A Lichfield schoolgirl has moved a step closer to her dream of competing in the Irish Dancing World Championships.
Heidi Hawkes secured her place as a world qualifier with a ninth place finish in a global field at the British National Championships in Southport on Friday (August 31).
And after finishing as the third highest UK dancer in the competition, the St Joseph’s RC Primary School pupil is now eligible to compete in the 2019 Irish Dancing World Championships being held in North Carolina, USA, in April.
“I’m very excited to get the chance to dance against the best girls from around the world,” the 10-year-old said.
“I was happy to be one of the world qualifiers in Southport, particularly as I was ill midway through the competition and didn’t think I would even finish my third round.”
Heidi, who took up Irish dancing aged four, competes for the Birmingham-based Kidd School and trains several times a week.
She has already tasted success after winning the Midlands Regional Championships and securing an 11th place finish at the prestigious All Ireland’s competition. She was also part of the Kidd School’s ceili team who were named Great Britain champions last year.
Mum Emma said: “Heidi has always dreamed of competing in the World Championships so to have qualified in the first year she was eligible is fantastic.
“She works so hard and loves her dancing, so it’s great to see her showing such commitment at a young age.”
Heidi has now begun fundraising to help pay for her trip and extra lessons in a bid to ensure she can travel to the USA for the competition in April. People can support Heidi’s crowdfunding campaign via her JustGiving page.