Young dancer wins world title ... for the second time

Hours of training every week have paid off for a young dancer after she won a world dance title - for the second time.

Amelia Knight, World Irish Dance champion, under 13s SUS-171105-100258001
Amelia Knight, World Irish Dance champion, under 13s SUS-171105-100258001

Amelia Knight, 13, has been crowned World Irish Dancing champion after beating off competition from 35 other girls in her age group, including girls from Russia and the USA.

“I really love dancing,” said Amelia, who is a pupil at Horsham’s Millais School and started dancing when she was just four years old.

Proud mum Melanie Wakefield, who co-owns Wakefield Jewellers with brother Dominic, revealed that Amelia first won the world title in 2015.

“She was injured last year, but came back strong this year.”

High-kicking Amelia also holds the World Irish Dancing Association British Champion title and has competed in European championships.

She dances with The Ace Academy which has classes in Horsham and Crawley.

Teacher Abigail Collins said: “Amelia has always had a natural talent since she started dancing at the age of four.

“She works incredibly hard and just doesn’t stop. She’s very self-driven and trains at least 10 hours every week.

“She’s amazing and we’re all very proud of her.”

Amelia has, in fact, won a string of trophies during her dancing career.

“We have so many now we need a trophy room,” said mum Melanie.

Amelia’s interest in dancing was first sparked as a youngster when she watched it on the BBC children’s programme CBeebies.

“I took her to ballet,” said Melanie, “but she didn’t want to carry on with it. Then I found there was a local Irish dancing class and after a couple of weeks that was it. She just loved it.”

And Amelia herself says she still does. And while thrilled to have won the world title, she is also delighted that her classmates at the Ace Academy have also won many accolades.

“We all did very well,” she said. “Another girl - my best friend Katie Geal - came fifth.”

The Ace Academy also won the World Irish Dancing Association World Showdance Championships, with their production of ‘Oliver’.

The Academy also performs at corporate and private events, as well as theatre displays, throughout the year.