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
three girls
girls crying
Irish dancing
two girls
hair
hair girl
dancing girls
little girls
red pair
foot massage
A competitor has her foot massaged by her father before performing
feet
girls hug