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Son follows in father's footsteps with world championship win




Shay Brunning and Jessica Miller
Shay Brunning and Jessica Miller

A ten-year-old Irish dancer from Newark has followed in his father’s footsteps and been crowned as a world champion.

Shay Brunning and his father, Steven Brunning (a lead dancer in the original line-up of Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance) have become only the second father and son to both win world championships — the last time was in 1996.

It was Shay’s first world championships and he competed in the under-11s’ boys section. Leading up to it he had won every major championship.

“We all knew he faced extremely tough competition,” Steven said.

“Shay handled his nerves so well for such a young age and performed to his best ability.”

The world championships feature the top 1% of Irish dancers from across the world — the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Shay competed in two rounds against the elite Irish dancers in his age group with the top half then recalled to perform the set dance round individually.

The results came out at 7pm and were read in reverse order.

“We were delighted when we realised he was in the top three but when they revealed that he was the new world champion we were ecstatic,” Steven said.

“It has been lots of blood, sweat and tears over the last few years but it has all been worthwhile.”

Many of Shay’s family and friends travelled to the championships, held in Glasgow, and saw him presented with the coveted world globe, sponsored by Michael Flatley.

Shay dances at the Inis Cara School Of Irish Dancing, which has classes in Newark and Lincoln taken by Steven and Colleen Roberts.

Other students from the school also did well at the championships.

Shay’s cousin, Jessica Miller, gained ninth place in the under-15 girls against some fierce competition; Elliott Curt was 33rd in the under-11 boys’ category; Joe Pavier was fifth in the under-15 boys; and Elias Khanouss was 13th in the under-14 boys.



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