The VERY FIRST YEAR
The first North American Irish Dance Championships was called "Oireachtaisi Rince", and no one on the planning committee of Mike Bergin, Jimmy Erwin and Anna O'Sullivan could have ever imagined the importance of that weekend event at the Tower View Ballroom in Woodside, New York, in November 1969.
Dancers from across North America gathered annually at this event, until 1976 when An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha mandated regional world-qualifying events. (FYI: Although not required until 1976, Eastern Canada started its own Oireachtas in 1974, which was founded by Brigid Grant, Paula Woodgate and Mary Bryan).
There was a five-year hiatus before chairperson Patsy McLoughlin got the itch to bring the regions back together again, and the NAIDC was officially born, starting at the Meadowland Hilton in New Jersey, and rotating among the five North American regions in the years to follow.
Credits: Sean Ogle, Laura Masters, Patsy & Chris McLoughlin, Anna O'Sullivan
The VERY FIRST SYLLABUS