Featured Irish Dancer
Ciara started dancing at the age of three under the instruction of Marion Turley in the West Midlands, UK. She has won numerous titles including five World and All-Ireland Championships. Her professional dance career began with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, performing the lead role of Morrighan. In 2011 she appeared alongside Michael in his return World tour. Ciara choreographs regularly for her hometown dance company, Celtic Feet. She has most recently toured with the troupe in the production of Excalibur – A Celtic Rock Opera. In 2012, Ciara became involved in the development of Heartbeat of Home and is delighted to be a part of the production.
Irish Dance Troupe
Olivia is twenty-two and a senior at the University of San Francisco studying Science and Sports Medicine. She is trained in all types of dance including contemporary, modern, jazz, and lyrical. She is also a classically trained ballerina, studying for over fifteen years at the San Francisco Academy of Ballet. Olivia is also a competitive Irish dancer competing across the globe since the age of eight. She holds several National and International titles and was crowned World Champion of Irish Dance in Belfast in 2012.
From Sydney, Australia, Gianna attended the Halloran School of Dance training in Irish dance, ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and musical theatre. She has won several State and Australian National titles and numerous North American Championship medals. She has also studied at the Australian Ballet School. She has performed in the Australian production, Celtic Illusion and is currently studying for a Bachelor of Media (Screen and Sound). Gianna is very grateful to be a part of Heartbeat of Home as it is her first international show.
Read Gianna’s Life on Tour Blog on Tumblr.com
Australian-born Natasia began dancing at the age of three with the Halloran School of Dance. She has trained in numerous styles including Irish, tap, jazz, contemporary and also trained with the Australian Ballet School for three years. She has won seven National Irish Dance titles. She performed alongside The Wiggles for two years and toured with the Australian-Irish dance production, Celtic Illusion from 2011 to 2013. Natasia is delighted to be performing in Heartbeat of Home – her first international show.
Shaunessy is from Goderich, Canada and trained as a ballerina and also in jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, musical theatre, acrogymnastics and Irish dance. As a professional Irish dancer she has toured the United Arab Emirates, Scotland, Canada, Ireland, Germany, England, and the United States. She was a lead dancer with Celtic Crossroads and was part of Universal Music’s release of the show on CD, DVD, and television. Shaunessy has choreographed solos, duets and ensemble numbers for several productions worldwide
Bobby was six years old when he started dancing in his hometown Bristol. After an illustrious career as a competitive Irish dancer, winning ten World titles with his school, he made the decision to become a professional dancer after being asked to join the cast of Lord of the Dance. After six weeks in the show, Bobby was cast as the principal dancer performing worldwide for over three years across five continents. In 2012 Bobby joined Prodijig, the winners of Sky One’s Got To Dance and went on to help create their debut show Footstorm. He is thrilled to be cast as one of the male leads in Heartbeat of Home.
Andy started dancing for the Sean Eireann McMahon Academy at the age of nine. He excelled competitively, becoming an All-Ireland, Great Britain, All-Scotland, and North American champion. His professional career began alongside Michael Flatley in an arena tour of Celtic Tiger. Andy then joined Riverdance touring the world for five years, the highlights of which were special performances for Queen Elizabeth II in Dublin and performing in Radio City Music Hall. After winning Got to Dance 2012, with dance group Prodijig, Andy starred in the lead role in their touring show, Footstorm.
William began dancing at the age of four with the Halloran School of Dance in Sydney, Australia. He trained in classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop and Irish dance. William has played lead roles in musicals such as West Side Story, Mary Poppins, and Oliver! and appeared on the Australian television series Dance Academy. He has been successful at major competitions worldwide winnng National and State titles in Australia. He has performed in Celtic Illusion touring Sydney and Melbourne and is also an accomplished musician. Performing in Heartbeat of Home is a dream come true for William.
From Colorado in the United States, Blaine found his passion when he began dancing at the age of seven. He has won regional, national, and world championship titles. Towards the end of his time with Celtic Steps Irish Dance School he began teaching with the directors of the school. In 2009 he took up professional show dancing and has performed in different states all over America. In time Blaine would like to become a full-time Irish dance teacher.
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Fred has been dancing since he was nine with the De Danaan School of Irish Dance. Throughout his dancing career he has been crowned eight times Western Canadian Champion, two times North American National Champion and placed as high as second at both the World and the All-Ireland Championships. Fred has performed with his dance school for the Irish Pavilion during the Winter Olympics 2010 in Vancouver. He is privileged to be one of the original cast members of Heartbeat of Home.
Afro-Cuban Dancer/International Dance Captin
Teneisha works as a freelance dancer, choreographer, teacher, and actress. Her work includes theatre, television, film, music video, commercials, and live events. She has worked with Kylie Minogue, Black Eyed Peas, Rhianna, Alesha Dixon, Bobby Valentino, and Jamelia. She has trained in all dance disciplines and has been a member of the highly acclaimed ZooNation UK Dance Company since 2004 where she created and played the role of Spinderella in the award-winning show Into the Hoods – the first ever hip hop dance show and the longest running dance show in London’s West End’s history. The show also represented the UK at the Olympics Closing Ceremony in Beijing.
