This summer saw Lurgan children and their colleagues from local dance school Jennifer Marshall School of Dance, Richhill, represent Northern Ireland at the Dance World Cup in Germany.
School principal Jennifer was delighted to receive an invitation asking them to audition to be part of Team N.I. but said she never dreamt her pupils would qualify for such a huge dance event.
The students went up against over 4,200 competitors from across 47 different countries such as Hong Kong, Spain, Portugal, Italy, USA. They also faced the task of gathering much needed funds to help finance such a big trip.
Jennifer said: “We set out on a mission to raise as much money as possible from local businesses, schools, family and friends and we embarked on various fundraising events. A big thank you has to go to our sponsors as it wouldn’t have been possible without them: Copas Technologies, Thompson Fuels, Pinkertons of Armagh, Salt Electrical Ltd, Wilsons Country, Kingspan, R-Tex Manufacturing, Jimmy Trainor, Jim Ireland Architects, Gordon Coulter and the Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
“We also received great donations of products etc from local businesses towards our coffee morning event such as Irwins Bakery, Yellow Door, Portadown and Tesco and some great prizes for our raffle, not forgetting donations made from members of the public, schools, and family and friends through our Just Giving page on Facebook. We cannot thank you enouh.”
Jennifer along with 16 of her pupils and their parents embarked on the journey to Germany for 10 days of competing on the World Cup Stage in 10 different sections against some of the strongest dancers in the world.
Results: Jade Copas, Lyrical – 4th Place; Hollie, Arianna, Nicole - Tap trio – 5th Place; Booty Swing Tap Group – 6th Place; Jade Copas, Tap solo – 8th place; Hollie Willis, Song & Dance Solo – 9th Place; Rumour His It, Modern quartet – 11th place; Strange Fruit, contemporary group – 14th place; Laura Patton, lyrical solo – 16th place; Katie Weir, tap solo – 15th place; Leah Murdy, tap solo – 16th place; Rachel Gibson, tap solo – 18th place; Lauren Hibble, lyrical solo – 18th place; Laura Patton, Acro solo – 21st place; Shamans Dance, modern group – 36th place.
Jennifer conlcuded: “To have pupils place in the top 20 in the world is incredible, never mind those who placed in the top 10, but to have two entries
place in the top 5 in the world is phenomenal! That is something I know Northern Ireland can be very proud of, I know I am.”