A TEAM of Irish dancers will be travelling to the world championships next year after high kicking their way through a successful competition.

Sixteen dancers from the O'Hehir school of Irish dancing, including two celi teams, have qualified for the world championships, which is marking its 50th anniversary next year.

Among them is Roisin Tallon, from Ushaw Moor, who won the under 12s regional competition.

The eleven-year-old is a pupil of St Leonard's School in Durham.

She was dancing at the regional Oireachtas, which took place in Dunston earlier this month.

The other qualifiers were dancers in the under 13 girls' team, who came third in their category, and the team of senior ladies, who came second.

Katrina O'Hehir, who runs the school, said: "I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication each of the dancers have put into attaining this incredible achievement.

"From our youngest who are eight, up to our seniors working full time jobs or university and attending classes on top.

"It is an honour to represent your dance school at the world championships and even more exciting it will be for the 50th anniversary."

She added: "This is an incredible achievement for these children, who are now in the top one per cent of Irish dancers."

The ex-Lord of the Dance star and champion dancer has been running the school for about two years, teaching both children and adults.

Classes take place at venues around County Durham.

The world championships, which is the largest and most prestigious Irish dancing contest on the global circuit, take place in Dublin, Ireland, next April.

Dancers from all over the world will be competing in more than 50 classes for the chance to win a title.