Witt Dances Her Way to Victory


Amelia Witt placed 47 out of 132 girls in All Irelands during the first round of three. She was recalled to complete a third time after that. (Photo courtesy of Amelia Witt)

Warren Hills freshman Amelia Witt traveled to Killarney, Ireland with An Clar School of Irish Dance in mid February to compete in an Irish dance competition famously known as All Irelands. 

The competition invites the best Irish dancers to compete and hopefully qualify for Worlds.

“I loved going to Ireland,” she said. “I have been trying to go for the past two years, but I have not been able to go for the competition because it was canceled due to COVID-19. It was by far the best experience I have had. It was so pretty.” 

Witt has been dancing since 2012 when she was about five years old. 

“I started by doing ballet, but my mom found a flier for the first school I went to, Slattery School of Irish Dance,” she said. “I did both Irish and ballet dance for a year, but it got to be too much to balance and I knew Irish dance was my true passion, so I have stuck with that ever since.” 

The All Irelands Competition for dance is just one out of many events that bring together some of the best Irish dancers to perform.  

“I do a few smaller regional competitions a month,” she said. “The first time I got sent to nationals was in 2015 in Rhode Island and I have been going every year since. For nationals, I have traveled to Montreal, New Orleans and Florida. I want to end up qualifying for Worlds within the next few years.”

Witt said balancing personal life with dance might strike most as a challenge, but for her its a matter of timing

“I have dance class two to three times a week, so on those days I try to get my school work done before I go to my dance studio,” she said. “On days that I am off, I go to my basement where I have a dance studio and practice there for a few hours. All together, I dance six days a week, but thankfully, I have never had any issues with balancing dance and school.” 

For Witt, having a group of people around her that support her goals is important. 

“I went to Ireland with my mom, dance teacher and a few other girls at my school,” she said. “I loved going with them because I knew that I was with people that supported me and we all just cheered each other on.”

Even though Witt is just a freshman, she is still thinking about her future. 

“I want to keep doing it until at least the end of high school,” she said. “I have thought about how I do love teaching the younger students and helping them out with techniques as well as actual dance choreography, so maybe in the future I will be a teacher.” 

There is always inspiration and new things in the arts. Witt gets her inspiration right in her dance studio. 

“My dance teacher is not only an amazing Irish dancer,” she said, “but she is someone who is just always there for me when I need her. Whether it’s about dance or just my personal life, I know I can rely on her for anything. She is there for support and to push me past what I think are my limits.” 

Witt gives her own words of advice and encouragement for people who are also doing dance or just trying to follow their dreams. 

“Do what you love and if you really want it, make time and work hard for it,” she said. “Always help those younger than you on their journey. You could end up being their inspiration.”