Crawley teen crowned world Irish dance champion twice

Shanelle Keogh from Crawley is named World Irish Dance Champion and European Champion in the World Irish Dance Championships 2016. She also won two team titles - World Figure Champion and World Showdance Champion  - picture submitted by the Keogh family
Shanelle Keogh from Crawley is named World Irish Dance Champion and European Champion in the World Irish Dance Championships 2016. She also won two team titles - World Figure Champion and World Showdance Champion - picture submitted by the Keogh family

A Crawley teenager has taken home four titles in the WIDA European and World Irish Dance Championships including retaining her position as World Champion.

Shanelle Keogh from Three Bridges, who has been dancing since the age of four, competed with her dance school The Ace Academy of Irish Dance in Brighton earlier this month.

The 15-year-old has previously been named European and World Champion and this year she surpassed those.

She danced three dances to be given the top spot for the third time in the European Championships. She then wowed judges in the World Championships becoming the World Champion for the second year running.

As well as those solo titles, Shanelle also won two team titles - World Figure Champion and World Showdance Champion performing as Willy Wonka along with other dancers from the Broadfield based Ace Academy of Irish Dance.

Shanelle said: “I was so nervous leading up to and competing in both Solo Championships and was unbelievably relieved when I had finished.

“It was like a heavy weight had been lifted. It was harder for me this year as I had my World Title to try retain.

“I can remember getting on the podium to receive my trophy and sash crying and looking over at my dance friends and teachers and everyone was crying.

“This has been the hardest year for us as we have all been training so hard and there have been so many injuries but everybody has supported each other.

“I am so unbelievably happy and I have to say the biggest thank you to my dance teachers Abigail Collins and Andromeda Cunningham who have believed in me and pushed me to my limits and beyond and to my mum and dad who are just the best.”

Mum Amanda added: “Shanelle has had injuries and got through them and worked so hard and would not got through this without the support of her teachers and her friends at the dance school. I celebrated my 50th birthday four weeks ago and This is the best 50th birthday present anyone could wish for.”