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Tri-Valley teens set to compete at Irish dancing championships

Teens from Foothill, Venture, Dublin high schools

A Pleasanton high schooler, and two other Tri-Valley students, have qualified for the Cumann Rince Náisiúnta (CRN) World Open Irish Dancing Championships coming up in June.

Foothill High School senior Caitlyn Peal, San Ramon's Venture School senior Erin Richards and Dublin High senior Juliette Chabot are from Dublin's McGrath Irish Dancers, taught by Valerie Deam. The dance company also has locations in Pleasanton and San Ramon.

The dancers will be competing in the solo categories of reel/slip jig, traditional set dance, and contemporary set dance at the championships held in Ireland, from June 26-28.

Peal qualified in February for the world championships at the CRN North American Open Championships in Las Vegas, after three judges unanimously voted to send her through to the competition.

"All my hard work and preparing paid off," said Peal. "Being that this is my last year of competing, I am very excited to end it with an opportunity to go to Ireland."

Chabot and Richards qualified by being one of the two highest grades of Irish dance competition levels, either Ardghrad or Craobhghrad.

The girls have been practicing multiple times a week to prepare for the competition, which has included performing at charity events around the Bay Area, such as Castlewood Country Club, Tesla Motors and Gallaghar's Dublin Pub.

Although the teens won't be competing for any cash prizes at the championships, winning at the event can give the dancers recognition and opportunities in the dance industry.

According to Peal's mother Mary Ellen, this is the first time dancers from Dublin's McGrath Irish Dancers have qualified for the world championship.

Mary Ellen has set up a Go Fund Me page for anyone that would like to donate to assist funding the travel expenses to Ireland. Anyone interested in booking the trio to dance for an event to support their fundraising efforts, contact Mary Ellen Peal at mepeal@aol.com.

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