Australia can lay claim to another star not born here – as is our want.
Tom Brosnan first came to our shores in 2009, to take up a position on The Rhythms of Ireland tour when one of the dancers dropped out.
He had been recommended by a fellow World Irish Dancing Championship competitor he had last seen the previous year. This despite the fact he had not been dancing since then.
There was no chance he wouldn’t prove up to the task as he has been an Irish dancer since he was seven years old and taken out second place in the World Irish Dancing Championships.
When he began, he had no thoughts Irish dancing would become the phenomenon it is today. In fact, by age 12, he decided he would rather play soccer and did not resume dancing until he was 16. By the time he finished school he was again dubious about pursuing dance.
“A few friends were going into showbiz, but it wasn’t happening for me, so I decided to go to university,” Brosnan says. He studied sports coaching for a year before he got the call to come to Australia. Brosnan says it was a call that changed his life.
Although he had thoughts of returning to university after the nine month tour of Australia, he met an Australian girl in the troupe and promptly fell in love. “I loved it [touring with The Rhythms of Ireland]. And then I was offered another tour and then another.” Since then, Brosnan and his partner Erin Trevena, have danced on stages across the globe.
“We have been to about 30 countries and danced in many different productions.” He was in Riverdance for two years and a show from the same producers called Heartbeat of Home. “We have been lucky. We [he and Erin] have been able to join the same tours.” You may have also seen the Sydney-based pair at Port Macquarie’s Glasshouse in June this year in the show Eclipse.
With so much dancing – 30 plus hours a week – there are bound to be some injuries. Brosnan says he is accident prone and had to leave Riverdance because he broke his foot. “When you are on tour you have to maintain your fitness level, which we do mostly with dance. We rehearse for two hours each day and I like to run. Plus you must eat well.”
After each show they have to put their legs in an ice bath to rid them of the lactic acid which builds up during performance. His other favourite form of exercise is still soccer, but he doesn’t play in the lead up to a tour.
He and Erin will be married in January and they hope to open a dance school to teach competition Irish dancing. “It’s more about the footwork and technical ability than performing, but it gives a basis for it.
They hope to still be able to tour and perform and would never say no to staging their own production. Let’s hope they never lose the rhythms of Ireland.