A SUPER-talented Antrim teenager, who has been dubbed ‘the Queen of Elegance’ by her peers, is embarking on a European tour.
Jessica Cartwright joined the Royal Tara Dance Academy, which meets twice weekly in Antrim, at the tender age of 11 - and after seven years of honing her formidable skills, she now has the world at her feet.
Earlier this year she was winner of her age group at the Glens of Antrim Feis, - but that is just the latest piece of silverware she has accumulated in a stellar dancing career.
“Jessica has won many major titles, including the World Championships and the All-Ireland Championship,” said a Dance Academy spokesperson.
“Her determination to improve and stay focused on the top box of the podium has got her where she is today.”
So where exactly is she today?
Jessica is currently in France taking part in a 50 date tour, which will also take in big venues across Belgium and Switzerland.
She is part of the ‘Celtic Legends’ travelling troupe who have to date performed to over one million people.
Indeed, the mix of traditional Irish music and cutting edge dance has won favourable comparisons to Riverdance.
Her teachers and friends back home have wished her well as she embarks on the latest chapter of her high-flying career.
“Everyone at Royal Tara would like to wish our very own Jessica all the luck in the world as she sets off on her first tour with Celtic Legends.
“Jessica is a fantastic role model to our younger dancers and has proven where dedication and determination can get you.
“We are so proud of you Jessica Cartwright!”
The local woman will, of course, take it all in her stride - and will undoubtedly be looking forward to sharing stories of her adventures on her return.
She will also be keen to help shape the next generation of local talent.
“I have been Irish dancing for 14 years and I help out in classes as much as I can,” she said.
“I have also achieved my CRDM grades 1-9 with distinction and help teach the wee ones which is my favourite part of all, as I get to pass my love of dance down to them and watch them all grow individually!”
With two World titles and no fewer than three All-Ireland titles already under her belt, who better for the role?