As a 5-year-old, Ellen Kuerbitz watched as her older sister practiced Irish dancing, enthralled by the art and hoping to emulate her skills. Little did Kuerbitz know, her passion for dance would sculpt her into a premier performer.
Soon, the Northeast Ohio native will display her talents by performing and competing against the best in the field at the World Irish Dancing Championship, held April 13-20 in London. This will be Kuerbitz’s third time competing at the world championships.
To fully prepare, Kuerbitz has been balancing practice with schoolwork, which is no easy task for the world-class dancer and biology major.
“It’s tough,” Kuerbitz said. “I practice at my dance school—Murphy’s Irish Arts—about eight hours a week on average. Before a major competition that number increases to 10 or more, depending on my schedule.”
Though she sometimes competes individually, she’ll be performing at the world championships with 15 other dancers in the group dance category. “I’m excited to perform and, hopefully, perform well,” she said.
This should be no problem for the seasoned dancer, who also has competed at the North American National Championships and Mid-American Regional Championships (where she won first place in the team dance competition).
In addition to England, Kuerbitz’s talents have taken her to competitions in Canada and Ireland, as well across the U.S., ranging from California to Florida.
However, those hoping to take in some world-class Irish dancing for St. Patrick’s Day don’t have to travel nearly that far, as Kuerbitz will perform at Severance Hall this weekend.
The Cleveland Pops St. Patrick’s Celebration will take place this Saturday, March 15, at 8 p.m. Purchase tickets online at clevelandpops.com/concerts.
Watch Kuerbitz perform this weekend, but first, read more about her in this week’s five questions.
1. Facebook or Twitter? I don’t have a Twitter account, so, I’ll go with Facebook by process of elimination.
2. What is your favorite building on campus and why? The Allen Memorial Medical Library is cool. Between the Dittrick Medical History Center and Museum and the archives, the library houses some interesting stuff.
3. What is your favorite vacation spot? Either the Outer Banks, N.C., or Lake Michigan. It depends on whether I want to be on the beach or in the woods.
4. What is one of your hidden talents? I can’t think of a hidden talent. I’ll have to wait until something reveals itself.
5. What is your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve? The weather (kidding). I like that it is fairly close to home, so I can be involved at school, but also stay involved with activities outside of CWRU, like dance.