Aine Niland wants to a champ like her mom

FULL IRISH DANCE COVERAGE FROM SAN FRANCISCO

JOIN OUR IRISH DANCING GROUP! VIEW AND UPLOAD PICTURES AND VIDEOS!

East San Fran girl Aine Niland wants to be a champion just like her mom.

The 8-year-old Healy School student came third in The Girls Reel Special, her favorite dance.

Niland's dad is from County Mayo, and mum Tara is an Irish-American. Tara danced for 13 years, and says there have been huge changes over the years.

"Everything is different," she says. "The style has changed, especially the costumes," a change she puts down to the explosion of Riverdance.

"The dancing is faster, they are up on their feet a lot more, and the need to be fit is even greater," she says.

Another new element is the diversity. "It brings different nationalities into it, whereas when I did it, it was mainly Irish-American kids."

There is no doubt that Riverdance has multiplied the number of those who are interested, but "there was still a community in California when I danced," says Aine's mother, who began dancing in San Francisco because her own mother wanted her to embrace her heritage.

What does Aine think of her mother having been a champion dancer? "I think it's cool," she smiles proudly.