A NEWBURY man has been crowned world champion in Irish dancing.
Joshua Ruddock won the senior men’s championship, held in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall, on Easter Sunday.
Mr Ruddock had to perform two rounds in front of judges before performing a set dance, or solo dance, the ultimate showcase of a dancer’s ability.
The contest was the 23-year-old’s 11th world championship, the Irish dancing equivalent to the Olympics, with more than 3,000 competitors.
Having finished second in last year’s contest in Montreal, Mr Ruddock decided that nothing would stop him this time.
Having taken a break from competing and taking part in Lord of the Dance and managing a show for Disney, Mr Ruddock said he would never be happy until he was world champion.
He said the triumph was the culmination of years of training, which he took up after seeing Riverdance and coming from an Irish family and background.
Mr Ruddock has been dancing for 19 years, training five times a week in west London for Scoil Rince Ceim Oir, as well as working in a full-time job at SSE in Thatcham.
He said part of the success was making sure he could attend as many competitions as possible in order to get his name known.
Having achieved his dream, Mr Ruddock said he would study to take his teaching exam with the aim of setting up his own dance school.