YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Austintown Fitch freshman Jocelyn Mehle and Cardinal Mooney junior Cameron Sweeney were five the first time they went to an Irish dance class.
“I basically started from the time I could walk, but I actually started lessons when I was five,” Mehle said.
“My family has been in this for a very long time,” Sweeney added. “My mom actually did it and my whole family started off with it, too.”
After years and years of training, the two have earned spots to compete on the sport’s biggest stage: the World Championships in Northern Ireland.
“It’s the best of the best,” Mehle said. “I just want to enjoy my time when I go and take in everything I’ve worked for and get to meet new people.”
Both Mehle and Sweeney actually qualified for Worlds back in 2019, but the event has been canceled the last two years due to COVID-19.
“The waiting has been very difficult because every year we get our hopes up that they’re going to be able to go, so we train as if they’re able to go,” Burke School of Irish Dance instructor Lauren Ehrenberg said. “We find out two weeks before that the competition is cancelled and it’s hard to kind of rebound from that, but they get right back into it and don’t let it bother them.”
The pair, along with four other members of Youngstown’s Burke School of Irish Dance, is set to compete in Belfast April 10-17.