Lead Dancer / Irish Dance Troupe
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Ellen is delighted and very privileged to be following her dream and touring the world with Riverdance.
Follow Ellen on: Instagram: xellenb Twitter: xellenb
Irish Dance Troupe
Will began dancing at the age of four with the Halloran School of Dance in Sydney, Australia. He trained in classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop and Irish dance. He has played lead roles in musicals such as West Side Story, Mary Poppins, and Oliver! and appeared on the Australian television series Dance Academy. Will has also been successful at major competitions worldwide winning National and State titles in Australia. He has performed in Celtic Illusion and toured internationally with Heartbeat of Home. He has studied for a Bachelor of Music at University and is an accomplished musician. Will is thrilled to be now touring with Riverdance.
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
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.
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Mia began Irish dancing at age 6 with the Bracken School in Arizona. At age 9, her family relocated to California where she continued her training with the Claddagh School of Irish Dance under the direction of Maire O’Connell. Since 2005 Mia has obtained numerous national and international dance titles in both team dancing and solo dancing. In addition to excelling at dance Mia has also excelled academically and achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Riverdance inspired Mia to pursue Irish dancing and she is thrilled to begin her professional Irish dance career as a Riverdance cast member. Mia would like to thank her parents, family, teachers and friends for their support.
Erin started Irish dancing under the direction of Mary Kay Heneghan for the Rince na Tiarna School in Buffalo, New York. She has danced nationally and internationally, competing at the World championships, with frequent podium placements in the North American Nationals, and Great Britain Championships. At age 19, Erin turned professional when she joined Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance- Dangerous Games, working in London’s West End, Broadway, and on the finale of Britain’s Got Talent. This past summer, Erin appeared in Downtown Disney at the Raglan Road Irish Restaurant, and with the show TitanicDance for their North American debut. Erin would like to thank her family, teachers, and friends for helping her achieve her life long dream of performing in Riverdance!
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 the tender age of two with Rinceoiri Na Riochta under the direction of Jimmy Smith and Honor O’Conor. At seven, Patrick won his first Munster title in 1993 and continued claiming the title every year until 2004. Patrick was awarded All Ireland Champion in 1995. Patrick continued to compete until 2004 in the All Ireland’s, the British National’s, the American National’s, the Great Britain’s, and the World’s, always placing in the top 4. Patrick went on to dance and travel all over the world with shows such as Ragus, To Dance on the Moon, Spirit of Ireland, Dance of Desire, Playboy of the Western World, Irish Thunder and Emerald Beat in Busch Gardens, Virginia and Florida, Skydance, Noctu, Irish Celtic, Gaelforce Dance and Dance Masters. Patrick is extremely excited and privileged to be a part of the overly talented cast of Riverdance, and would like to thank his parents and family for their support throughout his dance carrier.
Louise from Dublin, began dancing at the age of 4 for the Elaine Kavanagh School of Dance. She has won many medals in competitions worldwide and also learned tap, ballet, modern and Latin American dance. After 17 years of competition Louise joined Gaelforce Dance as understudy and then principal dancer. Louise danced with Dance of Desire, Magic of the Dance, Dance Masters and Irish Celtic touring the world for 4 years. Louise has a degree in fitness and personal training and works with Trinity College gymnasium in Dublin when she is not on tour. Louise is delighted to achieve her dream to perform with Riverdance and would like to thank her family and friends for all their love and support through out her dancing career.
From Sydney Australia, Gianna attended the Halloran School of Dance training in Irish Dance, Ballet, Contemporary, Tap and Musical Theatre. Obtaining several State and Australian National titles and numerous North American Championship medals in Irish dance she also studied 2 years part-time at the Australian Ballet School. Gianna first performed in the Australian production, Celtic Illusion. Though it was Heartbeat of Home which became her first international show touring in Dublin, China and North America. Soon after she joined the cast of Footstorm for their China tour in 2014. She also has a strong passion for film making and photography. Gianna is very grateful to be joining Riverdance on this anniversary tour.
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_
Drums / Percussion / Bodhrán
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.
21 year old Ceilidh Briscoe has been playing the violin for 16 years. She is currently in the middle of the third year of her Bachelors Degree in Violin Performance at the University of Ottawa studying with Yehonatan Berick, after completing a two year Diploma in Violin Performance at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, studying with Michael van der Sloot. In 2013, she performed as the first violinist in a Conservatory-formed quartet that took first place at the National Music Festival of Canada. In the summer of 2014, she took part in the two week program, ³Summer Music on the Shannon in Limerick and Ennis, Ireland, where she taught, and performed as a part of the orchestra, and as a soloist. Ceilidh also performed as a soloist with the Master Series Conservatory Orchestra, the Sooke Philharmonic, and the Victoria Chamber Orchestra. With regards to orchestral playing, Ceilidh currently holds a substitute position with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and a full time position with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Complementing her classical playing, Ceilidh is a five time North American Fiddle Champion, an All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, and has studied the Sligo style of Irish playing extensively via the internet and in person, with Brian Conway, of New York City.
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
Uilleann Pipes / Low Whistle / Tin Whistle
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.
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.
Riverdance Russian Ensemble/ Dance Captain
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.
Katrina Meske grew up in Republic of Latvia where she graduated from prestigious Riga Choreography School, excelling in ballet, character dance, contemporary and acting, and got to dance with Latvian National Opera and Ballet whilst still being a student performing in such productions as Swan Lake, Giselle, Alchina etc. Through her years of education she expanded her horizons in dance traveling to many festivals and summer intensives in Europe, US and Asia. In 2011 Katrina moved to London to follow her carrier working with numerous dance companies including European Ballet where she was invited as the principal dancer for such ballets as Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Cinderella and Coppelia. In 2013 Katrina joined Riverdance and has toured extensively with the show ever since performing to enthralled audiences all over the world.
Riverdance Russian Ensemble
Anna Vedenina grew up in Novosibirsk, Russia. She studied at the Novosibirsk Ballet School in the department of classical dance. In 2011, she graduated with honours from the Krasnoyarsk Choreographic College’s Department of folk dance, before performing with the Chaldony in Novosibirsk. Moving to Moscow in 2013, she worked with numerous dance companies. She has performed across the world, from Mexico to China, and many Russian cities. As well as consistently touring in various capacities, Anna has been delighted to nurture young talent in her role as a teacher. In 2014 Anna joined Riverdance.
JL Williams is celebrating 15 years of show-business performing on Broadway, Television, Film and theatre in over 20 countries around the world. Selected credits: Original Broadway Cast of “FELA!” Japan and USA tour of “42nd Street” in the role of Andy Lee, World tours of Magic of the Dance, Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award Alumni, Alumni of Broadway’s “Shuffle Along”, and CBS’s “The Gregory Hines Show”
Follow on JL Instagram @jltapsoul
or visit his website www.tapsoulpro.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!