I was a Rince na Tiarna dancer growing up. Once I got to high school, I started helping out with the beginner classes--showing the kids how to point, skip in circles count the music, etc. Fiona was one of the little ones in the beginner group. She and her sister progressed so quickly. The kids just have natural talent and they legitimately love practicing. They have a blast in class.
So I made sure to be in the Verizon auditorium to see Fiona dance. When I ran into her the day before, I'd told her that I'd make it a point to cheer on RNT. I missed her hard shoe round, but caught her just as she was beginning the slip jig. I was totally in awe of her skills and charisma on stage. Those leaps looked effortless.
But she took a sudden spill and crashed to the floor, immediately clutching her ankle. I saw Mary Kay (Rince na Tiarna TCRG, ADCRG) a little bit later, and she told me that Fi was hurt pretty badly (Achilles tendon, I think?) and that she didn't want her to risk injuring herself more by dancing if she recalled. Fi recalled, but ended up having to withdraw from the set round.
I wish I could have seen her win the title (again). She's one of those kids that is truly inspirational, and I think she's the perfect example of an Irish dancer. She loves dancing. She's the sweetest kid around. She supports and encourages the dancers around her and is extremely modest.