MOVE aside Jean Butler – there’s a new Irish dancing star and talent taking the stage by storm.
Nine-year-old Aoife Higgins from Monea recently placed second at the All Scotland Irish Dancing Championship, finishing the popular and well attended event as the top dancer from Fermanagh.
Aoife’s mum, Lauren (McShea), said the talented dancer was ‘overcome with emotion’ at the conclusion of the event at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.
“She (Aoife) couldn’t believe it when she reached the top five, never mind the top two,” said proud mother Lauren.
“Aoife danced three rounds along with 34 others of the same age from Ireland, England, Scotland and the USA (United States of America).
“The school brought seven dancers to Scotland and they all danced beautifully in their competitions,” added the Monea mother of two.
From an early age, Aoife’s had a keen interest and passion for Irish dancing and she’s linked up with the Domican Academy of Irish Dance in Donegal to enhance her talents.
“She loves every second of it. She caught the Irish dancing bug very early on,” recalled Lauren.
“Everything we do has to work around her dancing schedule but it’s worth it when you see the joy and special friendships dancing brings.
“Her teachers Chris (Domican), Chantelle (Deazley) and Clodagh (Roper) are brilliant. They dedicate so much time to dancing and go over and above to help the kids achieve their goals.
“She attends a minimum of six hours of class per week and has to maintain her own practice and stretching when she is at home,” explained the Monea resident.
The future is certainly bright for the All Scotland Irish Dancing Championship runner-up and Aoife’s now turning her attention to some more upcoming competitions.
“Aoife will dance at the Great Britain’s in London on October 20 and will compete again at the Oireachtas Rince Uladh in November,” said Lauren.
“There’s then weeks of practice and the competition season will start again next year. She’s determined to qualify for a place at the World Championships in 2025.”
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