MoonWalk heroes: Diane Davie: ‘What it’s like to be a four-time World Irish Dance Champion’

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AHEAD of MoonWalk Scotland next month, we speak to five different participants from five different backgrounds about who they are, where they come from and why they’re ‘walking the walk’. Today, we hear from four-time world Irish dance champion Diane Davie.

I started Irish dancing, when I was 15 years old, after seeing an advertisement in the local paper offering classes. I was already doing Ballet, Tap, Jazz and other dance forms but was really keen to take up Irish.

I had watched Riverdance on Eurovision in 1994 and had never seen anything like it. I remember my mum telling me to switch my TV over and that was the first time I had seen Irish dancing. I knew then I wanted to be able to do it.

Being crowned World Champion was a dream come true. The previous year I had placed third, so I was more determined than ever to win. I was training at my local gym daily as well as attending classes 3-4 times a week. I sacrificed my place on a professional dance course to concentrate on Irish dance and would often miss out on social events but in the end it was all worth it.

I would say the most challenging part was knowing my competitors had possibly been dancing since a very young age and I had only come into the world of Irish dance as a young adult, so I had some catching up to do. It never deterred me, and I won four consecutive world championship titles. On the fourth occasion I gained full marks from all adjudicators!

All my dancing put me in good stead for the double-marathon Over The Moon Ultra at The MoonWalk Scotland last year.

The MoonWalk Scotland 2018 is on Saturday 9 June. Sign up now at walkthewalk.org

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