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.
Dublin-born Emma began Irish dance at a very young age with the Elaine Kavanagh School of Irish Dancing. Highlights of her dance career to date include being a dancer and lead vocalist with Riverdance touring Australia, New Zealand, and China and performing in her hometown at the Gaiety Theatre. She recently appeared in Prodijig’s Irish and UK tour of Footstorm. Emma was a finalist on BBC’s Over the Rainbow – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for the lead role in the West End musical. Emma would like to thank her family for their support and wishes the very best to the cast, crew, and everyone involved in Heartbeat of Home.
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.
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.
Ryan McCaffrey began dancing at the age of three for the Irwin School of Irish Dancing in Calgary, Canada. By the age of ten he was a North American Champion, and by thirteen he was ranked 2nd in the world. At sixteen, Ryan moved to London to perform in the West End production of Dancing on Dangerous Ground. After completing the run, Ryan joined the cast of Riverdance on Broadway. He later went on become the Principal Dancer and Dance Captain of Riverdance’s touring production. He has since completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Communications and is delighted to return to the stage with Heartbeat of Home.
Jason is twenty-seven and from Belfast. Under the tuition of the Armstrong School he won major solo championships at world level. He is an avid traveller and has proudly danced on every continent and in some of the world’s most prestigious theatres. Jason has toured internationally as a principal dancer in Riverdance performing in China, Argentina, Brazil, USA and Canada. He was also part of Prodijig’s forward thinking show Footstorm. He has danced for the Queen Elizabeth II, US First Lady Michelle Obama, and the Princess of Hawaii amongst others. Jason is also a passionate musician, photographer and illustrator.
Roisin began dancing at the age of three. She has attended over twenty major championships including the World and All Ireland Championships placing in the top ten every year. At the age of twenty she joined Lord of the Dance, performing alongside Michael Flatley in 2010 for his return tour. She has toured with Lord of the Dance for the last three years taking up the lead role of Morrighan in 2012. She has also danced with other shows including To Dance on the Moon and Women of Ireland.
Ceili has trained in music, drama, ballet, Irish, tap,and jazz from a young age. She is American National Champion and was placed second at the World Championships. Her other career highlights include featuring in the television series Dancing Down Under and The Wiggles and performing in Candy Man the Musical and The Military Tattoo. She would like to say thank you to her family and dancing teachers who have been great role models and support during her dance career.
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
Erin was born and raised in Australia. She discovered Irish Dance at the age of five and has loved it ever since. Erin has also trained in ballet, contemporary and musical theatre and thrives on entertaining audiences through live performances. Erin won four Australian Irish Dance Championships before dancing professionally at the age of 17. She has toured worldwide for over four years, including a lead role in ‘Gaelforce’. Erin also experienced success as a semi-finalist in ‘Got to Dance’ and has gone on to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and on London’s West end. She is thrilled to join Heartbeat of Home.
Irish Dance Troupe / Dance Captain
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.
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.
From Essex in England, Stephen is a World Champion Irish dancer, winning the title in 2006. He has also won first place at numerous North American, Great Britain, and All-Ireland Championships. His professional career began with Riverdance in 2005. He has also performed in Lord of the Dance, Celtic Tiger, Gaelforce and Magic of the Dance. To date he has performed in twenty-seven different countries around the world. and recently has been cast as a principal dancer in Riverdance. Stephen holds a First Class Honours degree in Architecture.
Tom’s love of Irish Dance began at the age of seven and he went on to place second at the World Championships. Tom’s other passion, football, took him in another direction for a number of years but he was to return to dance in 2009 and has toured professionally ever since. He has toured across Europe, Australia, and South America. In 2012 he reached the semi-finals of Got to Dance and has since performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London’s West End. He is incredibly excited to be a member of the cast of
Heartbeat of Home.
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.
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.
Irish Dance Troupe
Born in Rugby, England, Callum’s first love was always sports. Growing up he played and competed in Tennis, Rugby and Cricket.
Callum began dancing under the tutelage of the Mathews Academy when he was 11 years old and went on to compete extensively around the world where he won competitions at Regional, National and placed in the Top 10 at The World Championships.
At the age of 18 Callum began his professional career when he was cast as a Principle dancer of Noctu, which played Off-Broadway in New York City. He went on to tour with Lord of the Dance before eventually landing a role in Riverdance in 2010. Callum is now delighted to be one of the principle dancers in Riverdance and has traveled to America, Canada, China and much of Europe with the show.
Callum would like to thank his family for their continued support and he is looking forward to the journey ahead with Heartbeat of Home.
Latin Dancer / Dance Captain
Clare trained in ballet, tap and modern at the Colne Bank School of Dancing from the age of five to eighteen. She has an honours degree in Performing Arts Drama from Middlesex University and studied ballet, jazz, contemporary, and choreography at the University of South Florida. She joined the Burn the Floor dance company in 2008 and toured the world with their Broadway and West End shows. Clare has worked with BBC Television as a choreographer and presenter, as a Pro Dancer on Dancing with the Stars and as a troupe dancer on The Voice. Clare would like to thank her family for their never-ending love and support
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.
Curtis trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School after which he went onto the Millennium Theatre School. Theatre credits includes: Viva Forever (Ensemble, Cover Lance, Piccadilly Theatre), Closing Ceremony of the Olympics (Dancer), Adidas Fashion Show Caribbean Stories (Dancer, Hackney Empire), Verdi’s Aïda (Ensemble, Royal Albert Hall), Chess (The Black King, UK Tour/Toronto), Carmen (Ensemble, O2 Arena), Hairspray (Swing, Shaftesbury Theatre), The Darcey Bussell Farewell Performance (Sadler’s Wells). Television Includes: My Dad’s The Prime Minister (BBC), November Sky (Channel 4), The Christening (Short Film), Harry Potter Films 2,3,4 and commercials. Curtis is so pleased to be doing a dream job.
