Kirkby skating star Mark Hanretty wins in ‘Big Apple’

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A KIRKBY figure skater, who dazzled TV viewers when he appeared on Dancing on Ice earlier this year, is celebrating after winning an international competition.

Mark Hanretty, who was the professional dancing partner of TV fitness guru Rosemary Conley on the hit ITV1 show, has taken first place at the prestigious Young Artists Showcase competition after impressing the judges at the final in New York.

Speaking afterwards, Mark said: “It has opened up doors for me.

“The judges were high profile choreographers in the United States and they have asked me if I could work with them in the future on various different projects.”

As part of the competition Mark had to choreograph a routine and upload it to video sharing website YouTube.

The routines were then judged by high profile skaters and Mark, who was the only European competitor, was flown to New York to battle it out against US figure skater and choreographer Garrett Kling in the grand final.

The two skaters both had to choreograph a piece for three dancers set to Seal’s song ‘If I Could’ before they did their own solo pieces.

Mark, who filmed his skating videoes in Nottingham and Sheffield, clinched victory after wowing the judges with his tango.

“It was brilliant, a really good opportunity,” he said.