GLASGOW is in the grip of dance fever as the international championships take the city by storm.


Dancers in glittering costumes are tapping their way around the Royal Concert Hall. where the city's seventh All Scotland Championships in Irish Dance are well underway.

More than 300 dance schools and 2,000 competitors are taking part in the competition, which attracts entries from around the world, including Canada, the US, France and South Africa.

The championships, which Glasgow is hosting until 2018, are estimated to bring around £10m to the city, with 2,500 spectators heading to the city to cheer on their dancers.

One of the judges, Aisling Hillich Grogan, 35, said she had been impressed by the performances.

The GP from Galway, who has been dancing since she was three, said she looked for style, polish and sharp performances.

She said: "Some of the performances today have been amazing.

"They are very, very fit and have excellent timing."

She has been judging the under 16 categories in tap dancing and set dance rounds.

She added: "I've danced all over Scotland and came to these championships when they were held in Kilmarnock.

"This is my first time judging in Glasgow and it's absolutely brilliant.

"Glasgow is great to hold the competition in, the venue is amazing and the stage is gorgeous. And it's right next to the shops so anyone who's not interested in dancing has plenty to do!"

Her comments echoed those by James McLaughlin, vice president of An Coimisiún le Rince Gaelacha - the governing body which regulates Irish dancing worldwide - said the Concert Hall was without a doubt the best venue in the world to host an Irish dancing contest.

He said: "No other venues comes close to offering the quality of facilities that are available here."

Gordon Matheson, Glasgow City Council leader and chairman of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said it was fantastic the city had secured the event for another few years.

He added: "Irish dancing is a globally admired and historic aspect of Irish culture and Glasgow has earned an enviable reputation as its second home.

"The staging of such prestigious events in Glasgow further reinforces the city's world-class cultural credentials and demonstrates our ability to deliver major events which provide a significant boost to the city's economy."

The championships conclude tomorrow with under 17, 18, 19 and 20 categories. Today sees under 21 men and senior categories take to the stage.