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Claddagh Academy triumphs at National Championships

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(From L to R): Conor Nealon, Hannah Drury, Louis Browne and Lucas Dean

A GROUP of dancers from the south east of England enjoyed great success at this year’s British National Championships held in Manchester. 

The Claddagh Academy in London and Essex took the championships by storm and left with a record breaking first and three seconds.

Louis Browne was the youngest competitor from the academy to compete. He battled to win the u8 boys competition, which is the youngest age group at any major Irish dancing event.

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Dance teacher Rachael Corr, who teaches alongside Pauline Shaw, Donna Couch and Dean Couch, said: “This was a fantastic achievement for someone so young and leaves his future dancing career looking very bright.”

Conor Nealon competed in the u9 boys championships and finished in second place. “Conor had previously been ranked third in Great Britain so to have finished in second place was an absolute dream,” teacher Rachael added.

Lucas Dean competed in the u14 boys and was also awarded second place.

Hannah Drury was the academy’s final competitor to be placed in the top two at the championships in the u16 girls competition. Hannah is currently ranked 15th in the world.

“It was not only a fantastic achievement for our dancers but for us as teachers and for our academy it is thrilling to know that we left the British Nationals as the top school to compete with the most top two places,” Rachael said.

The academy’s Caragh Dean, Mack Copsey and Olivia Allen also achieved top 10 places.

Teacher Rachael said: “Our dancers are currently preparing for the World Championships in London in 2014. This is the first time the event will be held in London so we want to be sure that the Claddagh Academy makes an impact similar to that at the British National Championships.

“We will be competing in both solo and team competitions throughout the eight day event and are proud that the championships are being held in our home town.”

The Claddagh Academy holds classes in Woodford, Chigwell, Wanstead and Greenwich.

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