Maggie began dancing with the Claddagh School of Irish Dance in California. She won four North American Championships, two All-Ireland Championships and in 2007 won the World Irish Dancing Championships. In 2010 Maggie performed the lead role in Busch Gardens’ production Celtic Fyre and originated the lead female role in Battle of the Dance. She joined the cast of Riverdance in 2011.
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.
Australian Gianna attended the Halloran School of Dance. She trained in Irish Dance, Ballet, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. Obtaining several Championship titles in Irish Dance, she also studied ballet part-time at the Australian Ballet School. Gianna’s career came to life when she joined the original cast of the international touring show Heartbeat of Home. Soon after she joined the cast of Prodijig’s show Footstorm. Her Riverdance journey began in 2014 on the 20th Anniversary tour in the UK and has since toured across three continents. Gianna is delighted to be performing the lead in Riverdance.
Australian born, Natasia began dancing at the age of 3. She trained in all styles with a strong focus on Classical Ballet and Irish Dance. Throughout her dancing career Natasia obtained 7 National Irish dance titles whilst training as a Ballerina with the Australian Ballet School. This all led her to be chosen as an original cast member in the debut world tour of Heartbeat of Home (2013). Since then she has continued on to perform as a lead with Heartbeat of Home (2015) as well as leading Prodijig’s show Footstorm in China (2014). After joining Riverdance in 2014, Natasia is delighted to now be performing the leading role in the show that inspired her to pursue Irish dance.
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.
Lead Dancer/Irish Dance Troupe
Lauren was born in Newtownards, Northern Ireland and she began Irish dancing with the St. Patrick’s School of Irish Dance. She won many regional championships including the Ulster and Northern Ireland titles numerous times. Lauren transferred to the Reilly School of Irish Dance where her success in competition continued. She joined Rhythm of the Dance in 2007 where she performed the lead role for three years. In 2010 she then progressed to fulfil her lifelong ambition in joining 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.
Bobby was six when he started dancing in his hometown Bristol. After an illustrious career as a competitive Irish dancer, winning ten world titles, he joined the cast of Lord of the Dance. After just six weeks in the show, he was cast as the principal lead. In 2012 he joined the cast of Prodijig to help create their debut show Footstorm. Bobby went on to be cast as principal lead in Heartbeat of Home which has toured internationally and is now thrilled to be performing lead in Riverdance, the show that inspired him to pursue dance.
Jason started dancing at the age of five alongside his six sisters. Under the tuition of the Armstrong school in Belfast he developed a deep-rooted passion for rhythm. Jason has been principal dancer with Prodijig’s Footstorm and with Heartbeat of Home and is truly honoured to attain lead role in three shows. As an avid traveller he has now performed in 200 cities worldwide. Jason is delighted to join Riverdance again on its remarkable 20th anniversary.
From Warwickshire, England, Callum danced with the Matthews Academy. He consistently placed in the top ten at World Championships and top five at the All Ireland Championships and other majors. Callum has appeared in the RTÉ TV series Dance Off and was chosen as lead for Noctu in Ireland and off-Broadway. He toured the USA, Canada, Europe and Russia with Lord of the Dance before joining Riverdance in the summer of 2011.
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.
Ellen from Co. Meath Ireland began dancing at the age of 5 and attended the renowned O’Shea School in Dublin. She has been dancing professionally for the last seven years and has juggled this with her studies, graduating with an honours degree in Accounting and Finance in 2012. Ellen has toured Europe, Asia, Canada and the 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.
Follow Ellen on: Instagram: xellenb Twitter: xellenb
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.
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!
