Alexandra and Courtney Hast­ings have put their hearts—and soft shoes—on the line many times after more than a decade of Irish dance training. Thanks to their hard work, they can now call them­selves world champs.

The sis­ters, along their team of six other stu­dents from the Harney Academy, took home first-​​place honors at the 43rd World Irish Dancing Cham­pi­onships in March. Thou­sands of com­peti­tors from around the world gather every year for the cham­pi­onships, an eight-​​day-​​long com­pe­ti­tion that was held in Boston this year. Dancers need to place in the top of their regional and national com­pe­ti­tions before they get the oppor­tu­nity to face the World Cham­pi­onship judges.

Worlds is the top of the top,” said Courtney, a first-​​year busi­ness major with a con­cen­tra­tion in accounting. “Every Irish dancer in the world wants to win this competition.”

Despite this phys­i­cally inten­sive com­pe­ti­tion, the Hast­ings sis­ters aren’t packing away their shoes just yet. After the Boston Marathon bomb­ings, they joined forces with other local col­lege Irish dance groups to raise money for the Richard Family Fund, in memory of one of the vic­tims, 8-​​year-​​old Martin Richard. The show will be held at Han­cock Hall at the Back Bay Events Center this Sat­urday, April 27 at 7 p.m.

The Hast­ings come from a long line of North­eastern alumni; nine of their rel­a­tives proudly call North­eastern their alma mater. Alexandra and Courtney have paved their own way, becoming stand­outs in the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Dance Company’s Irish dance group.

As the oldest of the Hast­ings sis­ters, Alexandra was first to bring up the idea of Irish dancing to their mother. “I went to see River­dance when I was 5 years old and wanted to do it myself,” said the third-​​year nursing major. “At first my mom was against it, but even­tu­ally she gave in and put me in an Irish dance class. I’ve been dancing ever since.”

Courtney was quick to follow suit. After watching her sister prac­tice day after day, she started Irish dance at the age of 4. “Our dance school quickly became a family,” Courtney said. “Our coaches taught us every­thing in life, from how to give a hand­shake to class­room etiquette.”

Over the course of their dancing careers, both girls have com­peted in more than two dozen national and regional con­tests, including trav­eling to Ire­land, which is a pop­ular venue for inter­na­tional competition.

In high school, there were a few months where I was in Ire­land for 18 to 20 days,” Alexandra said. “It was a lot of time but it was all worth it.”

In addi­tion to their coaches, the Hast­ings sis­ters praised their grand­par­ents for being instru­mental to their dancing suc­cess. Their grand­par­ents helped finance their classes and com­pe­ti­tions, drove them back and forth to prac­tices, and even built a dance studio in the Hast­ings’ base­ment with floor-​​to-​​ceiling mir­rors so that Alexandra and Courtney could prac­tice at home.

At com­pe­ti­tions, the sis­ters could always count on seeing their grand­par­ents’ sup­portive faces in the crowd. Unfor­tu­nately, their grand­mother passed away before they won the World Championships.

It was our nana’s dream to see us win Worlds,” they said. “We did this for her.”