HILLSBOROUGH: 5th grader Julia Denys qualifies for 2014 Irish dance ‘Olympics’

   Julia Denys, a 5th grader at Auten Road School in Hillsborough and a competitive Irish dancer, participated Nov.30-Dec 1in Philadelphia at the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas, the region qualifier for the world championships.
   She came in 12th place out of 101 dancers to earn a spot to compete at the 2014 World Championships of Irish Dance, which will be held in London in April.
   The championships, which could be considered the Olympics of Irish dance, attracted more than 6,000 dancers from around the world to the competition in Boston last year.
   In Philadelphia, all female solo competitors danced a hornpipe or treble jig routine in hard shoes, followed by a reel or slip jig routine in soft shoes. Scores for the two rounds are combined, and the top half of the group is called back for another hard-shoe dance. Scores are tallied again to determine the world championship qualifiers.Julia trains with instructor Maureen Collins-Novaco at the Lynn Academy of Irish Dance in Hillsborough four to five days a week, but she practices every day for 90 minutes to two hours, said her mother. Karen.
   At age 10, this is the first time Julia could have qualified to advance to the world championships, said her mother.