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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.

Aine Niland wants to a champ like her mom