By Bruce Amaro
---- — HAVERHILL — She brought home the gold — twice. Eleven-year-old Ainsely Corriveau, a fifth-grader at the Bradford Elementary School, who started dance lessons at age 3, turned into a winner in two categories in the World Tap Championships and returned to Haverhill with two gold medals.
Sponsored by the International Dance Organization (IDO) she danced at the event in Riesa, Germany, in early December. She traveled with her mother, Ellen Corriveau, with the other 73 dancers from Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios in North Andover to participate in the World Tap Championships weeklong competition.
At the competition, also called the Olympics of Tap Dance, dancers from 30 countries competed for gold, silver and bronze medals in six categories. The Chippendale Dance Studio dancers competed in 21 dances in three different age groups.
Corriveau won her gold medals in the children’s small group and children’s formation categories. The dancers performed solo, duo and trio dances choreographed by Nancy Chippendale and her three daughters, Karen, Kelli and Kristina Carberry.
Corrivueau explained that for her dancing, “feels like it’s fun. I can make more sounds with my feet and work harder with myself. It’s a way to show expressions with your feet.”
The dancing veteran goes through her day dancing, according to her mother Ellen.
“She’s always dancing. She dances as she gets around the house,” she said.
The dancers trained for the competition every Sunday at the Chippendale studios in North Andover where they went through their tap dance workouts. Corriveau had to audition for her slot on the team headed to the international competition this past summer.
It was a first for Corriveau, to perform in a competition away from home. It took some courage for her to take to the stage.
“I was nervous but when I got on that stage it was the best time of my life,” she said.
Corriveau said that she did not mind the travel and found it exciting. The dancers met with others their own age. Familiar with large competitions, this one was different in its broader international reach, Corriveau’s mother said.
“The dancers met with the other children and they traded something,” Corriveau said. The event sponsors encouraged dancers to bring something from their country to trade with dancers from other countries at the event.
“The main purpose of taking my dancers to Germany is to compete in the World Tap Championships, however dancing is only a small part of this trip,” said Chippenadle studio owner, Nancy Chippendale.
“Bringing home medals for the United States, five gold, three silver and two bronze, was an incredible accomplishment. But the cultural experience was an invaluable part of the trip,” Chippendale said.
Corriveau expects to continue her dance career and plans to stay with the Chippendale studio. An avid reader, she enjoys fantasies and made up stories. A student who does well at school, she thinks dance will remain a large part of her life.
“She’s always busy with something and has her ideas and projects but it always goes back to dance,” mother Ellen said.