Birmingham dancers scoop Gold in Glasgow

Alliyah O'Hare, Callum O'Neill, Ciaran Coyle. John Whitehurst and Nadine Martin

Alliyah O’Hare, Callum O’Neill, Ciaran Coyle. John Whitehurst and Nadine Martin

By Leanne Nelson

No less than six local Irish dancers and a Ceili Team came home with first prizes in the hugely acclaimed All Scotland Championships; the first major Championship of 2014.

The event, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year saw thousands of competitors from all over the world compete vying for the title of All Scotland Champion. With the World Championships being held in London next month, the All Scotland’s received unprecedented entries and the calibre was as high as ever.

Day one kicked off with the first win for the Midlands with 11- year- old Callum O’Neill from the Kenny Academy, followed quickly by Ciaran Coyle from the Scanlon School who won the Under 13 age category.

Carey Academy also took double success with John Whitehurst and Mitchell Hodges winning their respective titles, whilst Nadine Martin of the Doherty Academy was crowned All Scotland Senior Ladies Champion on Saturday evening.

22- year- old Nadine told The Harp, “I was beyond thrilled to win, the standard of my competition was fantastic and I felt truly honoured”.

Scanlon dancer, 10- year-old Alliyah O’Hare from Dorridge was the youngest winner from the Midlands, she took first place in the Under 11 Championship, which was celebrated amongst her junior class mates who won the All Scotland Junior Ceili Team the day before.

Dancing teacher Patricia Scanlon said, “We are absolutely thrilled with our three wins at the All Scotland’s. We all work so hard – it makes it all so worthwhile when it pays dividends!

“Equally we were delighted and proud of each and every one of all our dancers who competed, they are a credit to themselves and to the Scanlon School of Irish Dancing.”

The tradition of Irish dance remains at the heart of the Irish community in Birmingham and is going from strength to strength. The city of London plays host to the World Championships next month, and the Midlands as a region will hugely represented with solo and team competitors, all of whom are putting in the extra practice with the hope of realising their dreams.