An Irish dance teacher has found herself ready to compete at a world class level in a totally different sport – power lifting.
Nikki Carter of Devon, England is an Irish dance enthusiast and has been teaching classes to children and adults for more than five years.
Nikki regularly trains in the gym to keep herself in shape for her dancing, and one day discovered that she also has a natural talent for power lifting.
She can lift more than 150% of her own bodyweight and is now preparing to compete in the European Championships.
Nikki told the North Devon Journal: “To dance at a high level you have to train as an elite athlete – it is fairly intense which a lot of people don’t realise.
“Simply dancing on its own isn’t enough. To be a great Irish dancer you need to have maximum power and strength to be able to fly across the stage.”
During her training in the gym, Nikki found she had a natural talent for power lifting. She entered a competition and made quite an impression.
Nikki explained: “I found out I had set a British record in my category and qualified for the British championships in September. So I went home feeling great – I mean, this is something I do as cross training to my dancing, I am not specifically training for power lifting.”
However, just a couple of days later Team Great Britain contacted Nikki and invited her to represent the country at the European championships on June 11.
Nikki said: “After I picked myself up off the floor, of course I accepted.
“If you have a dream or goal, go get it – no matter how strange it seems to everybody else. You can do anything you want to do in life – nothing is impossible.
“You create your own reality. Just believe in yourself and take a leap of faith. You won’t regret it! Stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will’ – this has always been my mantra.”
Nikki revealed she has now “stepped up” her weight training in preparation for the championships. You can find out more about Nikki and her Irish dance classes by visiting themagicofirishdance.yolasite.com or her Facebook page.