Longcroft girl Shannon is our Scottish star of Irish Dancing

Shannon Dyer was just four years old when she started to show her amazed friends and family how accomplished she could be as a beginner to Irish Dancing.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 8th December 2019, 2:31 pm
Updated Sunday, 8th December 2019, 4:11 pm
Shannon Dyer with her trophy.

Two years and a great deal of performance later the talented youngster from Longcroft has exceeded all expectations by becoming the Scottish Oireachtas Champion 2019 - an outstanding honour for one so young, and probably a portent of things to come.

Shannon’s proud mum Lisa tells us: “Shannon started dancing at the age of four and won her very first championship nine months later - and since then has won numerous championships.

“She was placed second at the recent all-Scotland Championships in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall and fourth at the Great British Championships in Torquay, competing against dancers from all over the globe.”

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However for Shannon those high profile performances are already starting to seem a predictable regular occurrence.

She enjoyed a trip to Belfast to have a dress made for her, and this week coming has another appointment to keep in Dublin for what will be her first competition in Ireland.

She practises three days per week and attends the McLaughlin School of Irish Dance and - her mum makes clear - eats, sleeps and breathes the famously arduous dance style which has captured the hearts of audiences far beyond the confines of the Emerald Isle.

Lisa agrees that it is no easy interest to support, given the level of training involved and the potential expense of travel, accommodation, and of course the all-important outfits - which includes a trad-style wig.

But on the plus on one of her most exciting recent trips she was allowed to keep the dress used for the occasion.

Like many Irish Dancing fanatics across central Scotland Shannon’s dedication is lavished on her training with no expecation of becoming rich and famous.

Irish Dancing is all about the art, and to win - as Shannon already has on numerous occasions - is reckoned sufficient reward for all the labour involved.

“The training demands a lot,” says Lisa, “particularly when it comes to perfecting high kicks - it is a very technical style of dancing and the practice has to be continual.”

However for Shannon there’s literally nothing else she would rather be doing, and with years of high profile competitions ahead the future looks bright.

On current form she could be a star of the circuit by the time she reaches her teens, and well on the way to “Riverdance”-style prominence on the international scene.