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Irish dancer’s eyes on glory
10:00am Sunday 10th March 2013 in News
TALENTED teenager Leon Westcott will be jetting to Boston this month as he attempts to be named one of the best Irish dancers in the world.
The 13-year-old, of Stratton, will head to the state of Massachusetts to compete in the World Irish Dancing Championships at The Hynes Convention Center.
It will be the third time Leon, who trains with the Boyd School of Irish Dancing, has qualified for the event and his nerves are starting to set in.
Mum Teresa, who will travel to America with her son in two weeks time, said: “He is feeling nervous, it is getting closer now and it is such a big event on such a big scale.
“You sit so far back that they look like little pin-heads on the stage. It is huge for a child of his age.
“I get nervous for him – I just pray that he doesn’t fall. You really feel for them. You get the headache and the knots in your stomach but you pray that they hold it together. It doesn’t get any bigger than this.
“They’ve only got to fall and that is it. It means so much to them and it gets very competitive. At the qualifying events, if their names don’t flash up on the screens and they don’t get through, they get so upset – you see parents having to literally pick them up off of the floor where they are just so upset.
“I’m just glad I have a boy so I don’t have to deal with all the fake tan, hair and make-up but it is still very expensive because they have to look the best.”
Leon, who will compete wearing an outfit almost as elaborate as his female competitors, including a satin tie encrusted with Swarovski crystals and a diamond encrusted waistcoat, first started dancing at the age of five.
“He did performing arts with the Tanwood School of Dancing and I think one of Polly Ann’s daughters did Irish dancing, so he saw her and decided that he wanted to do it. He’d seen the Riverdance on the television and it just took over his life from there – he’s never stopped since,” said Teresa.
Dad Mark said: “I don’t know where he gets the talent from. None of us dance, but it has given him such strong legs and a six pack already.
“I’m really proud of him, I’m proud of both of my sons. My other son does clay pigeon shooting, so I go with him to the shooting, and Teresa goes with Leon to the dancing.”