Six dancers from the Glendarragh Irish Dance Academy in Nottingham will be travelling to Glasgow next week for the World Irish Dancing Championships. The competition invites thousands from across the globe for eight days of competition.

From March 20th the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), The Irish Dancing commission, will take over the Glasgow Royal Concert hall for the 46th annual competition. The event, which is known as the Olympics of Irish Dancing, is expecting to welcome an estimated 25,000 dancers, their families, judges and teachers into Glasgow.

Five girls and one boy from the Glendarragh School have been practising for days, months and years to show off their skills in some vital performances.

Six World Championship dancers practising with teacher, Ciara.

“I’ll be dancing a reel which is a lively dance, my hornpipe which is more of a heavy type and my set dance, if I recall, which is more to show off what you can do,” Olivia Day, 11, of Nottingham explained.

Joseph Howarth, the only boy from the school heading to the competition, is no stranger to the World Championships. In 2014, Joseph travelled to Montreal where he was placed 5th and last year in London he was placed 4th. This year Joseph hopes to top those previous positions.

“I want to go for the top three but I could have a push for the 1st place,” Joseph said.

joseph howarth
Joseph at London Worlds 2015

Dancers as young as 10 who qualify to compete at the World, must dance two dances (one soft shoe and one hard shoe). Each dance is given a mark by the judges and two thirds of dancers with the lowest marks are eliminated. Those who have impressed the judges enough get the chance to complete a third and final round which is known as their set dance. Performed in a heavy shoe, the dance is designed to show the judges the best of what they can do.

However, to be able to dance on that well-known World stage, you have 3 chances to qualify.

Joseph Howarth explaining how to qualify for the World.

But competing at the World isn’t all down to the dancer. The Glendarragh Academy is a family run school with a father, mother and daughter being the main teachers. The Comerford family have been attending the World Championships for many years and know what it takes to become a World Champion.

Ciara Comerford, dance teacher, discussing what she believes it takes to be a World Champion.

You can also sign up to watch the event live, via streaming on YouTube.

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