Sabine qualifies for Irish Dance World Open Championships

Sabine Bowdidge has just qualified for the Irish Dancing World Open Championships in Killarney Ireland in June 2019.

Sabine, who is 16 years old and a student in Year 11 at St Paul’s Booragul, has been dancing for seven years.

She says she enjoys being able to “fly across the room” when she dances.

To qualify for the championships, Sabine danced on stage in New Lambton while adjudicators watched from Ireland via a video link up. 

Sabine performed a new set dance The Wandering Musician which she only learned a month before her world qualifying round at the Southern Cross Australia Feis held on 11 August.

“I'd never done anything like this before! It was very interesting and I didn't know how it would go, honestly. For grade exams I am filmed and the video is sent off to Ireland to be judged, however, I have never had to have something filmed and judged live-streamed like it was this time,” she said.

The qualifying dance began a day of dancing and competing for Sabine and the rest of her Irish Dancing Academy – Voyage of Irish Dance.

“I was extremely nervous. The nerves threw me off a little bit on stage at first as the world qualifying rounds were my first dance of the day. However, to settle my nerves but I took a few deep breaths and told myself that I had it,” she said.

She then had to wait until the end of the day for the results. “Competing in my other dances helped take my mind off the result slightly. Each dance I did, I had to focus on those but as soon as they were over, I worried again about the result.”

At the end of the day, the announcement that Sabine had been waiting for was made.

“It was such a big weight lifted off my shoulders when I found out I qualified! I was shocked and my face went red. It was extremely exciting realising that new doors had been opened for my Irish dancing and I'm so honoured to be given this opportunity.”

Her dance teacher Marieclaire Beekmans said: “Sabine uses every opportunity to better her dancing, by performing regularly, doing exams and assisting in classes. She is adored by many of our younger dancers. I congratulate Sabine on qualifying for the Worlds, and achieving the title World Qualifier. Her dedication, hard work and talent has paid off!”

Sabine’s mum Keryn also shares Marieclaire’s views saying: “I believe that her achievement is pretty awesome and a bit of a surprise. It truly shows what you can do when you put in hard work and dedication.”

Now Sabine is focused on practicing for the championships in June.  She is also raising funds to travel to Ireland.

“I’m so grateful for my opportunity and it wouldn't have been possible without all of the support from my teacher Marieclaire, helpers, my parents, friends and family. For anyone aiming to do something they believe is too difficult; put your mind to it and anything is possible,” she said.

You can see Sabine perform at the Samhain Festival on 27 October at the Croatian Wickham Sports Club. See This is a fundraiser for Sabine and other dancers.  

Visit Sabine's Go Fund Me page





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Brooke Robinson Image
Brooke Robinson

Brooke is Content Officer for the Communications Team in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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