Ellen Bonner from Co. Meath, Ireland began dancing at the age of five and attended the renowned O’Shea School in Dublin. She has been dancing professionally for several years, juggling this with her studies, graduating with an honours degree in Accounting and Finance in 2012. Ellen has toured Europe, Asia, Canada and the USA with Noctu, Irish Celtic, Heartbeat of Home and Riverdance. She was Assistant Dance Captain with Heartbeat of Home and is currently Dance Captain with Riverdance. Ellen is delighted and feels very privileged to be following her dream, dancing as a lead dancer with Riverdance.
Follow Ellen on: Instagram: xellenb Twitter: xellenb
Amy-Mae Dolan from Co. Tyrone began dancing at the age of two. She danced for the fantastic Carson Kennedy Academy in Belfast. Amy- Mae has won the World Irish Dance Championships as well as many more major titles. In July 2016, she completed the Riverdance Summer School which she felt was one of the most rewarding and educational weeks of her life. She achieved her lifelong ambition of joining the Riverdance team in November 2016. Amy-Mae is both honoured and humbled to perform the lead role in the show she has loved her entire life. She would like to thank her family, friends and teachers for their continued love and support.
Julia began dancing at the age of six under the instruction of the Raney sisters at the Tara Academy in Seattle, USA. While she has successfully competed around the
world, dancing in Riverdance has always been her ultimate dream. Julia made her performing debut during Riverdance’s 20th anniversary tour in 2014 and is thrilled to now be performing the lead role.
Louise O’Sullivan from Dublin began dancing at the age of four under the tuition of the late Lil Tully, transferring to the Elaine Kavanagh School of Dance in her teens. Many years of successful competitive Irish dancing followed before Louise began her professional career in 2010. After lengthy tours of the world Louise fulfilled her dream of joining Riverdance. Since joining Riverdance Louise has moved from a troupe role, to Dance Captain and now a principal lead performer. Louise is also a qualified personal trainer, having studied at DCU.
Ciara Sexton is an internationally known Irish dancing professional who possesses multiple skills as a lead dancer, choreographer, lecturer and television announcer/presenter for major shows
and events throughout the world. She is a five-time World & All-Ireland Champion and has starred a lead dancer in Riverdance, Heartbeat of Home and in both Lord of the Dance and Lord of the
Dance 3D. Ciara is proud to be a senior editor for Irish Dance Magazine. She thanks her family and friends for their continued support on her third summer visit to the Gaiety with Riverdance.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Will trained with the Halloran Dance School in Irish, ballet, contemporary and tap from the age of four. Will performed lead roles in musical productions and made regular appearances on TV. At University he studied for a Bachelor of Music and is an accomplished guitarist. An ambitious athlete, Will is studying personal training on and off tour. Following an impressive competitive Irish dance career, placing top-three internationally and winning state and national titles, he then went on to perform with Celtic Illusion and Heartbeat of Home. In 2014 he joined Riverdance, touring over ten different countries, and is thrilled to be part of the lead team.
James lives in Co. Cavan and danced with Scoil Rince Mona Ni Rodaigh. He won several prestigious World Championships, All-Irelands, Great Britains, North Americans and Ulster titles in both solo and céilí competitions. He toured with Gaelforce and Dancemasters and with Noctu in New York. His career with Riverdance began in 2011 and he has performed with the show in North America, China, Brazil, Argentina and at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. James also has his own business, Vigor – www.vigor.ie working a as sports massage therapist and personal trainer.
Patrick began his dance training at age two with Rinceoiri Na Riochta. His first of many titles came in 1993, and he became All-Ireland champion in 1995. Moving to the U.S state of Virginia in 2004, he spent eight years dancing with Irish Thunder in Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. Back in Europe, he toured extensively with Gaelforce and performed in the Breandan De Gallai productions Noctu and the Rite of Spring. Patrick joined Riverdance in 2012, and was a principal dancer in Heartbeat of Home in 2015. Patrick is delighted to be performing the lead role in Riverdance in the historic Gaiety Theatre this summer. He would like to dedicate his first lead performance to his late Dad & Nana.
