Video: Suffolk dancer has world at her feet

A TEENAGER from Suffolk will take on the world when she travels to America next week for an international dance contest.

Elliot Furniss

A TEENAGER from Suffolk will take on the world when she travels to America next week for an international dance contest.

Sinead Pryke, 18, is a sixth form student at the Woodbridge School and has been rehearsing her steps before heading to Philadelphia for the World Irish Dance Championships.

Sinead, who lives in Clopton with her family, started dancing when she was just six years old and spends five hours a week practicing her routines.

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She has been taught by the Ipswich-based Christy Fenlon and qualified for the international event by taking part in a competition in Kettering last November.

To qualify, Sinead had to do a soft and heavy shoe dance and when called back for the second stage she performed a two minute individual dance, which was good enough to win her one of the 30 places for British dancers.

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Now, as the first dancer from the Ipswich area ever to qualify, she'll be taking on around 20,000 competitors from all five continents when she flies out next week.

She said dance dresses were an important part of the competition and she picked up her tailor-made championships outfit earlier this week after designing it herself.

Sinead said: “They are all based on Celtic designs but each one is individual and they are always bright, colourful and sparkling.

“My new dress for the world championships features peacocks and is very beautiful but they are very heavy to wear with all the decoration on them.”

Sinead's sisters Niamh, 16, and Siobhan, 11, also dance and their parents John and Anne both hail from Ireland.

Sinead will be accompanied by her mother and dance teacher on the trip to Philadelphia and said she couldn't wait to get out there.

She said: “It's as big as it gets, really. This is the first time the championships have been held outside Great Britain and Ireland.

“I need to make sure I get all the technical things right - keep my feet and knees crossed and my arms straight.”

Sinead is in her final year at Woodbridge and plans to go to Nottingham University in the autumn to read pharmacy.

Studying for four A-levels, in history, chemistry, biology and maths, she said she somehow managed to still find time to play hockey and netball regularly around her dance training schedule.

She added: “I have got a quite good balance between my dancing and my studies at the moment. My teacher at dancing says the studies should come first.

“There are two good dance schools there (in Nottingham) so I'm happy to check them out and see if I can join them because I have done it for so long I think I would go barmy if I couldn't have the opportunity to dance.

“Both my parents are Irish and when we were young we (Sinead and her sisters) wanted to see a dancing display and I fell in love with it.”

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