Paul brings some Limerick boogie moves to Blackpool

by Alan Jacques

[email protected]

Paul Roche with West End Youth Centre manager William Priestly
Paul Roche with West End Youth Centre manager William Priestly

MOVE over John Travolta! There’s a new kid in town!

Fifteen-year-old Paul Roche from Ballinacurra Weston will be blaming it on the boogie this weekend when he brings some contagious night fever to Blackpool. Paul, a fourth year student at St Clement’s College, is getting his groove on in preparation for the World Disco Kid Championships from December 5 to 7.

The twinkle-toed Limerick teenager has been making a name for himself as a champion freestyle dancer since primary school. However, this year he hotfooted it onto the international stage when he became the U16 Boy Elite Champion 2014 in Wales.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Paul has achieved numerous other titles in Ireland this year and was chosen as the ‘Overall Champion Boy Winner’ at the National Championships in May.

The budding Limerick star has been a member of the West End Youth Centre in Ballinacurra Weston, which has a tradition of supporting outstanding achievement by young people in the local area, for a number of years. William Priestly, manager of the West End Youth Centre said it has been a great honour to see Paul develop into one of Ireland’s top dancers.

“Unfortunately, Ballinacurra Weston has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past number of years. It is great to finally see some of its outstanding young people get the recognition they deserve. We are currently trying to support Paul in as many ways as possible,” said Mr Priestly.

The World Disco Kid Championships will take place in the very same venue as the BBC hit show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Paul’s dance teacher Eilish McCarthy of the Eilish McCarthy School of Dance now has high hopes for him this weekend at the prestigious Tower Ballroom.

“Paul has been one of the most dedicated and professional dancers I have ever come across. Week in, week out, year in, year out, Paul has been willing to make the countless sacrifices needed to make it to the top. His record in Ireland is second to none and we are quietly confident he’ll make a big impression at the World Championships in Blackpool,” Eilish predicts.

Paul sees this weekend as “something special”, but for now is putting all his focus on the dancing.

“When I first started dancing, it was just for fun. Bit by bit I started to do competitions. There’s always a great buzz at the competitions and I love being out on the dance floor,” Paul reveals.

“A lot of people have given me a lot of support, which has made things a lot easier for me, especially my mum Alice and my teacher Eilish. There are flights, hotels and costumes to worry about but thanks to them, I can just concentrate on dancing,” he concluded.