Brandon began dancing at the age of 4 with the Leneghan Academy of Irish Dance located in Cleveland, Ohio. In sixteen years of competitive dancing, Brandon became a five time Mid American champion, National champion, and placed 6th at the World championships. After participating in the 2015 Riverdance Summer School, Brandon began touring with Riverdance at the age of 19. Brandon is privileged to be in the show that inspired him to begin Irish dancing and looks forwards to continue to share his passion with audiences around the world. Brandon would also like to thank the family, friends, and teachers that allowed him to fulfill a lifelong dream.
Ciara Callanan Ryan, a BA Irish Music and Dance graduate from University of Limerick, began dancing at the age of three under the instruction of her mother Anne Callanan. When Anne finished teaching in 2001, Ciara continued learning from Michael Ryan. She has since toured extensively with Dance shows such as Ragus – the show and Titanicdance. She has also shared the stage with such bands as The Chieftians, De Dannan and Téada. Ciara is seven times Provincial Champion, former European Champion and she is a World Championship medal holder for eight consecutive years. She also enjoys playing the harp, whistle and piano and has traveled the world performing with her father Sean Ryan. It has been a lifelong dream for Ciara to perform with Riverdance and she is delighted to be part of the company.
Orlagh Carty is from Co. Wicklow began dancing at the age of 4 for the Hunter school where she acclaimed 3 All-Ireland titles and 6 Provincial Championships. She then began her career as a professional dancer and was selected as one of the original cast of Noctu, filmed for the TV series Dance Off, 2011. Orlagh went on to perform with numerous shows touring Europe, Asia, Russia & U.S.A. Most recently she was a part of Prodijig’s new show Footstorm. Orlagh is honoured to join the cast of Riverdance and looks forward to being part of the 21st anniversary tour.
Darren Casey started dancing at the age of eight for the world renowned Scoil Rince Mona ni Rodaigh in his hometown of Dundalk, Co.Louth in Ireland. After a successful competitive career including during which he won gold in Ulster, All Ireland and World Championships, Darren fulfilled his lifetime dream when he joined Riverdance in the summer of 2008, he toured worldwide with Riverdance for three years. Darren was also part of dance group PRODIJIG, who won the TV hit show ‘Got To Dance’. Darren is now delighted to be back on stage and touring with Riverdance!
Michael Gardiner started dancing in Denver, Colorado when he was 4 years old. At the age of 10, Michael and his family moved to Galway, Ireland and he, along with his older sister Anna and younger brother Matthew, joined the renowned Hession School. Michael went on to win every major including the All Irelands and World Championships, with a historic world title win in the same year as his brother Matthew. Michael has toured with the Kilfenora Ceili Band and is a member of the ‘Fusion Fighters’ and Trad on the Prom. Along with his younger brother Matthew, ‘The Gardiner Brothers’ preformed their famous ‘Smooth Criminal’ piece on Irelands biggest TV show, The Late Late Show this year. He loves choreographing new material and show pieces and has started teaching with the Hession School and Trinity Academy. Michael is an Architecture student at the University of Limerick and is an avid lover of trad music! He is delighted to have fulfilled a lifelong dream of touring with Riverdance and is excited to be a part of the Riverdance team.
Born in Bristol, Mitchell Hodges began dancing at the age of 4. After training with the Carey Academy in Birmingham he went on to attain several international titles including Great Britain, All Scotland and four consecutive North American championships. His biggest achievement to date was being crowned the U18 Men’s World Champion in London 2014. Mitchell is thrilled to begin his professional career with Riverdance.
