Michael Holland of Richens Timms Acaemy, Ohio, has taken the first prize in the mens 18-20 year olds competition at this year’s North American Irish Dancing Championships in Orlando while Daithi Fisher of Doherty School in Belfast (Northern Ireland) landed the prestigious top prize in the senior mens category.

Ave Marie Schroeder from Alberta Canada won the girls’ under 10s awards (A) , the winner in the girls’ under 10s (B) category is just about to be announced.

Despite the organizing team removing partitions between three of the Dolphin Hotel’s biggest rooms, the event was almost full to capacity, with supporters coming on to cheer on families, friends, or just to take in the dancing and awards.

The evening was opened by Erin Pendor who sang the Irish, American, Canadian and Mexican -yes, Mexican!- national anthems.

MIchael Mullane earlier presented four prestigious scholarship awards to lucky recipients who will go on to have their tuition sponsored for their excellence in Irish dancing.

Interviews and further results to follow.

Niamh Neale, also of Belfast, has just been announced as the winner of the Girls Under 10B competition, while the Girls Under 15A competitors now take the stage.