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
John started dancing at the age of 6 after taking classes each Friday in Primary School. He went on to join the ‘Eleanor O’ Brien School of Irish Dancing’ then the ‘Sheila Hayes School, & finally the ‘Kiely-Walsh Academy’ where he is still a pupil to date. Throughout his dancing career, he has travelled all over Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales & even the US, to take part in competitions. His competitive career is extremely successful seeing him being crowned ‘North American Champion’, Irish National Champion’, ‘All Scotland Champion’ twice, ‘Munster Champion’ 10 times, ‘All Ireland Champion’ 5 times, & finally ‘World Champion’ 6 times. He has also won 4 All Ireland & World Gold Medals in 8-hand Céilí competitions. John toured with ‘Magic of the Dance’ throughout Germany, Holland and Austria before joining Riverdance. It is his dream to be a part of Riverdance and he is delighted to be performing in the show doing what he loves. ‘He would like to thank his family, friends & especially his Mother & Father for all the love, support & help they have given him to make his dreams come true.
Greg has been dancing since the young age of 5 and danced for the Martin Percival School of Irish dance. His competitive career includes three Western USA regional titles, placing top five at the North Americans, and competed internationally at the All-Ireland and World Championships. Greg has done three world tours with The National Dance Company of Ireland’s production of ‘Rhythm of the Dance’ as a lead dancer, became a full time cast member of ‘Footstorm’, a modern Irish dance show from the creators of ‘Prodijig’, and now is delighted to be apart of Riverdance, the show that originally made Greg begin to Irish dance. Greg would like to thanks his family and teachers for helping him pursue his dream of becoming a professional dancer.
Follow Greg on: Instagram- greg.molony
Jennifer Murray from Liverpool began Irish Dance age 3. She attended performing arts school where she studied drama and various styles of dance. Jennifer danced competitively under the direction of Byron Tuttle and Edward Searle for ‘The Academy, Birmingham’, winning gold, silver and bronze world medals and placing top ten in all major competitions. She then went on to join several dance companies touring around the world. For the past three years Jennifer has toured with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance Dangerous Games; starting on the West End and continuing on a world tour. It is a dream come true for Jennifer to have followed in her sisters footsteps when joining the cast of Riverdance this year.
Follow Jennifer on Instagram: __jennifermurray
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.
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 lead role in their touring
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 for many companies. Louise is also a qualified personal trainer, having studied at DCU.
Erin Roberge trained with the Irwin School of Irish Dancing in her home town of Calgary, Canada from the age of 7. She is a four time regional champion and holds top three and top ten placings at the North American Nationals and Worlds respectively. She was an original cast member in both Studio2Stage and the American Company of Irish Dance. After participating in the first ever Riverdance Summer School Academy, she was delighted to fulfill her life long dream of joining the Riverdance cast on their UK/Germany tour. Erin is very grateful to her teachers and family who have supported her through this amazing journey.
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.
Peter Wilson 23, began dancing at the age of 4 with the Coyle school in Donegal. After a successful competitive career including titles at National and World level, Peter pursued his studies at Dundee University, Scotland completing qualifications in Media, culture & Society. In 2012 Peter began his professional career by being one of 12 dancers cast in Breàndan De Gallai’s ‘Rite of Spring’. Peter has toured Russia, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States performing the lead role in ‘Rhythm of the Dance’, ‘Ragus – The Show’ and was the Dance Captain of ‘Gaelforce Dance’ . In 2013 Peter travelled to Las Vegas to film the series ‘Jigs and Wigs’ which continues to air in Ireland and the UK. In late 2013 Peter was invited to perform in China as part of a concert televised to 300 million people. In 2014 Peter joined Riverdance on the 20th Anniversary tour and continues to tour extensively throughout the world. Peter has performed in some of the worlds most prestigious venues including The Hammersmith Apollo Theatre London, Tokyo Opera City Music Hall, The Kremlin Palace Moscow and The Gaiety Theatre Dublin.
Follow Peter on: Twitter: @PeterWilson_
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.
Since graduating from Leeds College of Music with a BA (Hons) in Jazz, Emma has relocated to London and for past 8 years established herself as much in demand session musician.
Over the years Emma has toured throughout the World for Hedkandi, & Fierce Angel, as well as performing with Olly Murs, John Newman, Busted, Mr Hudson, The Ting Tings, Patrick Wolf to name a few. Emma is very much looking forward to being part of the Riverdance Shannon Company, and very much looking forward to Touring North America and Canada this Spring.
