2008 Senior Men's World Irish Dance Champion, Owen Barrington, is one of the most sought after Irish dance performers in the world today. He was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and achieved a milestone in 2008 by winning both the All Ireland and the World Championship in competitive Irish step dancing. It was in Alaska that Owen began Irish dancing in 1997 with the Irish Dance Academy of Alaska at the relatively late age of 12.
Owen is no stranger to CeltFest Vancouver Island, having attended as student in his mid-teens, to study with CeltFest Irish Dance Faculty head Rose Fearon. He remembers feeling somewhat humbled when as a young man he was paired up in a CeltFest Gala concert performance to be co-lead with then-world Irish dancing World Champion Kathy Irvine, who was also teaching at CeltFest. The number left its mark on all in the audience, who rose to a standing ovation. In 2000 he quickly advanced through the competitive dance levels, guided by his new dance instructor, the world-renowned teacher and choreographer, Tony Comerford.
In 2004, Owen was honored by the State of Alaska with the Spirit of Youth Award for his outstanding achievements in the fine arts, including Irish dancing, competitive Highland bagpiping, and community service. After graduating from high school, he moved to Tacoma, Washington to begin college and continue his competitive dancing career. After completing his first year of college, Owen joined the world famous touring show, Riverdance, and enjoyed two full tours across North America as a troupe dancer and drummer. Feeling that he had not yet accomplished all of his goals in competitive dancing, Owen left Riverdance, and after years of training, the success he sought came in 2008. Owen has now retired from a very successful competitive dancing career, achieving the prestigious titles of two-time Western U.S. Regional champion, two-time North American champion, 2008 Senior Men's All Ireland champion, and 2008 Senior Men's World Irish dance champion.
Owen has since completed a degree in Business Administration from the Milgard School of Business at the University of Washington and received his TCRG to teach competitive Irish dancing from An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelaca. Recently, he has been starring as lead dancer in both "Michael Londra’s Beyond Celtic”, which was aired recently as a PBS special, and “Celtic Fire”. Owen dreams of one day opening his own Irish dance school so he can pass on the joy, passion, discipline, tradition, and life enriching experiences that Irish dancing has given him. He now resides in Southern California.