Hannah Shackley placed 32nd in the Girls 11-12 solo competition on Monday in Philadelphia at the World Irish Dancing Championships.

But Hannah, who came half way round the world from Christchurch in New Zealand to compete, says she was delighted to be recalled to the final round.

Also elated was her mother Allison who, like her daughter, was making her first trip to the States.  A total of 24 dancers and about the same number of adults from the O’Neill School of Dance in Christchurch have come to the U.S on the trip of a lifetime for the Worlds this year.

The group flew to L.A. on March 28 and then moved East to Philly.  They will be at the championships until next Monday and will head to New York for five days before heading home.

A trip of a lifetime, and how did they pay for it?  They chopped wood and stocked it in sheds, they catered at Jade Stadium in Christchurch for rugby fans watching the All Blacks  – you name it and they did it to raise the funds to get the traveling party to the U.S.

“My parents are worn out!” said Allison, adding that they are having such a good time that they will definitely do it again next year!

The New Zealander was surprised at how well they had been treated in America. “Everyone has been so lovely and friendly, so courteous and patient, “ she said.

And similarly, we in the U.S. are happy to have these lovely dancers and their parents from across the globe!