Renako graduated from Liverpool’s Institute of Performing Arts in 2010. He competed on Sky One’s Got To Dance as a member of lyrical contemporary duo Alleviate. Having been placed second in the final at Sadler’s Wells, Renako has performed across the UK and overseas with Alleviate and taught international workshops of his lyrical style. He was Assistant Choreographer for ITV’s The Nation’s Favourite Dance Moments and headlined in the hit show Flashmob at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre. He has shared the stage with artists such as Flawless, Tinchy Stryder, and The English National Ballet and in 2011 he performed at Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth II and more than 400 guests.
Stefano was taught flamenco dancing by his mother from a very young age. By seventeen he had started collaborating with highly-regarded artists and companies in Spain. As a dancer and choreographer he has collaborated in productions such as Tercera Llamada and Flamenco Nuevo 2 with Maria Juncal, Sentencia with La Truco, Joyas Flamencas, Del Rumor with Miguel Cañas, Retiro Flamenco and many others, touring Spain, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, USA, and South Korea. Stefano was recently awarded with the first prize in Almeria’s Flamenco Festival
Rocío started dancing at the age of four in her native city, Granada, in Spain. She studied with masters such as Maite Galan, Mario Maya, Eva Yerbabuena, and Alejandro Granados. She has received a diploma in Danza Española from El Conservatorio Profesional deDanza de Granada. At the age of 21, Rocío moved to Madrid to join Rafaela Carrasco’s dance company and in 2006 she premiered her own work Acordes Pintados con Palabras. At present she is developing work with the dance company Flamencos en Route. Rocío has danced with Riverdance as flamenco soloist and has toured Japan, Taiwan, China, Ireland, America, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Austria with the show.
Latin Dancer / Dance Captain
Originally from Mexico, Vanessa has studied dance extensively in the US, Cuba, and Africa. She has been dancing professionally for sixteen years and has a wealth of experience including contemporary ballet and Latin social dances such as salsa, meringue, chachacha and Afro Cuban Dance. She has performed with various dance companies worldwide as an ensemble and principal dancer as well as a choreographer. She has danced for a number of high profile international events and festivals including the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. As Latin American dancer on Heartbeat of Home, she hopes to bring her unique and authentic flavour to the show.
Angelo was born in Milan in 1990 and began dancing at the age of eight. He participated in national competitions and at the age of ten he started training in Caribbean dance. At the age of seventeen he enrolled in the M.A.S. (Music, Art, and Show) Academy in Milan and gained a degree in Dance and Television. Since then has been working in one of the most acclaimed groups in the world of salsa with the internationally renowned choreographer Maykel Fonts and his Fonts Company. He has toured extensively in Italy and abroad and also has done advertising campaigns and events for various international brands.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Lucia left her homeland at the age of 19 to live in Ireland. She won RTÉ’s television talent show, You’re a Star, and began writing her own songs. This led to the release of her first self-penned single The Other Man and a live album, Natural Woman, both of which received critical acclaim. Lucia has performed at many prestigious events including the 2006 Special Olympics Opening ceremony at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast and Nelson Mandela’s visit to Galway in 2003. She appeared on Sharon Shannon’s Collaborations album in 2010 and sang backing vocals for Esmee Denters, Justin Timberlake’s protegée in the Henson studios in L.A. in 2009. Lucia is also a qualified vocal coach.
Kit Drummer / Musical Director
Guy has played both live and recorded with Van Morrison, Roger Daltrey, Eleanor McEvoy, The Devlins and Juliet Turner. In 2004 he was part of the house-band for the BBC Music Live Final concert featuring Katie Melua, Zucchero and Neil Hannon and has been in the house-band for major television music series including The Irish Tenors & Friends, You’re a Star, Fame: The Musical and The Voice of Ireland. Since 2005 he toured with Riverdance across six continents, becoming Musical Director in 2007. He performed live with The Chieftains, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Celtic Woman, Blood Brothers, Brian Kennedy, John Lord (of Deep Purple), Gavin Friday, Duke Special, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, and the Ulster Orchestra.
A classical and traditional Irish violinist since the age of four, Lottie Cullen subsequently mastered whistle, piano and concertina before finding her true musical forte in the form of the Irish uilleann pipes. As one of the world’s leading female exponents of the instrument, Lottie now features regularly on the international stage, a far cry from the rural Irish community in which she was born and raised. Just turned eighteen years of age Lottie boasts the shortest resume of the Heartbeat of Home band, an honour she will undoubtedly lose over the coming months and years!
Paul graduated with a B Mus (Hons) from the Cork School of Music and with a PG Dip from The Royal Academy of Music, London. Primarily a bass trombonist, he also freelances on trombone and guitar. He has played with the RTÉ Orchestras, Irish Film Orchestra, Wexford Opera, Cyprus State Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Altamonte Orchestra, and St Florian, Austria. Big bands include Sid Lawrence Orchestra, Back to Basie Big Band, Dublin City Big Band, NYJO, West End shows and UK Tours. He has toured with Glen Hansard and has arranged music for many bands/artists/orchestras and televison performances
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