Young Woodford Green dancer has slice of Ireland in her home

A 12-YEAR-OLD Irish dancer struck gold when she became the first competitor to take the national trophy out of Ireland to London after scooping first prize.

Olivia Drury, of Glengal Road, Woodford Green, took part in the All-Irish Dancing Championships, in Killarney, Ireland last month.

The youngster, who is in her first year at Trinity Catholic High School in Mornington Road, Woodford Green, said she was convinced she would not win after coming 44th in the competition last year.

But after a panel of judges continually voted her the best after each performance, she eventually got through to the final, winning the under 16’s cup and taking home a solid gold medal and coveted cup.

Teacher Donna Crouch, said it was the first time the cup had gone to a London home.

“We’ve had American winners but never someone from London which is astounding.

“I noticed she had natural flair when she started dancing as a six-year-old, but only when she realised that did she blow the competition out of the water.”

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Olivia, who has been having Irish dancing lessons at the Scout Hut, in Horn Lane, Woodford Green, for six years says her triumph was down to her cool nerves.

“I was more excited than nervous before I danced in front of the judges. I didn’t go there thinking I would win so I was very calm.

“There were 190 other girls in my category - when I take part in the world championships on April 16 in Dublin there will be more.Olivia says her victory has not changed her future dreams of being an actress, but she would also like to teach Irish dancing when she has spare time. Mum Jo said she was unable to see her daughter come first in the national awards due to work commitments, but will be at the front of the crowd to see Olivia in the world championships. “I am so proud - she called me screaming when she won. I am not going to miss the world championships for anything.”