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by Cara Simpson,
Coventry Telegraph
August 20, 2012

A young boy from Coventry has the world at his feet after triumphing in a national Irish dancing competition. George Semple, aged 10, hopes to follow in the fast-moving footsteps of his hero Michael Flatley after winning a British National Championship Irish dancing title.

It was just two years ago that the Eastern Green youngster took up the type of dance made internationally popular by the star of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.

George loves it so much he even asked for a dance studio for his 10th birthday. His wish was granted when the family’s conservatory at their Despard Road house was fitted with full-length mirrors and specialist flooring so he can practice at home.

George scooped the under-11s boy’s trophy at the British National Championships in Manchester, which drew thousands of competitors from across the country.

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Speaking of his big win, George said: “I was shaking. Everyone was sat down waiting for the results and I was nervous.

“I get so excited and nervous when we’re in the shows. I’d love to be in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance one day.”

He automatically qualifies to compete for a world title at the Boston International Final in March next year.

Proud mum Amanda says George’s talent has amazed dance teachers at the Turley Academy where he trains at least three times as week, as well as family and friends.

“I’ve been told he could go far,” she said. “He’s like a little Billy Elliot.”

The Eastern Green Junior School pupil’s passion for dancing began with weekly ballet and tap lessons when he was five.

He also played rugby, but ditched the sport to concentrate on his favourite hobby.

George has also inspired his younger siblings Millie, eight, and Harry, five, to take up the rapid stepped dance form.

Amanda said: “He had an Irish dancing taster session at class and loved it so much he begged me and begged me to take him to Irish dancing lessons. Then he ended up at Turley Academy.

“It was nothing major to start with. Then his dance teachers said he had a talent, that he could take it as far as he wanted to go.

“It’s rare for a dancer to progress through their grades so quickly and get to championship level.”

George has already amassed a hefty collection of silverware awarded for Irish dancing successes for his trophy cabinet.

“I’m very proud of him,” added Amanda. “I’m proud of his commitment and the commitment of his teachers to get him this far.”

Roisin McCourt, dance teacher at Turley Academy, said: “George came to us two years ago having never done Irish dancing before and has done in two years what most children his age achieve in five to 10 years.

“He’s got a good shot at the world championships and he works extremely hard. He loves what he does and when you’ve got a child like that they’re bound to suceed.”

A series of fundraisers are being planned to raise the cash to send George to Boston for the world championship. They are also looking for a sponsor.

© 2012  Trinity Mirror Midlands Limited

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