All the Right Steps at World Irish Dancing Championships

Dance champion Sixth Form student George Semple has been to the US to compete in the World Irish Dancing Championships.  The two-time World Champion tells us how he got on during the latest competition:

The 2019 World Irish Dancing Championships 2019 took place in Greensboro, North Carolina between 14-21 April.  The event takes place around the world so this year it meant a trip to the US to take part.

The first day was for the qualifying dances which involved two dances, both of which went well for me.  There were around 100 under 17 boys taking part but there were only 50 places available for recall to the next day.

On day two, you have to repeat the two qualifying dances you did on day one to gain another recall to round three. Out of the 50 competitors that got through, only 25 boys then get into the final round.  In the last round, you do your own dance piece so you get to choose the music and the choreography.  This is known as your set dance which you can use to showcase all your best steps and moves – a chance to show off!

Image by Turley Duggan Irish Dance
George Semple performing at a competition

I did my final set dance at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon but the results don’t come out until 10pm in the evening. It is such a tense time as you have no clue of your position or how you have done so long after competing!

The results are very nerve racking as you sit with all of your family and friends from your dance school.  The results are read out and displayed on a big screen in reverse order. The competition was very tough and anything in the top five is always a brilliant achievement.  People were saying it was the competition of the week because of how tough it was.

I’ve been dancing now for eight years and I’ve consecutively placed in the top five in the world every year, including two world championship titles.  This year I came 4th. The competition was very close as I was only 25 points behind third and the gap between second and third place was even closer.

Training leading up to the competition was very intense and it got to the point I was training seven days a week for the three weeks leading up to the competition.  I train at the Standard Triumph Club, in an old beer storage shed.

This year our dance school (Turley Duggan School of Dance) had three top ten dancers and managed to get eight dancers to travel and dance in America!

Thankfully, I am sponsored by Elite Physiotherapy so they managed to get me in for massages and acupuncture in my legs to allow me to do a high level or intense training.

George Semple

George is in Year 12 and is contemplating a career as a Sports teacher or coach or possibly in physiotherapy.


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