he said.
"The kids are very good and I generally believe they're the best, but I could never dream this would happen."
Tuttle opened the Academy in 2011 with dancer Edward Searle.
The first location started in Dublin at Integrity Gymnastics and Cheerleading Center, then spread to Westerville with classes at the Straub Dance Center later in the year. Classes began in Upper Arlington at the Bartelt Dance Studio in 2012.
"We have only been around for just under two years and we're already winning world titles," Tuttle said.
The school has about 100 students, Tuttle said, and only sent a small contingent to the 2012 world championships.
"Last year because the school was so new we only sent a small group of solo qualifiers, not teams," Tuttle said. "This is the first time we have sent teams to the world championships and to come out winning was amazing."
To get to the world championships that include teams from throughout the U.S., Canada, England, Ireland and Europe, the teams had to qualify at the mid-American regional contest.
"It's one of the biggest regions in the country because it has big cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis," Tuttle said.
The teams that competed in the world championships late last month had 16 dancers who memorized a four-minute routine.
Even though both Tuttle and Searle are used to the pressure of dancing with experience in Ireland and England, taking home top honors was emotional.
"We've worked very, very, very hard," Tuttle said. "We are on cloud nine, we're so excited."
Individual dancers that earned honors are Alesandra Doughty with second place in the girls 19-20 division, Westerville resident Ciara Gerrity with fifth place in the girls 13-14 division and Dublin resident Cosette DeBourbon with sixth place in the girls 11-12 section.
For more information about the Academy, look online at theacademy-irishdance.com.