Dancer earns spot at world Irish dancing championships
PUBLISHED: 18:52 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:03 26 February 2020
A young dancer is drilling her steps as she prepares for the Irish dancing world championships.
Abi Bunn, from North Walsham, has been a member of the O'Connor & Hennigan Irish Dance Academy since it opened in Norwich in 2015, and is the first from the school to reach the finals.
To qualify, for the event in Dublin in April Abi had to dance her way through the regional competition in Coventry.
The 20-year-old remembers watching Riverdance as a child and said she has been "hooked ever since".
Abi said: "I am so excited but a little nervous for the World Championships in Dublin as its going to be the biggest and toughest competition I've ever competed in. I never thought I would get to this level let alone qualify for the worlds.
"I just hope to dance my best and have two clean rounds with no mistakes.
"I would love to qualify for the second day but it will be a tough competition, just qualifying for the worlds is a dream come true for me.
"To be the first dancer from our Norwich class to dance at the Worlds feels amazing."
Abi is taught by former four-time world chapion Mandy Hennigan who travels from Essex to Norwich to hold weekly classes and said she could not have done it without her.
The academy also has branches in Essex, Herfordshire and Berkshire and is the only CLRG - the world body for competitive Irish dancing - registered school in Norfolk.
Abi added: "With only one dance class a week I have to make sure I practice, drill my steps and workout every day. We also try to travel once or twice a week to extra classes in Hertfordshire.
"I would absolutely love to see more people Irish dance. The dance school actually runs an adult ceilidh class which is perfect for beginners to get a taste of Irish dance. It's really fun and is a great form of exercise. It would be great to see more people in Norfolk taking it up.
"The best thing about Irish dance for me are the lifelong friends you make both in class and from all over the country. And the music."
If you would like to take up Irish dancing classes are held in Norwich on Sundays at Cadge Road Community Centre. There is also a beginners class at North Walsham Community Centre on a Monday.
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