Shortly before her 16th birthday, Kelly Hendry became a World Champion in Irish Dancing.
That was a few years ago. On Friday, Hendry became a World Champion teacher – her team from Newcastle, England, won in the Junior Girls Ceili Under 16s.
Many of her team, who are all from the Newcastle area, were a little tricky to interview backstage: They were mostly in tears, and were more interested in hugging one another than sharing their thoughts with IrishCentral.com.
But who could blame them?
Samantha Morton said she was “speechless.” Her friend Rebecca Dewson said that she wasn’t expecting this at all. Jade Morris stressed all the hours the girls had put in: For one year, the girls had practiced four days a week, three hours a day.
Laura Baty said that the win would not have been possible without what family and friends had contributed – there were a number of fundraising events that helped make the trip to Philadelphia possible. And Paige Thompson said that the support the team had gotten was great – from the schools, from parents, from everyone.
And all of the girls, of course, said their win couldn't have happened without their teacher, a World Champion herself.
Kelly, who has been dancing for 20 years and teaching for four, toured with superstar Michael Flatley’s "Lord of the Dance" after winning the Worlds.
“To be honest, I am in absolute shock,” she told IrishCentral.com. “I must be the proudest teacher in the world right now. A boy in my school came in second yesterday, and before that a girl got eighth.
"I thought that would be it. And now this!”