Dancing in Belfast is Top of the World

The World Irish Dancing Championships are coming to Belfast for the fourth time in 12 years.

The week long event attracting more than 20,000 visitors from around the globe begins at Belfast Waterfront on Saturday 31March.

Three separate stages, in the Waterfront auditorium, the Studio and at St George’s Market will be in use over three days of the most intense competition. Competitors and their supporters will be kept up to date with what is happening via links from the different stages.

Launching the event at the Belfast Waterfront, the Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile said: “This is one of the events that is making 2012 special in Belfast, the final weekend coincides with the beginning of the Titanic Festival and it kicks off a really exciting time for the city.

“We are on the global map for our continued success in hosting world class events, like the MTV Awards and the Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne.

“The fact that the championships have come back to us four times in 12 years proves the excellent support the organisers, competitors and supporters receive here in terms of welcome, facilities and attractions.

“Their expansion is also evident in the use of St George’s Market as a competition venue this year. This is a celebration not just of Irish dancing but Irish culture involving people from across the world,” added the Mayor.

During the week visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy ceilis, concerts language classes and music lessons.

Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne spokesman Séamus Ớ Sé said it was because of the  initiative and support of Belfast City Council and Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau that the World Irish Dancing Championships are returning to Belfast.

“We are delighted to return and look forward to the influx of those supporting the championships many of whom will book into local accommodation and enjoy the attractions that Belfast has to offer.

“While the championships themselves are the focal point of the event, the World Championships are about much more than that.

“Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne has evolved into a unique gathering of the extended family of dancers, teachers, adjudicators and friends of Irish Dancing from around the globe.

“Those who plan to be in Belfast from 31 March to 8 April should be prepared to experience a feast of entertainment. We are indebted to all those helping us put on this world class event by contributing financially, all those who will add colour and atmosphere.

“We intend to present an event of which Belfast can be justifiably proud.”

More information on the event is available on our website at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events