STEPPIN’ LIVELY

Tom Bros­nan’s fancy foot­work, which has made him a world cham­pion at Ir­ish danc­ing, has taken him far and wide in­clud­ing the Coast

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - SEANNA CRONIN

As a child Tom Bros­nan dreamed of be­com­ing a soc­cer player. In­stead, he found a pro­fes­sion that re­quires even more fit­ness and men­tal stamina: Ir­ish danc­ing.

“I’ve played a lot of sport in my life and danc­ing is the hard­est,” he says.

“It sounds silly, but it’s just the style of it. Be­cause it’s so into the ground and so heavy, the stress you put your body through do­ing it ev­ery night can be very tough.

“We re­hearse ev­ery day be­fore the show and after the show we have to ice our legs.”

Tom has been danc­ing since he was seven years old and by the age of 12 he achieved sec­ond place in the World Ir­ish Danc­ing Cham­pi­onships and won five world cham­pi­onships in team com­pe­ti­tion.

At 18, Tom nearly gave up the dream of be­com­ing a pro­fes­sional dancer and went to univer­sity to study sports coach­ing – think­ing if he couldn’t be a soc­cer player then at least he could be a coach.

But an of­fer to fly to Aus­tralia and join the cast of The Rhythms of Ire­land 2009 tour set him back on the danc­ing path, and he hasn’t looked back since.

“On my first tour of Aus­tralia I met my now fi­ancee,” he says.

“She’s from Syd­ney and I moved over a cou­ple of years ago. There’s quite a big Ir­ish danc­ing com­mu­nity in Aus­tralia.”

Tom and his fi­ancee, also a dancer, plan to open their own dance school next year. But first, he’s head­ing back out on the road for The Rhythms of Ire­land’s 10th An­niver­sary Tour.

“We’ve got a whole new set de­signed for the tour, new cos­tumes and mostly new dancers,” he says.

“The stan­dard of the danc­ing as a whole has just im­proved. We have dancers com­ing over from the US and Ire­land and we have mul­ti­ple world cham­pi­ons. It’s a great cal­i­bre of tal­ent.

“We have two weeks of re­hearsals be­fore the tour. We do 12-hour days ev­ery day just to make sure it’s per­fect.”

His ca­reer has taken him around the world as the pop­u­lar­ity of Ir­ish danc­ing ex­pands to new ter­ri­to­ries.

“Go­ing to China is al­ways in­ter­est­ing I sup­pose,” he says.

“We’ve been to places where they’ve never seen West­ern peo­ple and they’re very en­thu­si­as­tic; they love it.

“Over in Chile, we went out for a meet and greet af­ter­wards and they were just pulling us around al­most like we were celebri­ties.”

The Rhythms of Ire­land 10th An­niver­sary Tour plays The Star Gold Coast on Novem­ber 18

See Tom Bros­nan, left, per­form­ing in The Rhythms of Ire­land at The Star Gold Coast.

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