Sussex girls take top awards at World and European Irish Dancing Championships
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Sussex girls take top awards at World and European Irish Dancing Championships

IRISH dancing season is in full swing – and these two Sussex girls have brought yet more titles back to Britain.

Shanelle Keogh and Amelia Knight danced their way to victory at the World and European Irish Dancing Championships in Dusseldorf earlier this month - with both crowned world champions in their age categories.

The pair have a long history of Irish dancing behind them.

For 14-year-old Shanelle, who won the under 14’s title, her dancing dreams began at the age of 4, when she first saw Irish dancing on the television.

After six months of pleading, and assuring her she was committed, Shanelle's mother Amanda gave in and brought her to a class.

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She has not looked back since.

“She won her first championship when she was six,” Amanda explains.

“She has won many major titles since, including U12 and U13 European Champion. She lives and breathes Irish dancing and has missed only a handful of lessons since starting," she added.

Shanelle’s ancestors hail from Co. Cork, but while her friend Amelia has no Irish heritage she is still hot on her heels in the Irish dancing stakes.

Amelia managed to bag the under 12’s title in Germany this month.

Also dancing since she was 4, the 11-year-old has won several titles since her career began, including the prestigious European Under 10 Champion award.

Both girls are students of the Ace Academy of Irish Dance in West Sussex.

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The championships took place in the Maritim Hotel in Dusseldorf over April 11 and 12, where many of the girls' classmates also managed to make the top five in their categories.