Irish dancing turns 'inclusive' after male wins regional competition

Irish dancing turns 'inclusive' after male wins regional competition

Irish dancing turns 'inclusive' after male wins regional competition

The battle over welcoming or banning men in female-only competitions has now come to Irish dancing in red-state Texas.

After entering a regional competition to compete against female competitors, a teenage boy is heading to the Irish Dancing World Championship as a female dancer after bumping aside his competition, according to a Daily Signal story.

The boy competed in April in the boy’s World Championship, just eighth months ago, where he finished 11th in the world, the story said.  

The governing body for Irish step dancing is Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha, or CLRG, which dates back to 1927.

Mary Elizabeth Castle, with Texas Values, says the Irish dancing competition is another “outrageous example” of male competitors who have stolen trophies in women’s sports and even won coveted “Woman of the Year” titles.

“And now we see men even trying to enter into dance competitions as well,” she says. “It's only going to get worse before it gets better."

In a capitulation to the other side, the Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha failed to defend female dancers and said it is “committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for every child in our Irish dance community.”

Castle, Mary Elizabeth (Texas Values) Castle

Castle and Texas Values have worked with state lawmakers to protect female-only sports, especially in school-sanctioned events, so the conservative group is concerned this dance competition seems to have slipped by in red-state Texas.

“The fact that it happened in Texas, where we don't stand for men invading women's spaces, is alarming,” Castle tells AFN. “We'll do more investigation to see how we can help these girls who are in this competition."