Nineteen year oldd Niamh McGuinness from Duleek has written her own report card following her fifth place in this years Irish dancing world championships in which she finished fifth overall but collected the top prize in the solo category.

And the card reads, ‘Must do better’.

The dancer, from Downstown, told Meath Live, ‘It was brilliant to take the solo honours but I am going back next year with the sole aim of being the overall winner, I haven’t many years left at this level, most dancers stop competing in their early twenties so the clock is ticking.’

As with every talented performer the trick is making a difficult task look easy and that takes hard work, lots of it, and in this case a serious financial cost as well.

Niamh revealed, ‘ I have a personal trainer who drills me online three times a week, and I have been taking it really serious since I was at under ten level a decade ago, I remember missing friends birthday parties to go to a dance tournament, I have no regrets though it was fun then and even though I am at an elite level now I still think it is fun.

‘The costumes I wear cost about €2500 to make I get one a year made up in Belfast and the design is unique to me.I cover the cost by working in the local Applegreen and by being part of a dance troupe that performs at corporate gigs. Actually at one corporate show last year I lost a shoe during the performance but managed to make it look look it was part of the routine.

‘Unless someone who was at the show is reading this I think I got away with it!

‘Being on stage is the easy bit I am a bag of nerves until I actually start dancing and as for superstitions well where do I start, I always enter from stage left and tap my foot twice just before I go on.

‘People assume Irish dancing is solely for those of Irish heritage and maybe that used to be the case but it’s changing, there was a girl in this years worlds from the Czech Republic who had no Irish background at all but apparently joined an Irish dance school over there.’