Dancer jigs her way to second in regional competition

Kate Baldwin

Ranked twenty-second in the world for her age group and fourth in North America, sophomore Taylor Best is one of the most talented Irish dancers recognized across the nation.

Since moving from Boston, where she studied dance for eight years and won the New England Regional Championship in 2006, Best has been studying at O’Shea Irish Dance school in Minneapolis. The reason for the move was that her father had the opportunity to take a new job. “It’s his dream job,” said Best, “so things are definitely looking up for my family.” The move has affected her dancing slightly; she is still getting adjusted. “Dance remained my constant through the move,” she said, “My new coach is very accepting and supportive.”

Best’s love for Irish dancing actually originated in the music: “The music is awesome and wicked lively,” said Best. The speed of the music and the need for quick footwork intrigued Best and drew her to the style of dance.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Best competed in a regional competition where she placed second. For this competition, she was rehearsing six days a week for two to three hours a day. Intense preperation is essential before competition. “It was fun, but now that it’s over I’m looking forward to my rehearsal schedule relaxing a little,” said Best.

The competition consisted of three rounds. After the first two, a recall was made of the top half dancers of both rounds. “It’s a really competitive atmosphere,” said Best, “but I’m friends with some of the competition so it’s friendly competition.”

After this short lapse in rehearsals, Best will get back into the studio and continue to prepare for her next competition, in which she will be competing against dancers from across the globe to take the title of World Champ.