Follow Mitch on: Twitter: @mitch_hodges Instagram: mitchellhodges96
From Connecticut, USA, Kelsey began dancing at the age of six with the Griffith Academy, studying Irish dance, ballet, and musical theater. While Kelsey is in her senior year at Southern Connecticut State University majoring in Broadcast Journalism, she enjoys performing. She is a lead dancer with the Griffith Academy Celtic Dance and most recently, Kelsey toured as a troupe member in Heartbeat of Home. Kelsey has been a New England Regional first place Ladies’ Champion and has been a top three placement finisher in both the North American Championships and the All Ireland Championships as well as a top ten finisher in the World championships. Kelsey would like to thank her very supportive teachers and is honored to be joining the cast of Riverdance.
Follow Kelsey on Instagram: @kelseylatham
Miriam began dancing at the age of three with the Lee-Byrne Academy, Dublin. Over her competitive years she has won Dublin, Leinster, All England, All Scotland, Great Britain, All Ireland and World Championship titles. In 2011, Miriam deferred her university degree to start her touring career with Irish Celtic. She was one of the original cast members and was selected as Dance Captain of the troupe in 2014. Miriam has also toured with both Gaelforce Dance and Dance Masters, where she performed the lead role. She has also been a member of Damhsa Irish Dance Company since 2010 and performs weekly at the Belvedere Irish Nights in Dublin and at corporate events throughout Ireland and abroad. For the past 3 years Miriam has been selected as a choreographer for studio2stage – a performance experience for aspiring young dancers. Miriam has been touring with Riverdance since 2014 and is delighted to be returning to the cast for the Barrow Company’s UK & Germany Tour.
Follow Miriam on: Twitter: @MiriamLee92 Instagram: @miriamlee1992
Sinéad began dancing at the age of four. She competed successfully under the tuition of Scoil Rince Uí Nualláin becoming a medal holder at all major Irish dancing championships. After completing her training in primary school education Sinéad began touring as a professional Irish dancer, performing with Ragús The Show for three years and also as lead dancer on Women of Ireland’s European tour. Sinéad would like to thank her family, friends and teachers for helping her achieve her dream of performing with Riverdance.
Megan began dancing at the age of 5 and is currently a dancer with the McNelis/Cunningham/Boyle SD, Co. Donegal, Ireland. After completing her Leaving Cert in 2013 she began her professional dance career with “Celtic Legends”, where she was lucky enough to perform as Lead Dancer. Within her three years of professional dancing, Megan toured with such shows as Irish Celtic, Irish Celtic Generations and Titanic Dance, aswell spenting six months performing in Raglan Road Irish Pub, DisneyWorld, Florida. Megan is delighted to be performing with Riverdance, a lifelong dream which has now become a reality.
A native of Monaghan, Mark began playing drums at the age of four. He studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Performing Arts College both in Dublin.
He is now one of Europe’s most sought after, and highly regarded, drummers and is constantly in demand from a host of leading stellar international music acts. His very individualistic and energetic style has seen him play with many international acts including Lionel Richie, Simply Red, Katie Melua, Josh Groban, The Corrs, The Divine Comedy, Lemar, Gary Moore, Mary Coughlan, Ronan Keating, Westlife, Girls Aloud, Donnie Osmond, and the late Christy Hennessy.
Mark Alfred uses and proudly endorses: Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Vater Drumsticks, Protection Racket Cases.
Kenneth Edge began his career in music by winning RTE’s ‘Young Musician of the Future’ competition in 1983. Since then, Ken has performed with some of the greatest musicians and orchestras in the world. He has attracted many composers to write new works for him to perform, such as Shaun Davey, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin and John Buckley. Aside from his performing career, Kenneth has held the posts of Music Director of Ireland’s CoisCéim Dance Theatre Company, for which he composed the scores for five of their productions, and Artist-in-Residence at the University of Limerick.
Tara Howley is a 21 year old award winning multiinstrumentalist, singer and dancer from Kilfenora Co. Clare. She is a two-time senior all Ireland champion on the uilleann pipes. Starting both classical and traditional music at the age of 4, Tara has numerous all Ireland titles in solo competitions and with bands and groups in various instruments such as concertina, fiddle, drums, mouthorgan, piano, whistle and uilleann pipes. In 2014 Tara toured Britain and Ireland with the group Macalla na hEireann and The Echoes of Erin. She produced and launched her debut solo album in April 2015 and is currently studying Irish music and dance in the Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick.
