Each May, there is a Regional Championship held in Alma, MI where Premier dancers compete to be among the 105 dancers representing five age groups and six regions of the United States to compete in the United States Inter-Regional Championship. Our region is the Midwest, and it includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, North and South Dakota. The top three dancers are selected from each age group to represent the Midwest at these national championships taking place (usually) in July. Each region takes turns hosting this event, so every year, dancers get to travel to a different part of the country to compete. The next USIR locations that have been announced are:
2018: Gettysburg, PA (July 25-29)
2019: Las Vegas, NV (July 17-21)
This year, the “main event” that dancers must qualify to compete in takes place on the Saturday, but USIR runs from Wednesday through Sunday with opportunities for dancers of ALL LEVELS to compete. USIR is a great opportunity for dancers of all levels to meet new friends from all over the country (and the world!) as well as gain experience competing on this prestigious stage.
The weekend is full of many activities for dancers and their families before and after the competitions each day. For dancers who are representatives of their region, there is a regional dinner, an outing with other reps, and a banquet. There are many traditions that dancers and teachers take part in including the “Parade of Regions” where dancers representing their region are introduced together and “parade” across the stage (to thunderous applause). USIR can be a wonderful learning experience for all dancers and families as it brings together the very best of the best in Highland Dancing in the United States. Many THHD dancers have qualified to represent the Midwest in the past, and even more have gone to participate in the open competitions throughout the week! If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to start making plans to go to Gettysburg with a THHD contingent, talk to Nancy for more information!
Past THHD attendees at USIR’s include:
Rebekah Danaher Anderson (Philadelphia, PA 2000,Long Beach 2001)
Alexandra Cruickshank (Denver, CO 2002)
Jean Stein (Mt. Vernon, WA 2005, Saratoga Springs, NY 2006, Orange, CA 2007, Denver, CO 2008, Nashville, TN 2009, Traverse City, MI 2010, Spokane, WA 2011)
Kristen Williams (Orange, CA 2007, Scottsdale, AZ 2013)
Arbie Karasek (Traverse City, MI 2010, Spokane, WA 2011, Hunt Valley, MD 2012)
Annika Strolle (Spokane, WA 2011, Sugarland, TX 2014)
Jamie Earls (Scottsdale, AZ 2013, Sugarland, TX 2014)