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The boy from Bray who's now dancing with Hollywood stars

AN Irish man is dancing with Hollywood's elite after securing a leading role on Dancing With The Stars.

Bray native Tristan MacManus (29) was announced as the professional partner of celebrity contestant Nancy Grace this week.

The New York Post and Entertainment Tonight both praised the dancer. Tristan says he is overwhelmed by the feedback. "It's very unexpected. But I'm enjoying it," he said.

And it looks like Tristan is ready to become the new top dancer in the popular show.

"I met my partner today, Tristan from Ireland. He has competed all over the world, all the way to the world championship in Latvia.

"And now he's trying to teach me how to do the cha cha," US TV host Nancy said.

To which cheeky Tristan quickly added: "There's a new boss in town now."

But the Irish star, who will now be working on the series with celebrities such as talk show host Ricki Lake, The Hills star Kristin Cavallari, Rob Kardashian and actor David Arquette, wasn't always known for his fancy foot work.

Tristan revealed he once gave up his dancing career for fun on the football pitch, to fit in with his friends.

"I was playing soccer. Where I come from, you don't really dance, you know. I think I was at the age, where, I suppose, I wanted to do what all me friends were doing.

"I gave up dancing for a while, and then I realised I wasn't as good at football as I thought I was. Then I decided to go back to dancing," he said.

After putting his dancing shoes back on, Tristan went on to win the All Ireland Championships in 2000, he then got a part in musical Simply Ballroom in London, which took him to Las Vegas.

Before getting headhunted by Dancing With The Stars, Tristan joined the cast of West End musical Dirty Dancing and then joined dance company Burn The Floor.


Tristan says US producers contacted him earlier this year to join the show but he had to initially turn them down.

"I had only been back in (Burn The Floor) for two or three weeks, so I told them that I wouldn't be able to do it that time around. But I was lucky enough that they came back a couple of months later when the new season was starting and asked if I'd be available," he revealed.

And Tristan attributes his talent to his grandparents Jon and Phyllis McCann, who were professional dancers.

"They got us into it, myself and my sister. My sister didn't last too long. She didn't like the attention, I suppose. Apparently I did," he said.