Watch Their Step
Some say Anna and Charlotte Sulger have the luck of the Irish. Others contend they’re reaping the rewards of their incredibly hard work and making the most of their dazzling talents. Either way, the Sulger sisters of Darien are worth watching as they quickly toe their way up to the top ranks of Irish step dancers.
Anna, 14, and Charlotte, 8, each won first place in the North American championships last summer and again at the New England regionals in November. These are two of the five major competitions for Irish step dancers, but the big event is the Worlds, where Anna will compete in the spring. The Sulger sisters have great trainers in the wings. They fine-tune their fast footwork at the Pender Keady Academy with founders Erin Pender-Levine of Darien and Kathleen Keady, who both performed in the Broadway cast of Riverdance.
Getting into “Worlds”-worthy form is no sashay through the park, though. Just ask Dana Sulger, who says her daughters practice three to five days a week, all year long. “It’s a big commitment, so they miss out on parties and school events, but they're willing to make the sacrifice. The work pays off and they really enjoy the dancing.”