Caolan McKeating, World Irish Dancing Champion in the Boys' 13-14 solo competition

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Caolan McKeating-Lynch's hard work and dedication to his love – Irish dance – has paid off: he is now an Irish Dancing World Champion.

Caolan was deemed the top dancer in the Boys 13-14 solo competition on Tuesday night. The young dancer beamed as he walked on stage to stand on top the Olympics-like podium and receive his giant trophy, which was almost as big as the smile on his face.

This is the fourth World Irish Dancing Championships for the 13-year-old. And Philadelphia has brought the boy from Belfast good luck with his first first place win.

Caolan, who has been Irish dancing since he was just five-years-old, is a student at the Lynch Mulvenna School of Dance in Belfast where Brenda and Deborah Mulvenna trained the talented dancer to become a world champion.

Caolan’s mother, Fionnula McKeating-Lynch, told IrishCentral about her son’s demanding schedule that enabled him to reach the top at the Worlds. For the past six months, Caolan has danced at least five times a week, for two to three hours each day.

But it’s not just the practice that brought Caolan to the top. The champion dancer told IrishCentral that he would not be standing where he is today if it weren’t for the support from his dance instructors, Brenda and Deborah, and most important of all, his family.

Caolan triple-checked that we jotted down his thank you to his Granny McKeating and Granny Lynch for their love and encouragement. Caolan also attributes his success to the support from his mom, Fionnula, his dad, Aidan, his older brother, Aodan, 18, and his sister, Eilish, 17.

Eilish and Caolan started their dancing careers together. And though Eilish is no longer a dancer, Caolan is keeping on the Irish dancing tradition in the family – and is quite obviously doing the McKeatings proud.