12 April 2006

Etain (10) has the world at her feet

Belfast Telegraph

By Linda McKee
12 April 2006

Etain Mulvenna has just been crowned one of the youngest Irish dancing world champions - but she isn't celebrating yet.

Instead, the Belfast ten-year-old had to put the euphoria of the big win behind her and buckle down to studying for her 11-plus practice test.

Etain, from the Antrim Road area, came away with top honours in the Girls 10-11 solo class of the 36th World Irish Dancing Championships - her first world championship.

The 10-year-old says she was excited and nervous in the run-up to her performance.

"I danced a hornpipe and a reel and a set dance with the group," she said.

"I do five classes a week and practise for a couple of hours a night."

Etain's whole dance class and her family all turned out to support her at Sunday's final, and her aunt Ruth even travelled home from Tokyo to see her win.

"They were shouting and jumping," Etain said.

The 10-year-old was back at Turf Lodge Primary School yesterday sitting her 11-plus practice test, in preparation for the real thing in November.

She has been training since the age of four at the Mulvenna dance school run by her mum Deborah and aunt Brenda, and has already won an Ulster title, two British National titles and two Great Britain titles.

Her mum said: "She's won other major titles, but this is the cream of the crop. We've travelled all over the world with the dancing.

"She goes to practise five classes a week and does a couple of hours at home - on top of the 11-plus. She takes it all in her stride, but she's been doing it from so young an age."

The achievement is even greater because the standard of Irish dancing in Ulster is so high, Deborah said.

"It's probably one of the strongest regions in the world for Irish dancing," she said.

what a wonderful achievement for a 10 year old child.you should show more articles on the great things the younger generation are achieving.
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