(Ed. note: Our guest blogger this week is Joe Moriarty, a native of Columbus, Ohio who has been dancing with Riverdance since 1997. He has graciously decided to share his story with the CAPA.com blog, and we appreciate his insight into the Irish dancing phenomenon! RIVERDANCE will be in town Friday, February 18 through Sunday, February 20 – to buy tickets, call 614-469-0939, visit the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office, or click here to order online from Ticketmaster. )
My name is Joe Moriarty and I’m from Columbus, Ohio. I’m a principal dancer with the touring show Riverdance. I’ve been touring with the show since 1997 and here’s how I got started.
Growing up in a large Irish-American family it seemed only natural to take up Irish Traditional Dancing. I started dancing at the relatively late age eight at the Richens-Timm Academy of Irish Dance. By the time I was twelve I had progressed to the Championship level and within a few years I had won regional and national titles. I competed at the World Championships on three occasions and at my last competition I placed in the top five.
It was at this point that I realized I might be able to make a career out of dancing. I auditioned for Riverdance in November of 1996. The audition was being held in Chicago. I was told that I was to young to audition, but I thought, what the heck, I’ll go anyways. When I arrived to Chicago they had decided to let me audition after making the six hour journey. I guess you could say the, rest is history. The audition went so well that within the next few weeks I received a letter stating that the next position would be mine. A position became available at the end of the upcoming summer.
It was August of 1997 when I joined the tour. I had just finished my sophomore year in high school, so of course my parents were reluctant to let me leave school. On the other hand they knew how much it meant to me, so they gave me their blessing and allowed me to join the show.
I started performing the Male Principal Role in October of 1998. At eighteen I was, and still am, the youngest male to perform the role to date. I have toured all over Europe, Scandinavia, Ireland, The UK, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, Malaysia, Russia, Canada and The States. My highlights include starring on Broadway, performing in the People’s Hall of China and the Kremlin State Palace, as well as performances for the Empress of Japan and the President of Ireland.
I’m very thankful to Riverdance for all the opportunities it has given me over the years. I have been able to travel the world, see incredible places, meet my amazing wife as well as many others, while doing what I love to do. I am extremely excited about coming home to Columbus to perform for my family, friends and the central Ohio community. Come and enjoy Riverdance at the Palace Theatre Friday, February 18th through Saturday, February 20th!