The 44th World Irish Dancing Championships is currently being held in London. More than 5,000 hopefuls are expected to battle it out during the eight-day event.

The "Olympics" of Irish dancing runs from 13 to 20 April. Getty Images' photographer Dan Kitwood captured the atmosphere during the first few days of competition.

Irish dancing
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
three girls
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
girls crying
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Irish dancing
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
two girls
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
hair
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
hair girl
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
dancing girls
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
little girls
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
red pair
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
foot massage
A competitor has her foot massaged by her father before performingDan Kitwood/Getty Images
feet
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
girls hug
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images