Northern Ireland

2016 All Ireland Dance Championship comes to Belfast

Line of irish dancers Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Competitors are expected from all over the world

Some 1,600 competitors are expected to take part in the 2016 All Ireland Irish Dance Championships at Belfast's Waterfront Hall this week.

Irish Dancers from all around the world will be competing in the week-long Oireachtas Rince na h-Éireann.

The competition will see dancers as young as nine years old performing in solo and group categories.

Some 7,000 spectators are expected to cheer the competitors on during the spectacle.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The championships were established in 1932

The event is organised by the Irish Dancing Commission, which has regional councils across the world promoting the preservation of Irish heritage and language through dance.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The event is the longest-running major competition in the Irish dance calendar
Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The Irish Dancing Commission hosts All-Ireland and worldwide events

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