Two-time All-Ireland fiddle champion Patrick Mangan is from Brooklyn, New York, where he was introduced to traditional music at an early age. He grew up playing alongside legendary Irish musicians from both sides of the Atlantic. At sixteen, Patrick appeared in Riverdance on Broadway, becoming the youngest fiddler in the show’s history. Since then, he has toured extensively with Riverdance and other luminaries of Celtic music, playing to enthralled audiences around the world. In addition to his love for the stage, Patrick is also an award-winning composer. His new critically-acclaimed album “Departures” offers a fresh take on Irish music, comprised of original, globally-inspired melodies. It is available now via iTunes and at cdbaby.com/patrickmangan
Natalia is one of Ireland’s most accomplished and versatile saxophonists with a career that spans everything from classical to club music. With two performance MA degrees (Royal Academy of Music, Denmark, K. S. Academy of Music, Poland) Natalia’s orchestral and solo performances have taken her around the globe. Since making Dublin her home, Natalia has been appointed to the Irish Defence Forces No. 1 Band and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She performs at all major concert venues, state events and international match fixtures, is artist-in-residence at club venues Bad Bobs and the Morgan, enjoys jazz with the Hot House Big Band and improvises on ancient music with Irish choir Crux (Vikings TV series). From Ireland to Ibiza, Natalia is a rising star. www.natalia.ie
Marta Ortiz began to dance at four and quickly developed her talent through many disciplines, earning her degree in Spanish Dance at age 21, and a Certificate in Flamenco at 24. Having studied with such greats as Rubén Olmo in Centro Andaluz de Danza, and in the prestigious center of flamenco Amor de Dios in Madrid for two years, Marta’s second year in that school saw her work with more famous masters; Carmela Greco, Lola Greco, Alfonso Losa and Pedro Córdoba amongst others. During her time in Madrid, she performed as a cast-member of “The Trick”
across the most prestigious Flamenco theatres (or Tablaos) of the capital. As creator and choreographer of the Cádiz company “Carnaval en Danza”, Ortiz has produced three shows that fuse the musical styles of Andalusia, Cádiz carnival and traditional flamenco. As well as touring with Riverdance, Marta spent a large part of 2016 dancing and teaching in Japan.
The Riverdance Russian Ensemble combines elegance and grace with verve, dynamism and joyous physicality. The company’s dancers come from a diverse mix of cultural backgrounds. What they have in common is a dedication to dance and many years of training and performance in pursuit of perfection in their chosen art. Working as individual performers, they have come together for Riverdance, where they will share their individual talents and fuse the many elements that have gone into the development of their own unique style of dance.
Riverdance Russian Ensemble/ Dance Captain
Rohan began his training at the Audrey Spencer Dance Academy and at the Scala Performing Arts Academy. As a young actor Rohan was a series regular in Children’s Ward (Granada TV) and as
a young dancer won the title of North England Tap Champion. He then went on to train at the Urdang Academy, London. Since graduating he has appeared in Mary Poppins, Somebody’s Son, Hairspray, Riverdance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Hair, Some Like It Hip-Hop and The Scottsboro Boys. He has also appeared as a backing dancer for recording artists such as Beverly Knight, Lemar and Kanye West. Rohan is delighted to be returning to Riverdance.
Dharmesh Patel graduated from Doreen Bird Performing Arts College in 2007. Since graduating he has performed in numerous operas for the English National Opera and the Royal Opera House and at Buckingham Palace for Prince Charles. He starred on Sky 1’s Got to Dance as a semi-finalist and he’s also a member of Plague, who won the World Hip Hop International Championships in both 2005 & 2011. He was one of the original cast in Bodyguard the Musical in London’s West End and has choreographed and performed for Cirque Du Soleil.