Morecambe has a new world champion

Pemelena Johnson-Hart from Morecambe has been crowned World Champion in Irish Dancing at the World Irish Dance Association.
Pemelena Johnson-Hart from Morecambe has been crowned World Champion in Irish Dancing at the World Irish Dance Association.

Morecambe is now home to a world champion.

The town has a world champion in Irish dancing thanks to devoted dancer Pemelena Johnson-Hart.

Pemelena Johnson-Hart from Morecambe has been crowned World Champion in Irish Dancing at the World Irish Dance Association.

Pemelena Johnson-Hart from Morecambe has been crowned World Champion in Irish Dancing at the World Irish Dance Association.

The 14-year-old beat off tough competition to win the honorary title and already has her sights set on another competition.

“I am so proud of her, she won everything this year, which is really amazing,” said mum Lisa Johnson.

“She gives up a lot of her free time and is really hard working.”

Pemelena has won four major titles this year, world champion in the World Irish Dance Association, the all Ireland Competition, British Open Champion and the CRDM Irish Championships.

To achieve world championship status Pemelena had to beat 49 dancers from across the globe, performing three routines in front of five judges.

“There is so much pressure, it is really tough, she has always been second so to get it this time is amazing,” said Lisa.

The Morecambe High School pupil began dancing at the age of four and has won a number of titles over the years.

She trains at Gallagher O’Connor Academy in Morecambe four times a week under the guidance of teacher and auntie, Julie O’Connor. She also travels with Julie every Sunday to Mansfield to train with dance teacher Jamie Stones.

Despite battling severe nut and dust allergies Pemelena rarely takes time off from her dancing passion.

Pemelena is presently on her longest time away from dancing – just two weeks – after breaking her toe in training.

The budding dancer has even performed whilst in a cast when she broke her arm.

Pemelena has injections at Manchester Children’s hospital every January for six weeks to help her cope with her pollen allergy.

Lisa said: “At the hospital they said Pemelena’s illness is the worst allergy disease in the North West and they think she is amazing.”

Pemelena will enter the All Ireland championships at the end of June. The family would like to thank teachers, Julie and Jamie, Sean O’Connor, owner of Smokey O’Connors and everyone for their support. Smokey O’Connors will hold a celebration on July 7, all are welcome.