Irish dancers from all around the world are set to converge on Belfast this weekend to battle it out to be crowned the All Ireland Irish Dancing Champion of 2013.
The All Ireland dancing Championships will run from Sunday (27 October) to Sunday (3 November) at Belfast Waterfront.
The competition, which has visited Belfast before, will see dancers as young as nine years old compete in solo, celi and group events, showcasing the best and finest aspects of Irish dancing.
Lord Mayor Councillor Mairtin O’Muilleor was at Belfast Waterfront to launch this year’s competition and he said: “The calibre of competition at the All Ireland Dancing Championships is always fantastic. Dancers from all over the world travel to compete in this prestigious event.
“The Belfast Waterfront is an excellent venue to host some of the world’s top Irish dancers. I would encourage everyone to get down and show their support to all of our local dancers as well as those from further afield. Let’s give our visiting dancers a warm Belfast welcome.”
With the World Championships being held in London in 2014, the All Ireland Dancing Championships provide a great opportunity for dancers to get some tough competitive action and experience under their belts.
Dearbhla Lennon from An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (the Irish dancing commission), said “An Comisiún le Rincí Gaelacha are very much looking forward to returning to Belfast, which has proved to be an excellent host city in previous years.
“The Belfast Waterfront is a magnificent venue and holds a stage worthy of such an esteemed event. Competition will be fierce and will act as good preparation for the up and coming World Championship event.”
She added: “The people of Belfast are always exceedingly welcoming to our international visitors and help make the event a week to remember.”