Two Dulwich Irish dancing girls earned first position and their first ever championship titles at the recent Finbar Conway Preliminary Championships in Luton, writes Kirsty Purnell.
Now, Florence Mitchell, twelve and Aisling O’Hara, fourteen – who both train at Dulwich’s Hopkins Academy – can progress to the next level of entering the World Championship qualifiers in June.
Ex-Riverdancer and teacher, Sarah Hopkins, said: “I’m ecstatic because I’ve seen them work for so hard for this. They both attend three to five lessons a week, as well as juggling their school work. To see them reap the rewards is just amazing.”
Aisling and Florence both outshone between 40 and 50 other competitors in their age groups to be crowned winners.
“We are very proud of her. She’s worth her weight in gold and more. We’re just overjoyed,” said Aisling’s mum, Lisa. “Their teachers Sarah and Tony are amazing. They work them hard.”
Florence’s mum Sarah Langford said: “It was amazing to watch her. She was very focused on what she was doing and just owned the stage.”
Preliminary Championships are the final stage, out of five, that an Irish dancer needs to win before they can become eligible to enter major, open championships.
Aisling and Florence will be going to Scotland in June to try their luck in the World qualifiers.