by Elizabeth Reymundo, ABS-CBN News
VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Convention Center was brimming with excitement, glitter and high kicks, for the 2019 North American Irish Dance Championships.
Dancers from all around the world descended upon Vancouver to showcase their toe heights, leaps, positions, turnouts, crossings, and great athleticism.
13-year old Filipino-American Emma Jose was one of them.
“I like the dancing generally like all the choreography. Like in the hard shoe, I love how much noise you make and how rhythmic it is and how you can hear every beat. And in the soft shoe, I like the gracefulness about it and all the leaps and jumps.”
“She has class 3 or 4 times a week plus personal trainer plus private lessons when she can. She does a lot of competitions in the weekends as well in preparation specifically for nationals,” said Melissa Casey Jose, Emma’s mother.
Having trained since she was 4 years old, Jose has been steadily hitting the right moves in a dance not too familiar to most Filipinos.
“When she was four, one of her friends from school has an elder sister learning Irish dance and the mom suggested that Emma would like it.”
Emma’s hard work, dedication and passion paid off.
Out of over 100 dancers in her group, she ranked 30th place—a true feat in this intense competition.
“This is my second national championships and I’m so lucky to have recalled let alone to have danced at the national championships in general so very happy.”
At last weekend’s competition in her home state of New York, Emma won first place with younger sister Eliza steadily following her big sister’s steps.
Emma believes more and more Filipinos will definitely get a kick out of Irish Dance.