independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

The world at his feet; Tomás goes Stateside

SEVENTEEN-year-old Irish dancing sensation Tomás Ó Sé from Dún Chaoin made his mark across the Atlantic when he performed with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann on their 2013 Tour of North America.

SEVENTEEN year old Irish dancing sensation Tomás Ó Sé from Dún Chaoin made his mark across the Atlantic when he performed with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann on their 2013 Tour of North America.

The Leaving Certificate student was selected to participate in the tour alongside a group of Ireland's best musicians and performers visiting Mineola, New York; Lincroft New Jersey; Fairfield Connecticut; Waltham, Boston; Rome, New York; Columbus, Ohio; St Louis Missouri; Chicago, Illinois and Indiana.

"The opportunity came about thanks to my dancing teachers Miriam O'Sullivan, Triona Breen, Honor Flynn and Jimmy Smyth," Tomás told The Kerryman upon his return to Corca Dhuibhne last week. "They were contacted by Comhaltas and they put my name forward along with the other dancer Seán Hanafin. The tour lasted two weeks and we travelled over 5,000 miles performing at theatres across the US and also in Sacred Heart University in Connecticut."

Tomás started dancing at a very young age and admits that although initially it was his mother Michelle who was the driving force in him becoming involved, after winning a few trophies at various feiseanna his outlook changed he soon developed a taste for the stage and the Irish dancing bug bit hard.

For such a young man, Tomás, who is the son of Radio na Gaeltachta broadcaster and musician of note Pádraig Ó Sé, has racked up an impressive resume.

"I was a part of RTE's Pump Up My Dance with dance master Dearbhla Lennon and I took part in Take The Floor 2012 and 2013 directed by Shane McAvinchey and Paula Goulding who both who toured with Riverdance for many years," said Tomás. "Niamh O'Brien and I also took part in An Jig Gig 2013 which will be aired in December and I have travelled around Ireland and England with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann."

"I love entertaining and just being able to bring out the rhythm and the sound of the hard shoes. The best thing about Irish dancing is when you get to experience the 'show life' and I love the buzz and adrenalin that rushes through your veins moments before you take to the stage," he added.

After returning from his North American Tour last week Tomás had to once again settle into school-life and he has a big year ahead of him academically as he faces the Leaving Cert.

Adding to the pressure of his already busy life, Tomás also has some very serious GAA commitments to contend as he plays with the Kerry Minors.

"I have big commitments with the Kerry Minors this year again so trying to tackle the two things will be tough," said Tomás. "During the summer I was playing in Croke Park in the All-Ireland Quarter Finals and moments after the whistle blew I had to throw off the football boots and throw on the dancing shows and run over to The Helix to dance in 'Take The Floor'. Last February when I was away touring England with Comhaltas I had to leave the last show to fly home to play in the Munster Colleges Final in Fitzgerald Stadium."

Aside from Irish dancing and Gaelic football Tomás somehow finds the time to play traditional music with his family and he is a dab hand on the button accordion.

Mol an óige and tiocfaidh sí as they say, appropriate in this case for this energetic young man who, at the moment, literally seems to have the world at his feet.

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