Season Interrupted: Izzy Taulli reflects on her own last Irish dance

Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Izzy Taulli

School: Palos Verdes Chadwick

Sport: Competitive Irish dancing

Key stats: Won the North American under-17 Irish dancing championship in 2019. Was set to defend title last month in Dublin until it was canceled.

Fall plans: Will attend UCLA

A look at the high school sport standouts whose seasons were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.


On the cancellation of the national championships:

“It was pretty disappointing, especially because everyone had been working really hard around the world, but obviously everyone’s health and safety is the No. 1 priority. We practice five days, six days, 15 hours a week. As a senior, I was trying to make that last go.”

What is competitive Irish dancing:

“Irish dancing was originally an Irish traditional art form and now the competitive dancing world is getting larger and larger. Everyone competes from around the world. You perform your dances and perform to the same music. There’s certain things the judges look for. There’s a certain technique that’s very important. It includes turned-out feet, pointed toes, rhythm, timing. I’ve been dancing for 13 years. I fell in love with dancing.”

On life without sports:

“We’ve been doing classes online but I’ve found myself a little bit more restless. I never considered the mental impact dancing has had on my well being. It’s been hard to sleep at night because I want to do something.”

On the lessons she’s learned:

“You should go after things you love to do. Anything can be taken away in an instant. I’m really happy I’ve been dancing my whole life. If anything, this quarantine has confirmed my passion for dancing.”

The UC San Diego-bound shot putter’s future is set to explode, but in a good way: ‘I want to be a volcanologist.’

What new things she’s discovered with her free time:

“I’ve been walking my dog. The dog is very happy.”

What she misses most:

“The studio. We’re working hard at home, but there’s something irreplaceable about the environment of the studio because we’re all pushing each other to improve.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at