‘World’ honour for Irish dancer Lauren

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A Larne Irish dancer put her fancy footwork on show for an audience of 20,000 people at the official opening of the World Police and Fire Games.

Seventeen-year-old Lauren Milligan, from Glenburn Park, in Glynn, was the only dancer selected to represent her home town.

She was among 75 Ulster champions chosen to take part in the opening ceremony.

Dressed in her burgundy coloured Lisa Dempsey School dancing costume, Lauren – pictured right – and the others performed a treble reel in a specially-built arena outside the King’s Hall in Belfast.

The spectacle marked the start of 10 days of competition for 6,700 athletes representing 67 countries at more than 40 venues Province-wide.

Lauren said: “I felt very proud to be up there representing my dancing school and to be able to tell people I dance for Lisa Dempsey.

“I felt honoured to be the only one from Larne chosen to dance.

“As soon as I got out there, my nerves disappeared. It was the first time I had danced in front of such a big crowd. I got a glimpse of the professional side of Irish dancing.”

Adding to the international theme, a team of Scottish dancers joined them on stage.

Lauren has been dancing for the past ten years and has been passing on her skills to younger local Irish dancers helping Lisa for the past few years.

The Glynn teenager. a pupil at Larne High, has also represented the Lisa Dempsey School of Dancing at special occasions such as the arrival of the Olympic Torch in the village, as well as her school, her church, St. John’s, in Glynn and danced for Second Glynn Brownies.

Not content to rest on her laurels, Lauren is now perfecting her skills for the Ulster Championships in Donegal in October.

“Festival dancing is what I like doing”, she added.