Chloe kicks her heels on the world stage

Chloe kicks up her heels on the world stage

A young dancer from Griffin is keeping the tradition of Irish dancing alive by kicking up her heels on both the local and global stage.

Chloe Peirce, 25, has returned home to Moreton Bay after travelling to Belfast in early April where she competed at the World Irish Dancing Competition.

The competition is organised by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (the Commission of Irish Dancing), which is the biggest and oldest governing body of Irish dancing worldwide.

Chloe wowed the judges and came home with an impressive result.

“There were more than 160 people in my section and I placed 36th in the world,” Chloe said.

“I was very pleased with that result because it was such a hard competition.

“The way the competition works is you do three rounds, and the judges recall a certain percentage after each round. It’s you goal to get to the last round in every competition.

“This year was a little bit different because the competition was held over two days, which was a little tiring.”

More than 3,500 dancers from 20 countries took part in last month’s competition, following two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Chloe, competing in Belfast was bittersweet.

“This was my last time competing at the World Championships,” she said.

“I have been competing for 21 years, and I thought there’s no better way to finish than finishing on the world stage.”

A lifelong passion

Chloe started dancing when she was two-years-old at her mother’s dance studio, Scoil Ard Rince.

At the age of three she started dance classes and by the age of four she was competing, thanks to her mother and her teachers who developed her into a world-class performer.

“I progressed through the different reels really quickly,” Chloe said.

“I went to my first World Nationals when I was 12, and I’ve been to six or seven of them now.

“I have been lucky because mum and dad have been really supportive and let me travel even with school and everything.

“As long as I trained and worked hard they would let me to go the World Championships and other competitions in America, which is similar to the World Championships because they open it up to other dancers.”

Dancing has taken Chloe to different corners of the globe, as she has danced in cities like Glasgow, Dublin, Montreal and Boston.

“I’ve always worked hard for the world championships and then afterwards we would always do a little trip because why not? You gotta treat yourself,” she said, laughing.

Touring Australia

Chloe also performs on stages across the country, as she is part of the Celtic Illusion stage production.

“It is a lot of fun, even though some days are double show days,” Chloe said.

“I will be back with them touring in June and July.

“I won’t be retiring from professional dancing, just the competitive side.”

Teaching the next generation

Chloe loves teaching kids of all ages the art of Irish dancing at her mum’s studio in Margate.

“The studio is like second home,” Chloe said.

“I love teaching the little beginners because they have so much love and joy – they just want to be there and dance and have fun.

“I also like teaching the older kids who are dancing at a higher level. I know what it is like to dance at a higher level so I can help them and tell them to keep going.

“I tell them that if they don’t work hard, they aren’t going to achieve the things they want to.

“But dancing also has to be fun. I wouldn’t have danced and competed for all those years if I didn’t enjoy it, so it’s important that I make the classes fun as well.”

While Irish dancing can be different to what some kids are used to, Chloe still urges everyone to come along and have a go.

“Irish dancing is very unique and a lot of people don’t understand what it even is, so there’s no harm in trying it,” she said.

“Irish Dancing is having your arms by your side, your feet out, and being high on your toes, nice straight legs and just flowing around the room.

“I can assure you, if you were to come along it would be a whole lot of fun.

“There’s a lot of different ways you can approach Irish dancing – you can do it just for fun, dance competitively, or even dance in professional shows.

“There’s so many amazing opportunities in Irish dancing that people aren’t aware of, and if you work hard and love it, you can also travel the world.”

A long history of dance

Scoil Ard Rince celebrated its 30th birthday last year.

The studio in Margate is the main studio, but classes are also held in the Brisbane suburb of Bulimba and at Buderim on the Sunshine Coast.

Chloe is not the only teacher to have performed and competed at the World Irish Dance Competition.

Her mother Breeda, who is Irish has, as well as her friend and fellow teacher Christine Folan.

Christine, who moved to Australia from Ireland when she was seven, said she loved passing on traditions from her homeland.

“I’m really proud if the style of dancing and the music involved, and I love teaching the kids,” Christine said.

“I have a strong background in childcare so being able to teach here at the school ties in with what I love to do.

“My son has just started Irish dancing as well, which is really special to me.”

Get in touch

Scoil Ard Rince is located at 7/34 Baynes St, Margate.

More information can be found on their website and Facebook page, or you can phone the studio on 0410 455 662.

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