Blind girl performs Irish dance after just 4 weeks of training
"She’s a dancing fighter who will overcome everything to succeed."
By Andy Hirst and Izzy Hawksworth via SWNS
A blind girl who wanted to learn Irish dance after being inspired by the Christmas song Fairytale of New York has performed in public - after just four weeks of training.
Taaliyah Bates, 12, became besotted with Irish music, culture and dance after hearing the Yuletide classic, which was released by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl in 1987.
The youngster wanted to learn how to Irish dance but feared her disability would thwart her chances.
That all changed when she enrolled in a dance school, learned the skill in just four weeks and performed publicly for the first time.
Taaliyah said: "Irish dance is very vibrant with lots of claps and stomps and now I’ve moved onto The Blackbird I feel I’m managing fine.
"I just love Irish history and culture, so much so that I’m now teaching myself Irish songs on my keyboard.
"I learn by listening and then recreating the notes. I’d love to go to Ireland someday."
Taaliyah attends the Kane Irish Dance Academy in Huddersfield, UK, which is run by Rebecca Kane, a former Irish dance champion.
Rebecca was immediately determined to make Taaliyah's dreams come true and once she began to work with her, she realized the youngster had the talent to succeed.
Rebecca said: "My philosophy is that nothing is impossible.
"Taaliyah certainly does not let her blindness define her.
"She’s a dancing fighter who will overcome everything to succeed.
"There is a real grit about her.
"Irish dancing is certainly not that easy to learn.
"When she came through our doors she needed assistance walking but is now doing rhythms that some youngsters can’t do after four or five years of Irish dance."
"You couldn’t ask for a better pupil, she’s so inspiring.
"You simply can’t teach that kind of passion – it comes from within.
"It’s something that’s quite rare.”
After mastering an Irish dance to the Christmas classic in just four weeks, Taaliyah performed in her hometown of Huddersfield, UK.
She is now working on a traditional dance called The Blackbird, which Rebecca described as 'very technical and quite tricky.'
The aim is that Taaliyah will do a solo dance at a music festival in February next year.
Rebecca said: "It’ll be by far the biggest challenge so far for her.
"But I know she’ll master it."
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