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Romance Rocks World Irish Dancing Championships for Jade Bridgewater and Mitchell Hodges

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Jade Bridgewater, 4th place Girls 15-16 and Mitchell Hodges, 2nd place Boys 15-16
2012 World Irish Dancing Championships
Photo:  Callum Bridgewater

Jade Bridgewater and Mitchell Hodges had an extra special reason for enjoying the World Irish Dancing Championships this year.  The teenagers are competitive Irish dancers in both solo and team events, with impressive records that include Top Five in all the major international events.  But spending the whole week together in Belfast, Northern Ireland - in addition to their Top Five placements in the 15-16 events - was the icing on the cake, according to Hodges.

The two have known each other for some time, but it was only on this past New Year's Eve that they started dating.  Bridgewater, who has been dancing since age 4 (now with Doherty Academy of Irish Dance Coventry) lives in Birmingham, England.  Hodges, whose home is in Bristol, England commutes about two hours each way to Birmingham, where he practices with Carey Academy of Irish Dance.  He started dancing at five years old because his older siblings did.

Let the celebration begin!
Photo courtesy Bridgewater Family

Jade explains how she and Mitchell met, "I have always seen Mitchell around the dance competitions, but I have never really spoken to him probably until recent months.  My best friend, Leah Skerrett, who dances at the same school as Mitchell, was messaging me whilst at dance class and Mitchell went on her phone and started to message me.  We started to talk and get to know each other and it went from there."

Read more:

Jade Bridgewater 2011 British National Irish Dancing Champion

World Irish Dancing Championship 2011 Results for Boys-Girls under 15

Mitchell Hodges 2011 North American National Irish Dancing Champion

Generally, the couple gets to spend time together after Saturday dance classes with Hodges returning to Bristol the next day by train.  When asked about dating girls that are not Irish dancers, Mitchell is honest:  "It was so hard as I was always training and spending time in Birmingham on weekdays and weekends and on school holidays I would spend most of my time at workshops or at competitions all week so I couldn't spend enough time with them."

So happy together! Post podium celebration for Jade and Mitchell
Photo courtesy Bridgewater Family

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