Becky dances to victory

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A competitive 16-year-old has been named the Irish dancing under 18s world champion for the third time.

Becky Rham, from Furnace Green, entered into the Irish Dancing European and World Championships in Germany with Broadfield based Ace Academy of Irish Dance.

Fifteen girls from the academy took part in the four day competition which was held in front of an audience of 500 in a hotel in Dusseldorf at the beginning of April .

Becky, an Oriel High School student, has attended Irish Dance classes since she was four. She has taken part in around 150 competitions and won 300 dance trophies.

She explained what has kept her so driven.

She said: “I’m a very competitive person.

“I was only 13 when I won my first world champion title .

“Since then, the one year I didn’t win it I was training so hard to make sure I got it the next year.

“The pressure of trying to defend the title is definitely a contributing factor.”

The Ace Academy meets at the Broadfield Community Centre ever Tuesday for three hours and every Saturday, from midday until 5pm.

Becky added: “My friends at school ask me if I get annoyed that all my Saturdays are taken up by dance but it’s always been that way since I started - Saturdays are for Irish dancing.”

Around 500 dancers attended the championships from countries around Europe as well as China and America.

Winners must have strong rhythm, stamina and concentration.

Becky said: “It’s a solo competition but everyone is paired up with someone they don’t know. My mind is on what they are doing as well as what I am doing.

“You have to move around the stage as much as possible without getting in their way.

“You are judged with the other person but you have to fight for the lime light.”

Despite devoting nearly every Saturday of her life to perfecting her dancing, Becky plans to go into a different but equally competitive line of work.

She said: “I would love to have a career in food. I would like to be a pastry chef and I want to have my own business.

“Dancing is just a hobby that I take very seriously.”