YOUNG dancers are taking their fancy footwork to an international dance competition.
Among them is Washington schoolgirl Megan Boddy who is hoping to be dancing a celebration jig at the World Irish Dance Championships in Massachusetts, USA.
The 11-day contest, which takes place next March, will see Irish dancers from all round the globe compete for the coveted World Cup.
Twelve-year-old Megan, of the Inchigeelagh Irish Dance Academy, will show off her skills in the solo and eight-hand sections of the annual competition.
Accompanying her on the trip of a lifetime are parents Mike and Mel, a taxi driver and school worker from Fatfield, as well as the rest of the dance school.
“It is a big thing,” said Mike, 46. “Because the whole class is going out.
“It’s about the experience of competing in the event, meeting people from different cultures and making friendships.”
Biddick Sports College pupil Megan has already travelled the world to compete in dance competitions, where the intricate Celtic-themed costumes can cost thousands of pounds.
She trains four times a week and hopes to become a dance teacher when she leaves school.
Mike added: “When she was little, she got into Michael Flatley and Riverdance and it went on from there.
“She was really excited after she qualified at the North East Championships in Newcastle.
“It gives the girls the chance to meet all different cultures and compete against each other.”
The 43rd World Irish Dance Championships takes place in Boston from March 24.
The youngest entrants for the annual event are boys and girls aged 10, turning 11, who have qualified at their regional or national Irish dancing championships.
They dance in separate competitions, by age, up to the senior ladies and senior men categories, known as over-21.
A total of 22 solo competitions with different rounds means that judges will view thousands of reels, jigs and hornpipes.
There are also 14 team competitions, ranging from eight all-girl or mixed ceili groups to dance drama and choreography.
Joining Megan in the solo section will be fellow Inchigeelagh Academy member Aisling Gorman, while eight-year-old Chrisitina Economides, from Washington, will be part of the eight-hand team.