by Linda Frabl

Rancho Peñasquitos resident Ryan Sibbald, a 17-year-old senior at Westview, performs best when he’s following a precise regimented discipline – whether it’s as a petty officer through the Naval Junior ROTC, or as a foot-stomping master of Irish dancing competitions. This devoted dedication allows him to accomplish anything he sets out to do.

As the stepson to a father in the Navy, Ryan is no stranger to an efficient military lifestyle. He even insisted, “My favorite class is ROTC. My main focus in the unit is doing community service events and helping out in any way I can.” His stepdad’s career resulted in a temporary three-year family relocation to Oregon, but Ryan is happy to have returned just before starting middle school. He stated, “I intend to stay in Rancho Peñasquitos as long as I possibly can!”

One reason Ryan is glad to be back is because of the

Rose-Ritchie Academy of Irish Dance. Ryan admitted, “My only hobby is Irish dancing, and the Academy is my favorite and only local hangout. I’m in class almost every day of the week and I am usually competing one weekend a month.”

Studying Irish dance since he was four years old, Ryan got hooked after attending an Irish dance competition with his mom as a young boy. Ryan recalled, “My mom went looking for me and found me in a room watching a girls team competition. She asked me why I wandered off and I told her, ‘I wanted to watch the pretty girls with the curly hair dance.’” The following week Ryan’s mom astutely enrolled him in his first Irish dance class.

His success at Irish dance competitions (also known as “feis”) allowed him to attend the recent Irish Dance Nationals in Chicago, where he qualified for the World Championships. Ryan raved, “Chicago was amazing! But that day had to be the most stressful day of my life so far; the stage was enormous!”

Ryan can obviously handle the stress, and his future goal is to become either a police officer or a California highway patrolman – both high-stress jobs! But for now, Irish dancing remains Ryan’s passion. He mentioned, “When I’m not dancing, I like to hang out at Subway or Round Table.” Naturally – he needs to refuel after all that footwork action!

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Name: Ryan Christopher Sibbald
Age: 17
School: Westview High School
Grade: Senior
Parents: Gary and Melissa Bissonette
Siblings’: Mikey (5) Dani (8) James (20)

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