Moy­vane sib­lings step it out in INEC

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BY EVE DOWL­ING

THE INEC is ready to host the All-Ire­land Ir­ish Danc­ing Cham­pi­onships next month – and no less than three mem­bers of one Moy­vane fam­ily will com­pete.

Aaron (17), Sean (15), and Leah (13) Sle­mon will rep­re­sent Moy­vane with pride as the com­pe­ti­tion finds a new Kerry home for the next three years.

IT’S all danc­ing shoes and sock glue for the INEC next month. Next Fe­bru­ary marks the first of many ma­jor Ir­ish Danc­ing com­pe­ti­tions that will be held in the INEC Kil­lar­ney within the next four years, as dancers from all over the world take part in next month’s All Ire­land Danc­ing Cham­pi­onships 2018.

One of the danc­ing schools in­volved is Kil­lar­ney’s own Áine Mur­phy Dance Academy, and Áine told The Ker­ry­man “The stu­dents are work­ing very hard com­ing up to the com­pe­ti­tion.

“It’s been non-stop the last few weeks and they’re re­ally look­ing for­ward to danc­ing on the INEC stage, es­pe­cially since it’s home ter­ri­tory.”

The com­pe­ti­tion will at­tract dancers from all over the coun­try, and other coun­tries such as the UK, the US, Aus­tralia, and even Rus­sia.

The cham­pi­onships will take place in the INEC for the next three years, ahead of host­ing the 2021 World Cham­pi­onships will.

“It’s won­der­ful,” Áine said. “Most danc­ing teach­ers that I speak to, love com­ing to Kil­lar­ney, es­pe­cially to the INEC.”

There are plenty of dancers from Kerry com­pet­ing from dif­fer­ent schools around the county. and Áine has 15 solo dancers and six teams com­pet­ing next month.

Of these, The Sle­mon fam­ily of Moy­vane pro­vides three, as Aaron (17), Sean (15) and Leah (13) take the stage in both the so­los and the teams. Sean has been danc­ing since he was five and holds some of the big­gest ti­tles in the world of Ir­ish Danc­ing. He has won the World ti­tle twice; the All Ire­land’s three times; the All Scots; and the Great Brits, and com­peted and placed in the North Amer­i­can Na­tion­als to name but a few achieve­ments.

When the ten-time Mun­ster Cham­pion was asked what keeps him go­ing, he said, “It’s my pas­sion. I en­joy do­ing it and couldn’t imag­ine do­ing any­thing else.”

The fam­ily has trav­elled all over the world for com­pe­ti­tions, and Seán ad­mits it’s not al­ways easy.

“We train three-to-four times a week, three-hours-a-ses­sion with Áine, seven-days-a-week at home, and one day of strength and con­di­tion­ing with Pavel in Lis­towel Fit­ness Cen­tre.

“We all do it and it’s just be­come part of our rou­tine...I can’t wait [for next week]. It’s great that it’s so close to home, as be­fore it was usu­ally on in Belfast and Dublin, so it’s ex­cit­ing for it to be on home ter­ri­tory”.

Aaron, the old­est of the Sle­mon fam­ily, is also pre­par­ing for the All Ire­lands. Af­ter a fouryear break from com­pe­ti­tions, he’s thrilled to be tak­ing the stage of the INEC.

“I had to come back. I was danc­ing in shows in Si­amsa Tire in the sum­mers and I just missed it. I loved it, so it just drew me back in”.

He has com­peted in com­pe­ti­tions such as the World Ir­ish Danc­ing Cham­pi­onships, the All Ire­land Danc­ing Cham­pi­onships, the Mun­ster Cham­pi­onships and many oth­ers like his younger brother, he can’t wait to take the stage in Kil­lar­ney and hase the same sched­ule: Sleep, school, dance, re­peat.

Leah Sle­mon is fol­low­ing fast be­hind her broth­ers. With nine years’ of danc­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s no sur­prise that this young lady gives her broth­ers’ a run for their money.

Leah told The Ker­ry­man that “I love meet­ing new peo­ple and go­ing to dif­fer­ent places around the world. Danc­ing re­ally has been amaz­ing when it came to be mak­ing new friends.”

Leah is also pre­par­ing for the All-Ire­land Danc­ing Cham­pi­onship and is ex­cited and ready to dance her socks off at the INEC.

Like her broth­ers, she’s pre­par­ing for the World Ir­ish Danc­ing Cham­pi­onships in Glas­gow, which will fall on her 14th birth­day.

“It’ll be a great way to cel­e­brate my birth­day, but first I can’t wait to dance in Kil­lar­ney.”

It’s set to be quite the ex­cit­ing year for The Sle­mon Fam­ily and they owe all of their hard work to their teacher Áine Mur­phy, their par­ents and es­pe­cially their great-grand­mother Han­nah Fo­ley, who was the one to en­cour­age them to start danc­ing lessons.

Over­all, it’s an ex­cit­ing cou­ple of years ahead for the INEC in Kil­lar­ney.

Sean and Leah Sle­mon

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