BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Hannah Probst, a junior at Governor Livingston High School, has qualified for The Worlds, the most prestigious competition in Irish dancing in the world. She qualified over the Thanksgiving weekend. Oireachtas Rince Na Cruinne, or "The World Championships" has a long history, it first took place 45 years ago in Dublin at Coláiste Mhuire, a school in Parnell Square.
Probst was in the top 50-percent ahead of the qualifying round and was among only 17 World qualifiers in her age group. This was her first time to qualify for The Worlds, “Qualifying was the last of my dancing goals to complete, so it was wonderful and relieving that all my work has paid off,” said Probst.
Probst has a heavy practice schedule ahead of this Worlds. She dances three to five times a week with her teachers Marie Moore-Cunniffe and Frank Cunniffe. She credits them as one of the reasons she has been able to reach her goals. “Without their hard work and belief, I would never have gotten to where I am,” said Probst.
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Probst began dancing at the age of four when she took her first class at the Berkeley Heights Recreation Center. In the spirit of coming full circle, she taught this same class for the Recreation Center last spring.
When asked if she plans on pursuing Irish Dancing in college Probst said,” I would love to continue to dance in college whether I go to a school close enough that I can still attend classes at my studio or a college with an Irish Dance team.” Probst will be joined by another Berkeley Heights student, Allison Salvetti, at the Worlds Competition in Glasgow Scotland in March of 2016.