LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some of Louisville's finest Irish dancers are headed to the Nationals and the World Championships of Irish Dance. 

The McClanahan School of Irish Dance is sending 19 dancers to the North American Irish Dance Championships and five qualified for the 2018 World Irish Dancing Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Step inside the McClanahan School of Irish Dance and it's not hard to hear and see the students dedication. The dancers are serious about the sport and it's carried them all the way to the top.

"It's basically the Olympics of Irish dancing," said teacher and owner Heather Ackerman.

It's a prestigious competition for only the most elite Irish steppers. "We're so excited because we all have grown as a team and the fact that we just get to go compete as a team again is very exciting," said dancer Rachel Schofield.

McClanahan's finest have spent months, even years perfecting their technique. "I practice every day for two hours," said dancer Darby Sheldon.

Most juggle school work and studio time and it's finally paying off for these high-achieving hoofers. "It's a big honor and achievement because I've been dancing for 14 years, so it took a lot of practice to get to this point," said Megan O'Keefe.

O'Keefe is making a return trip to the world championship competition. "It's just fun to be around everyone else who has such a high level of achievement," said O'Keefe.

To help students and their families manage the cost of competition, the school is hosting a Winter Ceili. The fundraiser will feature dancing, live music and a silent auction. The event will be held February 23 at 6 p.m. at Mellwood Arts Center.

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