DU Student Competes in Irish Step Dancing Competition in Dublin
A Duquesne University student will compete in Dublin against native Irish dancers in the World Irish Dance Championships later this week.
Kate Kramer, a resident of Fox Chase, a suburb northeast of Philadelphia, is spending this semester at the National University of Ireland in Galway through Duquesne’s study abroad program.
Kramer dances on Friday, April 22, at the Citywest Conference Center in Dublin.
After finishing in second place in the 2010 at the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas competition in November, Kramer qualified for the championship in Dublin. She is very excited for the Dublin competition because she has already been in Ireland for months, studying abroad.
When Kramer came to Ireland in the beginning of the semester, she was worried about finding time and space to practice Irish dancing. She joined the Irish dance society to not only practice but also to have the chance to talk with dancers from all over Ireland who have competed in years past, are still competing and appear in the popular show, Riverdance.
Her dance society won first place in the Irish dance portion of the All Ireland Intervarsities, a competition against other collegiate dance groups.
This year is not the first time Kramer has competed across the pond. She danced in the World Irish Dance Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2010; the All Ireland Championships in Killarney, Ireland, in 2009; and the Great Britain Championships in 2004.
By competing internationally, Kramer has had the opportunity to form friendships with Irish people and fellow dancers. “I am so grateful that dance has given me the ability to meet these people and experience Irish dance in a different light,” she said. “The support and advice from these dancers has motivated me to dance my best.”
Kramer, who is of Irish heritage, began her dancing career at the age of 5 with the Coyle School of Irish Dance. Her grandmother saw an ad in the local newspaper and signed her and her sister up for classes.
She originally had no interest in continuing Irish dance in college, but realized that practice space was available in Duquesne’s recreation facility, the Power Center, and changed her mind.
Kramer decided to major in physical therapy because of the amount of time she spent in therapy as a dancer. She liked Duquesne’s physical therapy program and instantly fell in love with Pittsburgh. One day she hopes to work with dancers and prevent them from getting injuries.
She is proud of her work over 15 years, which has allowed her to experience the Irish life and culture as an American girl with a passion for Irish dancing.