FGCU student wins a world championship in Irish dancing

Author: Zach Oliveri

The rhythm of Irish dancing captivated Meagan Urbanek. So much so, she decided to tape up her own shoes and give it a go, starting when she was five years old after a family trip to the Cape Coral Irish Festival.

“The dancers would go on the stage and I’d be just bouncing up and down,” Urbanek recalled. “I didn’t know what I was doing but I was like that’s so cool. Actually it was my grandparents who were like she has to get into classes now.”

Meagan started competing when she was nine, with her focus set on the World Irish Dancing Championships in Scotland. After securing her spot a year ago, the Florida Gulf Coast University senior worked on choregraphing and practicing a routine that she would take with her to worlds.

“I really just wanted it to be a well rounded piece showing a bunch a different skills in Irish dance,” Urbanek explained. “So trebles and toes and movement. And also incorporating some modern aspects to it. Like I included a karate kick in there at one point that wasn’t Irish dancing but it was cool.”

Meagan executed that routine perfectly, based on the crowd reaction.

Urbanek said, “just listening to all the people cheering loving the art that I just performed was so surreal. I didn’t want to leave the stage.”

The judges agreed, giving Meagan a perfect score. That helped Meagan become the female champion of freestyle dancing.

Urbanek recalled, “I think I was crying. I was also very excited and just if I could capture a moment in a picture and just keep that forever, it would be that moment.”

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