Sunday 22 October 2017

'I'm just going to burst into tears, I'm so proud': Irish teenager on landing role on RTE's Dancing with the Stars

Shauna Finn
Shauna Finn
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Teenager Shauna Finn has said she's "overwhelmed" to be chosen as one of the professional dancers who'll be entertaining the Irish public on Dancing With The Stars.

The Tallaght girl (17) couldn't believe her luck after she was plucked by producers as one of the talented youngsters who'll be strutting their stuff for the celeb-filled programme next month.

She first set tongues wagging that she could be in the running for one of the roles after being pictured at the RTE's new season launch with Ryan Tubridy last August.

And she said she's still pinching herself after nabbing one of the coveted roles on the show.

"The last hour, my phone's just been hopping with everyone texting me. My mam was delighted," she said. 'I'm just going to burst into tears, I'm so proud."

But the youngster revealed how dancing wasn't always her first choice of profession.

The Inchicore College dance student, who appeared in John Carney's smash-hit movie Sing Street, originally wanted to play for the Dublin GAA team.

"I was four years old when I first started Irish dancing after school. So I was mad into that and ballet but it wasn't always a dream for me," she said.

"I originally wanted to play football. That was my goal, to be on the Dublin ladies team. Then I started doing Latin Ballroom and I remember my teacher told me if she ever saw me out on a pitch, she'd kill me as she didn't want me to risk getting an injury. I've loved it ever since," she said.

For her audition for the Irish version of Strictly Come Dancing, she performed a Bollywood and Charleston routine for the new Sunday night show and obviously wowed producers with her talented moves.

While Shauna won't be partnered with a celebrity during the show, she will be taking part in some of the professional dancers' group routines.

She's one of four dancers from Ireland who will be showing the celebrities how it's done. The rest are drawn from an international pool of top dancers.

Shauna will be joined on the show by fellow Dubliner Karen Byrne (24), who has been dancing since the age of six and has competed internationally.

The Ballyfermot teacher now runs one of the country's biggest dance schools and came first in the Adult International Open Latin in 2015.

British dancer Kai Widdrington will also feature and is no stranger to the cameras.

He previously appeared as a finalist on Britain's Got Talent in 2012 and has danced internationally with dance company Burn the Dancefloor.

Estonian dance partners Vitali Kozmin (30) and Valeria Milova (28) will be finding a new celebrity partner for the programme as will Ryan McShane (32) from Lurgan.

His long-time dance partner, Ukranian stunner Ksenia Zsikhotska (27), has also been chosen, alongside Wicklow's Sean Smullen (21) and Italy's Guilia Dotta.

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