Saturday 1 October 2016

Hopefuls hotfoot it to crash course in 'Riverdance'

Published 30/07/2015 | 02:30

Emer Dempsey (12) from Carlow stands tall among the students at the ‘Riverdance’ International Summer School. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Emer Dempsey (12) from Carlow stands tall among the students at the ‘Riverdance’ International Summer School. Photo: Steve Humphreys

She is just 13 years old, has travelled thousands of miles from her home in the USA and left mainstream school in order to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional Irish dancer.

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Teenager Emily McFadden is just one of the 290 budding dancers participating in the 'Riverdance' International Summer School in Dublin.

Emily, who has been dancing since she was five, made the long journey from Washington DC to take part in the "crash course" in Trinity College.

"I really love it. I started home-schooling this past year so I can have more time for dance," said the dedicated young dancer, whose father is from Donegal.

Each week, over three weeks, almost 100 students are put through their paces under the watchful eye of the 'Riverdance' troupe, learning five key routines.

'Riverdance' lead dancer Padraic Moyles was on hand to deliver directions to the eager students participating in this week's workshop.

His pupils - who are aged from 12 to 30 years - are from 23 different countries.

"It is a crash course," he added. "We teach them and give them a little bit of insight in to the background of 'Riverdance' as well and what else happens when you try to be a professional dancer."

Participants who are 18 years or older have the chance of being picked to join the dance troupe on tour, Padraic said.

Irish Independent

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