Horsforth dancer preparing to represent England at 2022 Dance World Cup finals

A 16-year-old dancer from Horsforth will be representing Team England at the upcoming 2022 Dance World Cup finals in Spain.

By Tom Coates
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:45 am

Harry Smith has been combining revision for GCSE exams at Horsforth School with preparations for his first trip to the prestigious tournament, which is being held in San Sebastian.

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His rise to prominence at such a young age, however, has not detracted from his desire to simply enjoy doing what he loves - even if he is competing against the world's elite.

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Harry Smith has been combining revision for GCSE exams at Horsforth School with preparations for his first trip to the prestigious tournament in San Sebastian. Credit: Steve Riding

Harry said: "I'm just going to enjoy just because I don't think I'll ever get to do it again.

"When I get older, I'll be in school more. If anything does happen, it's a bonus."

He trains with elev8dance on Horsforth Town Street and submitted an audition for the international stage via video.

Harry said: "You send them the dancing video of your solo, they marked that and if you got in the top four in England then you qualified for the World Cup.

Harry auditioned via video to qualify for the finals. Credit: Steve Riding

"I did and now I'm going to Spain."

It is rare for people studying for GCSE exams to have an international competition on the horizon but Harry has managed to strike a balance.

His mum Kirstie said: "Harry is very well organised, he's very self-disciplined.

"You don't need to worry about him, He works incredibly hard. He has very strict timetables that he adheres to during busy periods."

Harry added: "I still go to the studio every week. There are times when I've thought about not going but I've thought that I actually need to go because I'll lose it."

His family faced a tense wait to discover whether Harry had actually qualified for the competition.

An online release of Harry's UK ranking provided reason for celebration but it did not provide confirmation that he was heading overseas.

Kirstie explained: "We sent texts to the dance teacher saying 'quick, you need to look at your emails'.

"When they looked, it came up with the positions Harry had got in England but we still didn't really know at that point if we were going.

"There was 48 hours where we thought we'd got in but didn't really know."

The news they were waiting for did eventually filter through and Harry's invitation to the prestigious dancing showcase was eventually confirmed.

Harry will be performing in two solo categories - ballet and contemporary.

The finals run from 24 June until 2 July and the 2022 instalment will be the first since 2019 to have been held outside the United Kingdom.

Telford in Shropshire hosted in 2020 and 2021, although it has previously been held in countries such as Germany, Portugal and Romania.

Aside from his dancing talent, Harry performs well in school and is considering studying science at university.

Kirstie explained: "Harry has the problem that he's very academic as well.

"It makes the choices a little bit more tricky, we're trying to leave as many doors open as we can."

However, when the finals of the 2022 Dance World Cup begin, Harry will be focused solely on his performances on the international stage.

There are also plans to continue dancing at competitive level before he reaches university age and his mum is predicting a 'whirlwind' 2023.

Kirstie said: "Next year, we're planning to do a lot of competitions. Covid hit at the wrong time because we do a lot of local competitions with elev8dance. It hit Harry at the wrong time because he was just getting to that level.

"Next year is going to be a quick whirlwind year I think. We're going to do as much as we can and see how it goes."

"We are incredibly proud and honoured that he has been chosen to represent Team England and can’t wait to see him perform against top dancers from the rest of the world."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help fund Harry's journey to Spain to compete in the finals and donations can be made here.