Mason Shea O’Donnell: Competitive Irish Step Dancer

Mason Shea ODonnell: Competitive Irish Step Dancer

Mei Dotzler, Reporter

On November 21st & 22nd, Sahuaro’s very own Mason Shea humbly took home a silver medal after competing in Las Vegas in none other than Irish dancing.

The sophomore had originally been into ballet and tap, but it wasn’t until her mother gifted her Irish dance lessons for her birthday that she not only discovered the eccentric sport, but inevitably fell in love with it as well. “I’ve been doing dance for three years now since September, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Tapping into her Irish ancestry, Masie participates exclusively in Irish dance, which is very similar to River dance, however it requires little upper body movement and it’s more traditional competition-wise. “Being that it is mostly leg work, it’s very different from what you might see today in cultural dancing,” Masie says. After mastering the skill of sharp, quick foot movements, there is a plethora of Irish routines to perform, all utilizing customary Irish music that is heavy with the accordion and Celtic singing.

Due to COVID, the competition was conducted a bit differently this year: one person at a time on a respective side of the stage and wearing a mask while performing. Gracing the stage in a glittery and sequined skirt, Mason executed her dances perfectly. “I did my Reel and Twirly Jig routines against 13 other people. I won a 2nd place medal in soft shoes and 4th place in hard shoes (two distinct types of shoes that are used in their respective dances).”

Relishing in her success, Mason wants to continue her Irish dancing endeavors in the foreseeable future. “I plan of doing Irish dance for a long time because it’s amazing exercise and it’s so much fun!”