Every Irish dancer has a role model they look up to. Even world champions have Irish dancers who once inspired them to become better. Whether it’s a star from Riverdance or a dedicated teacher, great Irish dancers inspire us to push ourselves to greatness.
I’ll be competing at the Western US Region Oireachtas this weekend. Going up against such difficult competition always makes me wonder how talented I am in comparison to the other dancers. I’ve come a long way in eight years. For me, it all started when I saw Riverdance for the first time on PBS as a teenager. Jean Butler was absolutely breathtaking. I wanted to be graceful just like her, and even today I work hard to dance as amazing as she does. She’s always been my idol and working hard to dance like her has brought me a lot of success.
Since it’s Oireachtas month for a lot of dancers, I thought it would be a great idea to feature some amazing Irish dancers who are worthy role models. It’s the best dancers who push us all to become better, so here’s a little inspiration for you, as you head out for some serious competition this month:
Jillian Oury Jillian Oury is a fantastic role model who now teaches Irish dance in Nashville. She placed 2nd at Worlds and has also won the North American Nationals and the Midwest Oireachtas numerous times.
Former lead in Lord of the Dance and 2nd place world champion, Damien O’Kane is a fantastic role model for any dancer. His love for Irish dance shows every time he gets on stage.
A great inspiration for young dancers would be Julia O’Rourke, 1st place world champion and star of the Irish dancing documentary, JIG.
Which Irish dancers have been a great inspiration for you?