Irish dancers return to Kelowna from world championships – Kelowna Information

Dancers on world stage

Photo: Contributed

Two Irish dancers from Kelowna have recently returned from a successful world championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Rochelle Hoffmann and Danté Grootjes, of the Blakey Okanagan School of Irish Dance, returned from the first world championships held since 2019.

Grootjes attended his first Worlds and placed 25th in the boys U15 competition. He qualified for the event by winning the Western Canadian qualifier in November, held in Calgary.

Grootjes says he hopes to qualify again and climb even higher in his results in future years. He was supported by the community through fundraising that allowed him to attend the event.

Hoffmann, attending her 11th Worlds, attained her best result of 16th of 154 dancers in senior ladies, earning a World Medal.

She qualified by placing 1st in her age group at the Western Canadian Championships in November.

She says she hopes to continue being involved in Irish dance by performing with dance troupes and eventually becoming a certified teacher and passing along her years of experience.

Both dancers say they couldn’t have done it without their teachers, especially Janice Blakey Quewezance, for all her years of support.

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