An Irish dancing star of the future Rianna Moore from Glasson, who recently took part in the Take the Floor 2012 challenge in The Helix.
A talented local Irish dancer recently got to the chance to rub shoulders with the best in the business as part of the Take to Floor 2012 challenge.
17-year-old Rianna Moore from Lisahillen, Glasson, was one of only a handful of Irish dancers from around the country selected to participate in the first-of-its-kind challenge, which saw a cast of 55 from 13 countries worldwide work with professional choreographers and directors to create a new, two-hour live dance show in just ten days.
The event was the brainchild of leading dancers Paula Goulding and Shane McAvinchey, both former leading dancers in the Riverdance show who have performed all over the world. Among the other professionals taking part were Nicola Byrne, a lead dancer in Riverdance, Ciara Sexto, a world champion winning Irish dancer, who worked on Lord of the Dance with Michael Flatley, Michael Ryan, a leading tutor on the dance programme in UL and Brendan De Gallaí, a leading professional dancer, known for his contemporisation of Irish dancing.
"To learn a show in ten days was crazy," Rianna, who is a member of the Geraghty School of Irish Dancing in Roscommon and Glasson said this week of the experience. "It was hectic backstage but we loved it," she added, enthusing that it was a once a lifetime experience to share the stage with some of the best Irish dancers and learn from the top choreographers.
"It was so nerve wracking. We danced for hours every day. Some days we'd start at 8am and we wouldn't finish till 10pm. Dancing for 14 or 15 hours a day was crazy," Rianna, who was lucky enough to be chosen after sending a CV and a video audition earlier this year.
Having danced since the age of nine and taken part in shows, competitions and entertaining at events like weddings and parties etc, the Glasson girl was well used to the stage, but she described this as a different challenge entirely, because she had to learn how to perform to an audience and perfect the acting skills needed to go along with the dancing prowess.
The unique test culminated with a one-off sell-out performance of the new show in The Helix on August 15, something Rianna described this week as "incredible".
"The feeling of doing the show, you just can't explain it. When you are there, you feel it is just you on stage," the Our Lady's Bower student enthused, saying it was an added bonus to dance alongside her heroes, the group, Beoga and learn the diverse styles of each of the choreographers involved.
"That was crazy because I love them. That was one of the highlights for me," she said of Beoga, adding that she loved the buzz and adrenalin of the show which needed a lot of teamwork to be a success. The show was streamed live on the night on the Take the Floor 2012 website.
"The first half of the show was about our trip to Take the Floor, practicing for cast calls, showing figure dances, ceilí etc. Then in the second half the dance got more modern," Rianna outlined. The live dance troupe of 55 on the night was actually the biggest group of Irish dancers on stage in Ireland this year, she pointed out, with the Riverdance cast only boasting 22 dancers in total.
Having been lucky enough to be selected for Take the Floor 2012, Rianna, who goes into Leaving Cert year this month, now has ambitions to study dance at University of Limerick and become a professional choreographer in the future.
She also hopes the Take to Floor 2012 experience will lead to more experience in professional shows in the years ahead.
Check out clips of the show at http://www.takethefloor2012.