Crumlin's Caragh kicks off Lord of the Dance tour in Taiwan

A CRUMLIN dancer has begun a stint on the Lord of the Dance world tour.

Late last year, Caragh Hendron was crowned World Irish Dancing champion for the second time running.

Caragh who dances for Lawrenson Toal Academy, won the coveted world title in Killarney, in the first major championship to be held following the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.

The 18-year-old said to win the world title again was both ‘overwhelming and emotional’.

“To win the first time was an absolute dream but the second time was just so overwhelming as both my teachers were there to see it happen,” Caragh explained.

“To have them announced on stage with me was a very proud and emotional moment.”

As is with all sports throughout the pandemic, classes and training were limited but Caragh didn’t let that dampen her desire to keep focused on her goal to come out on top at the Worlds.

Caragh said: “Dance classes were limited during the pandemic so everything was done through Zoom.

“Our teachers were very much on board to keep us motivated and to keep our fitness up so it was all about challenging myself with learning new movements, trying new steps but also staying with the basics of dance and fitness.

“Also, through a screen was the only way to see and catch up with my dancing friends so I was always keen to log in and see how they were all getting on.”

Added to her success, only a few weeks before the World Championships, Caragh was notified that she had been successful in securing a place on Michael Flatley’s Lord of The Dance.

The world-renowned stage show recently celebratef its 25 year this year and Caragh will has joined the troops over 6,000 miles away in Taiwan.

“This is a dream come true for me to be chosen to perform in Lord of the Dance as my teacher also performed with them 1997-1999”, Caragh said.

“Many competitive dancers aspire to become a professional show dancer and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to fulfil one of my dreams.”

Caragh has already started her training preparations for the next World Championships, which will be held in April 2022.

Speaking of Caragh’s outstanding achievements, her dance teacher, Arlene Toal, said: “Caragh is a great example to all dancers of someone who never gives up.

“She works extremely hard and has always believed in herself.

“She deserves all the success that has come her way with the pinnacle being crowned World Champion following what has been an incredibly difficult year for Irish dancers.”

Caragh enjoyed Christmas at home with her mum and dad, Tanya and Joe, before heading off on tour, performing in Taiwan for the first time on February 5.

A spokesperson for the Lord of the Dance franchise said: “Feet of Flames is unique because it's so huge.

“This requires an enormous number of Irish dancers to pull off, providing exciting - and rare - opportunities for the best Irish dancers in the world to tour stadiums in the biggest-selling dance show of all time.

“Over half of the legendary 2020 Impossible Tour troupe was comprised of brand-new pro dancers fresh out of the competition scene - and the 2022 draft for Impossible Tour II reads once again like a Who's Who of the greatest Irish dancers in the world today.

“For the young competition dancers reading this who have aspirations of turning pro: we hope that seeing the 2022 draft, like the previous 2020 draft, encourages you to stay in school and keep training.

“The last two years have been enormously difficult because of the pandemic, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the right of way goes to those who don’t quit.

“Special thanks go to the parents of these amazing dancers, whose sacrifices to help their children follow their dreams is seen and appreciated by Lord of the Dance..

“Likewise, for the various Irish dance schools reading this, we hope you'll share this story with your students; you've done an amazing job of training and nurturing these kids into championship-level competition dancers who are ready to turn pro and tour the world, and we're proud to see so many schools represented in the 2022 draft.”

The team underwent a mandatory 14-day quarantine in Taiwan before beginning the tour last week

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