Follow Emma on:
Instagram & Twitter: @eframpers
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.
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
Marita was born in Úbeda (Jaén), Spain. She graduated in Spanish Dance from the Royal Conservatory of Córdoba in 2001 and a year later in Classical Ballet with AraLeo Moyano. She also studied Cátedra de Flamencologia in Córdoba and has got an BA (Hons) in Music and History Studies at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Marita´s professional experiences started in the opera El Cid with Placido Domingo which was performed in La Maestranza, Seville in 1999. She joined the Ballet Gallego Rey de Viana for a year in the production Vira ó Vento. After that, she returned to Madrid, where she has worked with several companies like Luisillo, Rafael Aguilar and José Greco among others. She has also performed as soloist in the role Dulcinea in Delirios del Quijote by Sara Lezana. She joined the Compañia Antonio Gades where she has worked in the productions of Carmen, Bodas de sangre and Fuenteovejuna around the world. She was working with different choreographers like Goyo Montero in Teather La Zarzuela. Marita also likes teaching and to bring the art of dance to everyone.
Find out more on www.maritamartinezrey.com
Rocio started dancing at age 4 in Granada, Spain. At 21, she graduated from El Conservatorio Profesional de Danza, Granada and began working professionally with various flamenco companies and artists including Compañia Andaluza de Danza, Flamencos en Route, Mario Maya and Rafaela Carrasco. Rocio has also created her own works. In 2006, she premiered Acordes Pintados con Palabras and currently has an ongoing show Alhambra Baila. Rocio has performed all over the world as a featured flamenco soloist in Riverdance and most recently added Heartbeat of Home to her credits as a flamenco artist/choreographer.
DeWitt Fleming Jr. is an acclaimed tap dancer, and has performed and taught throughout the world. He has danced as a soloist with Grammy award winning artist such as Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Mcferrin, Marvin Hamlisch, Christian McBride, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks to name a few. New York Times says he is, “a non stop source of rhythmic variety and surprise….sparks seem to fly from those shoes!” TV/Film: Boardwalk Empire, Smash, Limitless, How to be Single, Tours: Riverdance(Lead Tapper, Baritone Soloist), Cirque Du Soliel’s Banana Shpeel(Ensemble, featured tapper). Off- Bwy stage credits include: Cotton Club Parade(Lead/Nicholas Brother), Dance Bojangles Dance(Bojangles), Pearl (Bill Bailey), Tribute to Tap Legends(himself). Regional: Signature Theater’s Jelly’s Last Jam( Featured ensemble U/S Jelly), Alliance Theater’s Sophisticated Ladies(Lead), Finnegan’s Farewell (Tyrone). Choreography: Boardwalk Empire season 4 (HBO), the off Bway Musical “ An Evening with Phyllis Hyman”, Signature Theater’s Jelly’s Last Jam(Assistant Choreographer), The Aspen Jazz festival, The Alpine Theater Project, Lincoln Center JALC, NJPAC with The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Spoleto Festival, NYU’s Grad School Theater Program, and The New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble.
DeWitt is proud to be a Capezio athlete. www.dewittflemingjr.com
Tyler Knowlin is a professional tap dancer from Connecticut. He attended The Hartford Academy for the Arts, where he was introduced to rhythm tap and given the opportunity to train with masters such as Jimmy Slyde and Gregory Hines. At 14, Tyler performed at New York City’s first annual tap festival, Tap City. Tyler’s east coast performances include Jacob’s Pillow, The Bushnell, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Playhouse on Park, The Duke Theater, and Lincoln Center. In 2007, Tyler moved to San Francisco. He taught for City Dance Studios and ODC Dance. In 2013, Tyler taught and performed in Brazil. Tyler was most recently a featured performer in Hillary Marie’s original show Soul Walk. Tyler would like to thank everyone who has supported him along this long amazing journey!