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Video: Irish dancers from around world in Belfast for All-Ireland championship

Irish dancers get ready for the All-Ireland Irish Dancing Championships at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast on Monday. Picture by Hugh Russell

ASPIRING Irish dancers from around the world have descended on Belfast for this year's All-Ireland championships.

The week long competition, Oireachtas Rince na h-Éireann, kicked off on Monday at the Waterfront Hall in the city.

Around 1,600 dancers are expected to take part, while a further 7,000 spectators are set to gather to watch the championship unfold.

Dancers as young as nine years old will perform in solo and group categories.

The event, organised by the Irish Dancing Commission, is due to end on Saturday.

First launched in 1932, it is the longest running major competition in the Irish dance calendar.

This year the competition will also feature regional heats in which the best dancers will progress to represent their region at the World Irish Dancing Championships in Dublin in April next year.

An international adjudication panel at the Waterfront event this week will decide which dancers are to qualify for the World Championships.

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