Drew Lovejoy proves that you don’t need to be Irish to excel at Irish dancing. Lovejoy, a 17-year-old American biracial Jew, recently won his third consecutive All Irish Dance Championship, the oldest competition in the Irish dance world. He was also the 2010 Irish dance world champion in his age group.
Growing up the only Jewish youngster in Greenville, Ohio, Lovejoy had an unconventional childhood. A profile of Lovejoy in The New York Times published in March brought him a lot of attention, but he said that the piece misrepresented what it’s like to be a Jew, and particularly a Jew of color, in the Irish dance world. He set the record straight and shared more about himself in a recent phone conversation with The Arty Semite.
Renee Ghert-Zand: Can you tell us about your family and your Jewish identity?