An Irish Tradition With an Only-in-America Star (NY Times)

March 17, 2012

Meet Drew Lovejoy, a 17-year-old from rural Ohio. His background could not be more American. His father is black and Baptist from Georgia and his mother is white and Jewish from Iowa. But his fame is international after winning the all-Ireland dancing championship in Dublin for a third straight year.

in 2010, when he became the first person of color to win the world championship for Irish dancing — the highest honor in that small and close-knit world — and a group of male dancers in their 70s, all of them Irish, offered their congratulations.

"You have two lives — the Irish dance world and the real world where you live every day,” Ms. Goldberg said. In the world of dance, “you found a place where you’re comfortable and people don’t look at you in a certain way.”

Erik says: Dance has an amazing way of transcending racial stereotypes, economics and nationalities. This story is exemplary of the power of music and dance to bond people of different backgrounds and make people more sympathetic to each other.

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