Tuesday, 03 May 2016
A Graphic Design student has returned from the World Irish Dance Championships in Glasgow, having been awarded a scholarship by the University of Worcester to support her tilt at the title.
Laura Thompson, 20, from Worcester, is an experienced international dancer, but even she felt the Championships in Glasgow were something special.
“It’s really something to dance in the Royal Concert Hall in front of two and a half thousand people,” she said. “There was tension, adrenalin, and most of all, friendship. It was a thrilling experience.”
Although she didn’t bring back the title she was targeting this year, Laura’s pride in her achievement and determination to succeed remain undaunted. “If you qualify for a World Championships you are in the top 1% of dancers globally, so I’m proud of that achievement,” she explains. “I have previous world titles in the team categories, but my dream is to win a world medal as a soloist. The hard work for next year starts now.”
Originally dedicated to ballet, Laura fell in love with Irish dance when she tried it “for a bit of fun”, but as she is quick to point out, it is so much more than just a hobby. “Dancing keeps me focussed, dedicated and passionate,” she said. “Through Irish dance I have travelled the world, met friends for life, and gathered memories that will last forever.”
Laura, a 1st year Graphic Design and Multimedia student at the University of Worcester, was awarded £200 by the University’s scholarship Panel to help meet the costs of competing. “Irish dancing is very expensive,” Laura explains. “My mum and dad have always been hugely supportive - they give a lot up for me to dance, but the scholarship has really helped us too, especially in meeting the costs of travelling to competitions.”
At this level, competitive dancing is just that: highly competitive, and Laura is determined to train as hard as she can.
“I train every day. I’m already working towards next year’s World champs in Dublin,” she said. “My friends at uni’ think it’s crazy, but they’ve been great in supporting me all the way.”