Love of danc­ing eases blis­ter pain

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ERICA DON­ALD

He donned his first pair of Ir­ish danc­ing shoes at age 4 and now 12 years later Harry Bartlett is danc­ing on the world stage.

The young Auck­lan­der has been train­ing in Bos­ton and is now in Mon­treal, Canada, for the North Amer­i­can Ir­ish Dance Cham­pi­onships un­til July 7.

He has been train­ing with his ‘‘idol’’, twice world cham­pion Liam Har­ney from the Har­ney Academy of Ir­ish Dance.

‘‘Liam said ‘ steady as she goes’ but there’s been very good progress made in the short time I’ve been here and we are both happy with the way I am danc­ing.

‘‘My blis­ters would show I am work­ing pretty hard.’’

Bartlett left New Zealand on June 10 to train with Har­ney and has been work­ing up to eight hours a day – train­ing in the stu­dio, do­ing fit­ness, tech­nique drills and go­ing to the gym ev­ery morn­ing.

He isn’t de­terred by the work­load be­cause he loves danc­ing.

‘‘It’s just a feel­ing, like when I am danc­ing I am another per­son. It’s part of who I am and some­thing I am so pas­sion­ate about.’’

Bartlett’s re­sults show his ded­i­ca­tion.

He was first in the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Oireach­tas Se­nior 15 Years Boys com­pe­ti­tion, which was held on the Gold Coast, Aus­tralia, from May 30 to June 1.

He was 16th in the World Cham­pi­onships of Ir­ish Dance in Lon­don in April, a step up from plac­ing 30th last year.

Bartlett has won both Auck­land Re­gion­als and New Zealand Na­tion­als the last seven years in a row.

In 2012 he also won the Tra­di­tional Ir­ish Danc­ing NZ As­so­ci­a­tion Travel Schol­ar­ship.

He trains 16 hours a week with the Doyle Academy of Ir­ish Dance in Auck­land.

His top goal is to be the first New Zealand male to place in the top three in the world, and to com­pete on the world stage for as long as pos­si­ble.

Mum Michele says she is very proud of his achieve­ments.

‘‘As a par­ent you

just want your kids to find some­thing they en­joy,’’ she says.

‘‘I am so proud of Harry’s achieve­ments. His work ethic, ma­tu­rity, hum­ble na­ture and fo­cus on some­thing he loves so much is to be ad­mired.

‘‘It truly is a team ef­fort with his sis­ter Emily his num­ber one sup­porter,’’ she says.

Bartlett hopes to ob­tain a high per­for­mance schol­ar­ship to en­able him to study dance over­seas, as well as do dis­tance learn­ing in busi­ness man­age­ment through Massey Univer­sity.

Photo:MIL­TON BAAR/MEDIAIMAGES

First place: Harry Bartlett af­ter win­ning the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Oireach­tas Se­nior 15 Years Boys com­pe­ti­tion.

Work­ing hard: Bartlett trains hard to main­tain a high stan­dard of danc­ing.

Start­ing early: Bartlett started Ir­ish danc­ing when he was only 4.

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