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Northern Vision Care Youth Athlete of the Month: McKinley Pomeroy

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northern Vision Care Youth Athlete of the Month for August is McKinley Pomeroy, who is finding success in Irish dance at 11 years old.

McKinley started dancing when she was four with the Watt School in Fort St. John, where her mother, Shaelan, was taught when she was a kid.

“I started when I was six and quit when I was 19,” said Shaelan Pomeroy.

“A good portion of my growing up was dedicated to Irish dance, and I was taught by Jo Watts.”

When McKinley turned four, Shaelan decided to see if her daughter enjoyed Irish dance, and it turned out she had a “knack for it.”

McKinley at the North American Irish Dance Championships earlier this year. (provided)

” I love Irish Dance because I get to meet lots of new friends that live in other places, and I get to experience new things,” said McKinley.

Over the past couple of years, McKinley has been able to travel to multiple places, including Belfast, Ireland and Montreal, because of dance.

For the Western Canadian Championship, McKinley placed second in the under eight category in 2019 before winning the under 11 championship in 2021.

This year, in the girls under 11 category, McKinley placed 43rd at the World Championships in Belfast and fifth at the North American Championships in Montreal.

“It’s pretty cool. She’s achieved far more than I ever did in my whole dance career at age 11,” said Shaelan.

“The competitions keep me motivated. I keep wanting to do better,” said McKinley, adding that Ireland has been her favourite place to visit so far.

McKinley’s mother is excited for her daughter to be able to travel and see the world at a young age.

McKinley has earned a spot to compete in both the 2023 World Championships in Montreal next spring, as well as the 2023 North American Championships in Nashville, Tennessee.

Shaelan says if McKinley wants to stay with Irish dance as she gets older, there are a lot of opportunities, such as scholarships through the North American Irish Dance Association.

There is also a chance for Irish dancers to make a living through travelling dance teams and teaching.

“If you ask any Irish dancer or anybody who’s been a competitor in this sport, I think we would all agree that it’s a huge commitment,” said Shaelan. “It’s one of these things that you either love or you don’t. There’s not a whole lot of room in between.”


McKinley is starting Grade 6 this fall at Charlie Lake Elementary. When she is not dancing or doing homework, McKinley loves playing volleyball and horseback riding.

Congratulations to McKinley Pomeroy for being named the Northern Vision Care Youth Athlete of the Month for August.

If your athlete didn’t win this month, keep nominating! The votes carry over, so keep submitting your picks for the Northern Vision Care Youth Athlete of the Month!

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