Kay Luling Senglaub ’16 coming back strongly in national Irish dance competitions

After strong finishes in 2021 Irish dance competitions, Kay Luling Senglaub ’16 of Waukesha, Wisconsin, is looking forward to competing in the Mid-America Oireachtas in Indianapolis, Indiana, in November.

Last year, she finished 11th overall in the United States National Irish Dance Championships in Phoenix, Arizona. Each of the roughly 80 adult contestants performed a solo Irish dance for a panel of judges, who scored the dances based on timing, footwork, appearance and consistency.

“This was my first time being back on the competition stage in nine years and it was incredible,” Senglaub says, adding that she had to take a hiatus from Irish dance in choosing to attend Ripon College, where she studied history and religion and competed on the Equestrian team.

Senglaub returned to her passion for Irish dance shortly after graduating from the College, joining the Milwaukee Irish Dance Company in 2017. At the company, she serves as a mentor for new and prospective dancers, welcoming them and introducing them to the company’s practices and choreography. She also represented the company when she competed at the National Championships and other competitions following it.

Following the National Championships, Senglaub competed in the 2021 Mid-America Oireachtas in Illinois, taking third place out of 23 adults from the Midwest region. She then competed at the North American Irish Dance Championships and took 15th place out of about 100 contestants from the United States and Mexico.

“What I love about Irish dance is that it is versatile in its performance,” Senglaub says. “It’s a dance that can be exciting with fast-moving feet, but it can also be utilized to tell a story.”

Amanda Barlow ’23
Appleton, Wisconsin


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