On July 7, Ruthie Spencer ’22 will be competing in the 2021 National Irish Dance Championships in Phoenix, AZ. This event brings dancers from all over North America; to qualify for Nationals, dancers must have reached Open championship level, the highest level of Irish dance. Ruthie entered Open Championships in October of 2019 after placing first overall (combined score of three judges in hard and soft shoe) at two separate feiseanna (gaeilc for competitions). Nationals is also a world qualifying event, think Olympic trials, with the top dancers competing to qualify for the World Championship competition, held in April 2022 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ruthie has been Irish step dancing since the age of seven and is currently a member of the Cassin Academy of Irish Dance in West Springfield, MA. Cassin Academy will be sending ten dancers to compete in Nationals this year. Ruthie first qualified for the 2020 Nationals in Nashville; however, that event was cancelled due to COVID, so this will be her first Nationals competition. Good luck and Slainte to Ruthie!