A 24-year-old All-Ireland dancing champion, acknowledged with reviving an age-old tradition, represents the west this weekend at RTE’s All-Ireland Talent Show.
Emma O’Sullivan from Renvyle will showcase her expertise in Sean Nos dancing with her musical partner, Galway box-player John O’Halloran on Sunday night. They will travel to Ardmore Studios in Bray today (Thursday ) for auditions before the live show at 6.30pm on Sunday.
She hopes to make it through to the next round of the competition with the support of Galway people.
Emma is the daughter of well known chef Tim O’Sullivan of Renvyle House Hotel and his wife Carmel. She took up Sean Nos dancing four years ago while a business and marketing student at GMIT.
Since then she has danced in the United States, Europe and the Phillipines. She became All-Ireland Sean Nos champion last autumn and now teaches this traditional dance form full-time. She regularly performs at Renvyle House for wedding parties.
A friend of the Mulkerrin Brothers who won last year’s competition, Emma hopes the exposure on RTE’s All-Ireland Talent Show will raise the profile of Sean Nos dancing and bring it to a mainstream audience.
Sean Nos is a traditional form of dancing which originated in Connemara and is a very impromptu, rhythmic and low key accompaniment to a lively traditional Irish band. The footwork “battering” is fun to watch and listen to and is typically done as a solo performer or in very small groups.
Emma is urging people to support her on the night. “We are asking the people of Galway and of Connacht to support us this Sunday by texting or phoning in their vote that will send us through to the next round of the competition. Please tune in to RTE 1 television on Sunday evening at 6.30pm and give us your vote.”