Fiona Meyer, a Falmouth fifth grader, has qualified for North American Irish Dance Championships next year in Nashville.

Fiona Meyer, 11, of Falmouth, recently qualified for a national Irish dance competition. Contributed / Jenny Meyer

At the New England Oireachtas last month Fiona placed in the top 14 of her age group. She also qualified to move from the preliminary level to the open champion level, the highest level achieved in Irish dance.

This is the second year in a row that Meyer, who just turned 11, has represented Maine at the New England Oireachtas. “Oireachtas” means championship in the Irish language.

“She works really hard, all the dancers do,” her mother, Jenny Meyer said. “They put in hours upon hours – before Regionals, they were dancing over 15 hours a week.”

Fiona began dancing at age 5 after seeing an Irish dancer perform at her preschool on St. Patrick’s Day. She was immediately intrigued, her mother said.

“It’s a really athletic form of dance, and she loves the jumping aspect involved and all the fun that goes into creating the routines,” Meyer said. “It really interested her from the get-go.”


After moving to Maine a little over a year ago, Fiona began dancing with the Stillson School of Irish Dance in Portland. School owner and teacher Carlene Stillson credits Fiona’s dedication for her advancement at such a young age.

“I like to say that a flower blossoms in its own time, and literally every day working with Fiona, she’s like a sieve,” Stillson said. “She loves the dancing, she loves the challenge, and she works really hard.”

After the North American Nationals, Fiona’s goal is to qualify for the World Championships. Stillson said Fiona is “not far off” from meeting that goal.

No matter the outcome of a competition, Fiona takes pride in the fact that she’s a great teammate, both in dance and in lacrosse and soccer as well.

“She’s always happy when her teammates have successes, and I think that kind of camaraderie is key,” Meyer said.

“It’s incredible, I’m really proud of her,” she said.

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