Donegal Town sister team Ruth and Katie Gillespie have returned home to celebrate their success at the WIDA World Irish Dance Championships in Maastricht, Holland last weekend. 

Ruth (20) and Katie (19) both finished in top nine positions, bringing home 4 World Medals and a 2nd place World Globe.

‘As a dance teacher, to see your dancers fulfil their dreams of competing on a World Stage is a dream come true but for those dancers to also be your sisters is a feeling that can’t described’ says Sarah Gillespie, teacher at Scoil Rince Tir Chonaill.

‘I can’t explain how massive this achievement is for the two girls and our dance school here in Donegal Town. I only did my exams and joined WIDA last year, so to be taking home world medals already is beyond amazing and a true reflection of how hard the girls have worked’ said Sarah.

WIDA is the most global organisation of Irish Dance today and over 30 countries were represented in the event.

‘It was humbling to see how our tradition and culture has spread to every corner of the world with dancers from all over America, Australia, the UK, mainland Europe and Asia being represented. The variations that each culture brought to the event was amazing and welcomed by everyone’.

Talking to Ruth and Katie after their results, they both agreed that seeing Irish flags flying across the arena in support as their results were called was overwhelming. WIDA prides itself on its positive and encouraging approach to competition and this couldn’t have been more apparent on the day, they said.

Katie and Ruth Gillespie

‘Everyone cheered for everyone else, everyone was happy for each other. The comradery between teachers and dancers alike is what makes us love being part of the WIDA family. It’s such a fun way to enjoy Irish Dance and make friends from across the world’

It’s full steam ahead now for preparations for the All Ireland Championships event this summer and Scoil Rince Tir Chonaill is looking forward to the adventures the next year will bring.

Classes run weekly in Donegal Town and Inver and new dancers are always welcome. For more info call Sarah on 087 7509230