A DEDICATED dancer from Johnstone will be taking on the world this month after qualifying to represent Scotland in a prestigious contest.

Conan Rooney, 15, has earned the chance to compete at the ICU Junior World and World Cheerleading Championships in America.

The contest, which will take place in Bay Lake, Florida, brings together the finest dance and cheerleading talent from across the globe.

Conan attends Solid Rock Cheer and Gym, in Linwood, where he has trained for the past six years.

His proud mum Christina told The Gazette: “Conan will be in four teams representing Scotland at the competition.

“All the athletes who wanted to take part had to go for a trial and only a select few got picked.

“Dancing is Conan’s life and he can’t wait to watch teams from around the world performing as well.

“He was meant to go in 2020 but it was cancelled because of Covid and this is the team now getting the chance to go.”

As well as qualifying to represent Scotland, the talented teen also received the prestigious Steve Walls Award last month.

The title, named after a respected cheerleading coach who died in 2013, is given to those who embody leadership and a long-term commitment to the sport of cheerleading.

Conan received the accolade during a fundraising ball at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel, where Team Scotland performed for family and friends who are unable to go to the championships in Florida.

The St Benedict’s High School pupil will be flying to the States today to prepare with his team ahead of the competition, which runs from Wednesday, April 20, to Friday, April 22.

Christina said: “Conan is very excited and nervous.”

Gillian Rocks, owner of Solid Rock Cheer and Gym, added: “Conan has done so well and he’s such a hard worker.

“He’s at Solid Rock about four times a week and does a lot of hours of training.

“We all wish him luck with Team Scotland and hope he has the best experience when he’s there.”