Tony Glynn talks to Nikki Carter ahead of her appearance in Irish House Party.
IRISH dancing teacher Nikki Carter can't seem to keep still. As well as being asked once again to star in a must-see touring show, her teaching efforts have been commended by website Netmums.
Following on from her performance last year, the 25-year-old will again join Irish House Party – the hugely popular music and dance production from the Emerald Isle – when it reaches the Landmark, Ilfracombe on Friday night.
"I'm thrilled to be doing the show again," said Nikki, "it's such a well-known thing and I'm proud to be a part of it – I can't wait!"
The invitation won't come as a surprise, however, to the growing number of locals who attend her Irish dance classes around North Devon.
Such is her popularity with students that recently she received a Local Classes For You award from Netmums – complete with newsletter feature and gold-rated listing on the website.
"When they contacted me I thought it was a wind-up," said Nikki. "It was so strange to hear the news like that.
"It's amazing to get such support, and I'm so happy my classes are helping people. Every single one of my students has improved, and I've seen them all grow as dancers.
"And then to see them perform, after all their hard efforts, is amazing. It makes me so proud, I feel like it's just the beginning."
On moving to North Devon from Cambridge three years ago, Nikki started her first Irish Dance class. Now she runs six classes, catering for all ages, and her seventh is due to open after Easter.
Besides dancing, these classes also provide an opportunity to make friends and to be active.
Students have demonstrated their skills in a number of performances around Devon, including events such as the recent St Patrick's Day celebration at Fremington Manor and Barnstaple's Diversity Festival last year.
On May 5, there will be displays at a children's festival at Kingsley College, Bideford, followed by an outing to Fremington manor and the Pilton Festival in July.
But teaching by no means keeps Nikki away from twinkling her toes whenever possible. Last summer she took part in Dublin's record-breaking Riverdance on the banks of the River Liffey, dancing for five minutes non-stop alongside some 2,000 fellow dancers.
The Irish House Party performance, however, will consist of a more familiar mode of expression: "I'll be doing a traditional dance at the Landmark," said Nikki. "It's a treble jig, danced in hard shoes.
"I had such good fun doing House Party last year, and it's great to be chosen to represent North Devon. I'd love to do it again next year if I can."
Irish House Party is at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe on Friday, April 4, 8pm.
Tickets: £20 (full); £18.50 (NDT supporter); £12.50 (under 25). Box office: 01271 324242, www.northdevontheatres.org. uk.