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.
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.
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
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.
Kieran trained at Bird College in London and graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance & Musical Theatre. His dance credits include Take That on the Royal Variety Performance (London), BBC Sports Relief (England), and The Face (Dundee, Scotland). Choreographically he has created pieces for Move It (London), Breakin’ Convention (Nottingham, England), Joiré De Vivre (London), Episodes (Midlands, England) and Straight Up (Brighton, England). He has also worked on an International Young Choreographers’ Exchange in Berlin
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.
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!
Having released four solo albums to date, Paul Booth has firmly established himself as an in-demand solo artist, as well as a “first call” sideman for many big names in both the jazz and popular music worlds. He has won many awards including the prestigious Clifford Brown/Stan Getz fellowship held in Miami, and The Best Modern Jazz Player category in the televised Young Jazz Player of the Year competition. Paul is currently in the Steve Winwood band, and tours with Basia, the BBC Big Band, Michael Janisch Quintet. He performed worldwide with Carlos Santana, Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, Riverdance, Alex Wilson, Roberto Pla, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Snowboy, Ray Gelato and Jane Monheit.
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
Robbie has been playing the guitar since he was ten years old. Aged fifteen he began playing in venues across Ireland. When he finished school he studied classical guitar and piano in Dublin Institute of Technology with John Feeley. Since then, he has been working as a session musician playing throughout Ireland and Europe.
Steve Holloway is a drummer, percussionist and bodhran player from Brooklyn, New York. For many years Steve was a busy jazz drummer, and in 1995 began a series of recording dates with Irish multi-instrumentalist Seamus Egan for the soundtrack of the hit film “The Brother’s McMullen”, the CD “The Words That Remain” by Solas, and Seamus’ solo release “When Juniper Sleeps.” This opened new doors that lead to numerous recordings and live performances with some of America’s top Irish musicians, and which also inspired Steve to begin playing the bodhran. He played over 200 performances of Riverdance on Broadway at the Gershwin Theater in New York during their successful run in 2000-2001, and in 2004 began touring with Riverdance, playing across America and Europe. He’s appeared on CBS Early Morning, NPR’s Morning Edition, Echoes, and Mountain Stage as well as RTE’s Late Late Show, and is thrilled to join the company of Heartbeat of Home.
Robbie is a bodhrán player and percussionist . He recorded and performed with among others, Bobby McFerrin, Clannad, Bob Geldof, Steve Cooney, Dónal Lunny, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Brian Kennedy and Celtic Woman. He toured extensively with Riverdance. As Musical Director of The Rhythm Corporation, he has led a 20-strong drum corps at international sports events in Croke Park and Aviva Stadium Dublin. He was Musical Director with the St. Patrick’s Festival’s in-house production City Fusion. He is co-director of the Big Bang Festival of Rhythm. His double album Pure Bodhrán is a collection of nineteen of the leading exponents of the drum from all over Ireland.
Ryan is one of the most in-demand lead and jazz trumpet players in the UK and a highly regarded composer, arranger and educator. Recordings and touring include Quincy Jones, George Michael, Robbie Williams, Jerry Hey, Bob Geldof, Martha Reeves, Ben E. King, The Commitments, Curtis Stigers, Paloma Faith, Little Mix, Labyrinth, The Fratellis, Justin Currie, The Bad Plus and Sharleen Spiteri. Ryan has performed as lead and guest principal trumpet with the Metropole Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Big Band, Tim Garland’s Underground Orchestra and Laurence Cottle Big Band.
Tanya is a freelance bassist/musician, with an eclectic career to date. She works with various artists and bands, both in studios and for live performances, worldwide. Tanya has performed, recorded and written with a diverse number of artists across many styles of music; she has worked with Grammy award-winning producers and written with multi-platinum selling artists, while continuing to write and perform with her own original bands. She is also creator and director of a wholly original, innovative online video series.
A professional saxophonist & piano player since 1993, Derek has toured America, Canada & Europe with The Commitments, The European Jazz Orchestra & Andrew Strong. Since 2003 Derek has been performing & writing with the Camembert Quartet, who are also the house band on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show. Derek has also played with many well known artists including; Michael Bublé, Sinead O’Connor, Gladys Knight, Roger Daltrey, Leo Sayer, Van Morrison, Bob Geldof & Paul Brady.
Hailing from a family of bush pilots in Fairbanks, Alaska, violinist and fiddler Caitlin Warbelow currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She performs, records, and teaches extensively in a variety of genres including Irish traditional and rock, country and bluegrass, Texas swing and contest fiddling, and classical violin. Caitlin has toured nationally with Cherish the Ladies and Celtic Fire, among many others. Caitlin maintains a large private teaching studio in NYC and she has a Masters degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University.
Athena Tergis hails from a musical family in San Francisco where she released her first album at age 16. She followed her passion for traditional music to Ireland and joined the Sharon Shannon Band. Athena was also the featured violinist in the production of Riverdance on Broadway. She spent over a year on tour with Bruce Springsteen’s sax player, Clarence Clemmons. In 2001 she joined Mick Moloney and Billy McComiskey in the Green Fields of America releasing their self-titled album on Compass records along with her solo album A Letter Home and a PBS documentary: Absolutely Irish! Athena is also a regular principal soloist and composer with the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra.
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