Before starting the business in 2013, Mrs. Zagorski danced professionally with Michael Flatley in “Lord of the Dance” and “Feet of Flames” in North America for about three years.
“It was amazing,” watching Garet win, Mrs. Zagorski said. “I cried. I was happy. He works so hard. He has class three times a week and he practices outside of that, pretty much every day.”
For the under 7 group, “everybody born in 2010 competes against each other,” Mrs. Zagorski explained. “It was an exciting event for him, because it’s boys against girls. It was very hard because the girls at this age are a little more mature as a dancer. Girls tend to be more flexible and jump higher at this age.”
Garet started Irish dancing at 15 months of age.
“He was very keen,” Mrs. Zagorski said. “He stood in the correct position. He really watched everything and tried to mimic it.”
Last year, Garet competed at the All Scotland championships and finished fourth in his age category. He said it made him feel “happy” to win this year.
Select countries around the world have annual Irish dance championships.
“When the countries host a championship, anyone is invited,” Mrs. Zagorski said. “It doesn’t require qualifying to get there.”
Garet plans to compete again in the North American and Great Britain championships and one day hopes to win the World Championships, the most prestigious competition.
Eleven dancers from the Southern Academy of Irish Dance attended the Scotland competition this year.
“It’s good for exposure as the kids progress in competition to go oversees and have the exposure over there,” Mrs. Zagorski said.
The academy has three certified teachers and holds classes in Dulles, Purcellville, Warrenton and Winchester.
Students from the Southern Academy of Irish Dance will perform around Northern Virginia on St. Patrick’s Day.
They will dance at Molly’s Irish Pub in Warrenton from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 17.