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TSA student preparing to perform in the World Irish Dancing Competition

Rylei Young has qualified for the world championship every year since she was 10 years old.

TOLEDO, Ohio — One local student is heading to the World Irish Dancing Competition and it isn't her first time. 

It is, however, her first time competing in Ireland. 

"So I started dancing when I was 6 years old," said Rylei Young. "I practice like 6 times a week for an hour and a half to two and a half hours each time."

Now a freshman at the Toledo School for the Arts and five-time world qualifier, 15-year-old Rylei Young will soon be dancing on stage in Ireland.

The worldwide competition has been held in different locations across the globe, but this year, the stage is set for Belfast.

It's something that's been a dream of hers ever since she started competing. 

She said she's had to learn time management to make this happen; working long days to get homework and practice in.

Her mom has been cheering her on every step of the way.

"So the perseverance that she shows through the disappointment, as well as the success to continue to grow and do better has just been amazing to watch as parents," Rylei's mother, Jessica Young, said.

Jessica said the entire community has embraced Rylei and her big dreams, from her friends and family to her teachers at both TSA and the Irish dance academy, all the way to strangers.

"Just the community in general. When people post about her and they show up to the fundraising events and things like that," Jessica said. "The Toledo Irish American Club has been amazing and including her in events and trying to help raise money."

While the nerves are still there for Rylei during competitions, Irish dancing is her second language.

"Usually the build-up to it is the worst part and the morning of is super duper scary. But then once you walk out on stage and you actually start dancing, everything just kind of comes natural," Rylei said. "It's not that nerve-wracking anymore."

As for young dancers who have the same dreams as Rylei, she has some advice:

"Don't compare yourself to other people because that can be the biggest discouragement," Rylei said. "You improve at your own pace and that's totally okay."

Rylei will be on the big stage in Belfast, Ireland on April 11-12.



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