Glasgow gets £14m Irish dancing boost

Glasgow gets £14m Irish dancing boost
Photo by Grant Parfrey

More than 5,000 Irish dancers between eight and adult from more than 20 countries took part in the 2016 World Irish Dancing Championships in Glasgow

By John Egan

The competitors travelled from across the globe to take part in the 46th annual championships, the fourth time Glasgow has hosted the event since 2002. Competitors participated in different categories including solo, ceili, figure-choreography and dance drama.

Glasgow gets £14m Irish dancing boost
Dance dramas are a popular part of the championships. Photo by Grant Parfrey

Every year this prestigious event attracts elite dancers from every corner of the globe who come to battle it out to become World Champions.

Glasgow gets £14m Irish dancing boost
Nicole Marmion thought Sauchiehall Street was as good a place as any to practice. Photo by Grant Parfrey

Glasgow was the first city to stage the World Irish Dancing Championships outside Ireland in 2002 before hosting it again in 2007 and 2010.

“The Worlds” is returning for a fourth time in 2016 after the city fought off stiff competition from Montreal, Washington DC, London, Belfast, Dublin and Killarney.

Glasgow will host the coveted Championships again in 2018. Dancers, aged 8 to 30, travelled to Glasgow for the event from more than 20 countries worldwide, including Ireland, England, France, Russia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Canada and the USA.

Glasgow gets £14m Irish dancing boost
Lauren Finglas of the Carson-Kennedy Academy in Ulster, is pleased with winning the U16 girls championships.Photo by Grant Parfrey

A further 20,000 spectators, comprising friends, family, teachers and supporters, also made the journey. In all, the competition is estimated to have given the city’s economy a £14 million shot in the arm.

Watch the championship video here:

Worlds 2016 highlight video 3To say it’s been an amazing week in Glasgow is an understatement! Here’s another highlight video from our LiveComm friends at Wishing you all a safe journey back home as we conclude our 46ú Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2016!

Posted by CLRG Irish Dancing Commission on Sunday, 27 March 2016

Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “The fact that the organisers have chosen Glasgow for a fourth time is a strong vote of confidence in the efforts the city has made to make past events such a tremendous success. Moreover, it is fantastic news that the Championships will return to Glasgow, for a fifth time, in 2018. The World Irish Dancing Championships will be a great showcase of global dancing talent and we wish the best of luck to all competitors taking part.”

Glasgow gets £14m Irish dancing boost
Melanie Valdes (Doherty Petri Academy), won the U18 ladies championship; Rohan Bole (Caroline Greene School) came second; Ciara Loughran (Doherty Petri Academy) came third; Robyn Connolly (Elaine Kavanagh School) came fourth Kate Babcock (Murray Academy) came fifth. Photo by Grant Parfrey

James McCutcheon, company secretary of competition organiser Irish dancing regulator An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha, said: “Competitors, coaches and supporters just love coming back to Scotland as they know that they will receive the warmest of welcomes and build the happiest of memories. Dancers love performing on a truly worldclass stage in the heart of one of the world’s most vibrant and friendly cities.”

To celebrate Easter 1916, the children who died in the Rising were commemorated by a special dedication in the championships programme. A practise that the organisation instituted in recent years is to honour people for their contribution to Irish dancing.

Glasgow gets £14m Irish dancing boost
Alliyah O’Hare, Scanlon School, is over the moon at winning the girls U13 championship. Photo by Grant Parfrey

The honorees for this year’s event were James and Kathleen McLaughlin who recently celebrated 50 years of teaching Irish dancing.

Both have been at the forefront of Irish dance in Scotland for many years and were recognised for their contribution to the art form. They achieved much success over this time with multiple Regional, National and World Championship titles in solo and team categories.

Gradam awards were also presented to seven others in recognition of their contribution to the Art of Irish Dance in Scotland over the years.

Towards the end of the event a graduation ceremony took place in the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to honour new graduates who had achieved dance teacher and adjudicator status in the previous year.

If the number of new graduates can be regarded as a barometer of the art form then the future is looking rosy for Irish dancing worldwide.

Photos: Grant Parfrey

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