2 Trinity Irish Dancers following in their mom’s footsteps

ELMHURST — Mother’s Day is fast and there’s a story in Elmhurst that celebrates two women and the legacy of teamwork they’ve passed down to their girls.

A few weeks ago, Chicago’s beloved Trinity Irish Dancers took home their 14th gold medal at the world championships in Scotland.

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“Just like the most incredible moment ever,” Izzy Donohue said. “We were so excited and thrilled we had done it.”

“We were all screaming and jumping, so excited cause we knew all the work we had put in was totally worth it,” Sophie Vrbancic said.

Standing next to them were their mothers, who knew exactly what they were feeling because they won the worlds together, as weel, with essentially the same dance.

“We’ve tweaked it and changed it,” Deirdre Vrbancic, Province Programme Manager, said. “The music is the same. Hard to top that.”

Michelle Donohue well remembers the moment it all started for her.

“From the start I loved it,” Michelle said. “I was like ‘Oh this is what my legs were meant to do.'”

For Deirdre, whose mam was from mayo, like the rest of Chicago, jigs and reels were just part and parcel of life.

“I’m the youngest of five, Irish family. That the way it was,” Deirdre said. “Every spring I’d go to Ireland with my mom. We had this Irish dancing thing to bond us together and got to travel with it.”

It wasn’t long before the pair were teammates.

“Deirdre and I met at 10 and 11,” Michaela said. “We met on a team. We’re teammates all the way through our career.”

And heading to the big stage in Ireland in 1998.

“It came down to the last score,” Deirdre said. “That came out 100 and we just, I don’t even frickn remember, a relief, excited and kinda a dream come true.”

Both are now coaches and got their girls into Gillies at a young age. Their daughters soon setting their sights on following in their footsteps.

“This has been my goal since I was very young,” Izzy said. “My mom always told me stories of her world’s team when she was young.”

“When I hit 10, it hit me,” Sophia said. “I need to put in the work, work harder in class.”

And they did, putting 100 hours worth of work into their four-minute Glasgow routine.

“Got to take some long peeps at her and just be so, so proud of her,” Michaela said.

As the music ended, the mams began to wonder.

“When I watched them on the stage, I was like they just won, but I never said that out loud,” Deirdre said.

Dreams quickly became a reality.

“The first three scores popped up and we knew it was ours, they started screaming,” Michaela said. “I looked up, Izzy was a row above, I looked up and I’m like ‘You just won the worlds!'”

A legacy, 26 years in the making.

“Even now, it’s goosebumps to be able to that with your child,” Michaela said.

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