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Two dancers to compete in championship
Kristina McCabe, a junior at Pinecrest, will be competing in the 2011 Irish Dance World Championships in Dublin, Ireland, in late April. - photo by Autumn McBride

Two Forsyth County girls will soon jig their way to the Emerald Isle.

Kristina McCabe, a junior at Pinecrest Academy, and Caiti Griffiths, an eighth-grader at South Forsyth Middle School, have earned the right to compete in the 2011 Irish Dance World Championships.

Both girls take lessons at the Karl Drake Dance School of Irish Dance in Norcross. About 20 girls from the school qualified for the world championship event, which is set for late April in Dublin, Ireland, after competing at local and regional levels.

For McCabe, this will be her fourth time competing at the highest level of Irish dance.

She also made it to worlds last year and in 2007 and 2008.

McCabe said she has scored in the top 100 of about 180 dancers every year.

“I hope this time around will be better,” McCabe said. “It’s very exciting to have the chance to go back to worlds.”

For Griffiths, this will be her first time competing at the top level, said her mother, Brooke Griffiths.

“I think she was amazingly excited when she qualified,” said Griffiths, noting that her daughter scored much higher in regional qualifying events this year than last.

“It was kind of hard to believe she placed so much higher. She took a huge leap.”

Traveling to Dublin will be especially meaningful for the family, which recently relocated to Forsyth from Louisville, Ky.

Caiti’s father, Dave, emigrated from Dublin to the U.S. in 1990.

Brooke Griffiths said the family will be in Dublin for 10 days.

“We’ll have lots of time to spend with family. The kids haven’t been to see their grandparents there in two and a half years,” she said.

Similarly, the McCabes will spend about 13 days in Ireland, also visiting family.

“We have cousins and second cousins on both my side and my husband’s side of the family,” said Joanie McCabe, Kristina’s mother.

“It’s great to get to go back home this year.”

Since the event was held in Scotland last year, Joanie McCabe said, they didn’t have a chance to visit family.

Kristina McCabe will also visit Pinecrest’s sister school in Ireland while she’s there.

“That’s a big honor,” said her mother. “Not many people get to see that.”

The world championships will run April 16-23.

A fundraising event will be held March 27 for all Karl Drake students attending worlds.

The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, featuring performances by about 100 of the dance school’s students, Joanie McCabe said.