Maria Jones Wins Second National Title

North American Champion Maria Jones and second place winner Shannon Kossmann at the CRN North American Irish Dance Championships. Courtesy photo


Braving snowstorms and icy temperatures, four Belisama dancers traveled to Newark, N.J. to compete at the 2014 CRN North American Irish Dance Championships over President’s Day weekend.

It was well worth the trip because 18-year-old Maria Jones came home as the North American Champion for the under-18 division. Competition age groups are determined by the dancer’s age on Sept. 1.

Maria Jones after winning the Craobh Grad reel, slip jig, single jig, and hornpipe competitions.Courtesy photo

The win is the second one for Jones, who was the under-15 national champion in 2010. She also distinguished herself by winning four of the five solo dances at the Craobh Grad level (level 5, the highest level in the CRN organization).

The other Belisama dancers also placed very well at the competition. Shannon Kossmann placed second in the under-16 championship, and Darcy Turin placed third in the Mean Grad (level 3) Award. Turin and Kate Schiliro also placed well in the level 2 and level 3 solo dances.

Belisama Dance, under the direction of Adrienne Bellis, holds classes in Santa Fe and Los Alamos. For more information, visit

Teacher Adrienne Bellis and Belisama dancer Darcy Turin. All dresses were made by  Los Alamos resident Carolyn Bossert. Courtesy photo