Twelve-year-old Thorold resident Adele Kushner has taken the world by storm with her Irish dancing skills.
Kushner is the 2021 Canadian national champion and in April she participated in the 2022 World Irish Dance Championships in Belfast, Ireland, where she came in 39th out of 140 contestants.
To celebrate her achievements, Kushner received a special recognition at City Hall Friday morning.
“I feel absolutely honoured,” Kushner says, in an interview with ThoroldToday.
Kushner was three years old when she fell in love with Irish dancing.
“I started it because my mom put me in a class and I fell in love with it,” she says. “I just really like dancing and meeting new people.”
At age five, Kushner started entering competitions.
“Irish dancing is a lot about competition,” says Kushner. “There isn’t really just Irish dance without competition so technically I grew into it. I really love the intensity of it and all the competitions are super fun.”
Kushner has recently gotten back from the 2022 North American Irish Dance Championships in Montreal where she placed second.
“It was amazing,” Kushner says. “The convention centre was beautiful, all the dancers there, it was phenomenal. It was an amazing experience.”
When it comes to her success, Kushner credits her work ethic.
“I’ve just been doing it for a long time and I practice and practice,” she says. “Classes are usually four or five times a week. We usually change our steps at least once a year, sometimes more than that, it depends. There’s a lot of practice put into it.”
Councillor Carmen DeRose, who is Kushner’s teacher at Monsignor Clancy Elementary, put together the special ceremony at City Hall. He delivered a heartfelt speech that also highlighted Kushner's academic achievements.
“She’s just a wonderful person, child, soon-to-be adult,” he said in his speech. “She’s got so much potential. She’s got a big heart.”
Mayor Terry Ugulini was on hand to present Kushner with a special certificate honouring her achievements for the City of Thorold.
“Out in the community there’s so many great thing happening,” Mayor Ugulini said. “It’s about sports, the arts, and culture. All of this makes a community and the fabric of the city. When we talk about the City of Thorold and the quality of life and why families want to move here, this is a great example of that.”
Kushner says she hopes to keep on Irish dancing forever and is dreaming of going even further.
“Every Irish dancer’s dream is to win the world [title],” she says. “That’s a really difficult achievement to make but if you work super hard there’s definitely a chance.”
Kushner’s next major competition is scheduled for October when she will be flying to Glasgow, Scotland for the All Scotlands Irish Dance Championships.