Dance school coaches Ellie to become world champion

A DANCE school based in Addlestone and Woking is celebrating a remarkable individual triumph at the World Irish Dancing Championships in Dublin.

Pupil Ellie Macpherson, 21, was coached to becoming world champion by her sister Danielle, founder of the DG Elite School of Irish Dancing, herself a highly successful competition dancer.

GOLDEN GLOBE – Ellie Macpherson kisses the trophy for winning the world championship in Dublin

“Ellie has been dancing since the age of four and has won many titles,” Danielle said. “As her sister and teacher, it was an incredible moment for me to see her lift the winner’s globe after hours and hours of training leading up to world championships.

“What made it even better was that Lilly Burke, who joined our school last year, became a 14th-place world-medal holder at the age of 16 in the same championships.

CRYSTAL CLEAR – Danielle Gale with the vase which marked her teaching graduation award. The ceremony was held on the same weekend as the world championships

“The girls had missed out on the worlds for two years because of the pandemic, so they were training four times a week in the studio in preparation for the event.”

The competition involved more than 260 dancers from Ireland, the UK and the United States competing over three days, from those aged nine up to senior men and ladies.

“Just to see dancers compete after such a long time away was an incredible moment for Irish dancing,” added Danielle.

She began dancing at the age of seven and retired from competitions at 27.

“I just fell in love with the art form, it was something completely different,” she said. “I won plenty of competitions, including Celtic National titles and British open titles.

“Then I decided to hang up my shoes and go into teaching, which I did alongside my former school for nearly eight years before taking my final TCRG exam in 2020 with the dance organisation Cumann Rince Dea Mheasa (CRDM).”

HONOUR – Lilly Burke proudly wears her medal for finishing 14th in the world championships

As a certified Irish Dance teacher, she opened, as Danielle Gale, her DG Elite School of Irish Dancing. It runs classes at Addlestone Community Centre and have beginners’ classes at the Maybury Centre in Woking on Saturday morning.

“DG Elite was founded in April 2020, at the start of the pandemic,” Danielle recalled. “We started off with just six dancers, coaching them via Zoom, until we were able to get back to the studio.

“The dancers were my sisters, niece, daughter and cousins, so a real family affair. 

“My aim as a school is to promote the love, culture and passion of this dance form to the next generation of dancers, from beginners to open champions. 

“Our two years have been eventful with the pandemic, but we have grown slowly over the past year and seen 18 new dancers join our family. We are excited for the future.”

* FOR more information or to join, visit or the school’s Facebook page.

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