Whiz Kid: Tatijianna (Tati) Klinkenbergh
School: 6th grade at
Accomplishment: Tati is a Championship Level Competitive Irish Step Dancer with the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance. Tati started Irish Step dancing when she was five and has competed as a soloist and on a figure team in Feiseanna (Irish dance competitions) around the United States.
In December, Tati placed 20th as a soloist in the Girls U11 category at the Oireachtas Southern Regional Championships, qualifying her to compete as a soloist at the North American Championships in Nashville, Tennessee in July 2011. At Nashville, it is Tati’s goal to qualify to compete at the 2012 World Irish Step Dancing Championships in Belfast, Ireland. In addition, Tati’s four-hand Ceili Team took 1st placed in the under 12 mixed team’s category at the Oireachtas. Her team mates are 12-year-old brother Nick Klinkenbergh, 11-year-old Austin Brown and 11-year-old Maddie Anastopoulous. Tati says that the key to her team’s success is “they know each other very well and can anticipate each other’s moves”; they have been dancing together for two years.
Key to awesomeness: Tati practices her dance steps daily, attends two hour classes twice a week and a one hour private lesson weekly for solos, and also has a 90 minute class weekly for her figures team. To stay in shape, Tati also plays on a soccer and lacrosse team. Although she has a busy schedule, Tati has performed with the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance at various venues in and around Washington, D.C. including the Irish Embassy, the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center and the Theater in the Woods at Wolf Trap.
A key to Tati’s success is her perseverance and determination. It is this same attitude that has helped Tati to overcome her learning disability and excel in her coursework at the Siena School.
Tati’s goal is be a “World Champion” one day.