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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Niall O'Leary Irish Dancer

Whom You Know usually profiles Movers and Shakers as those who are simply outstanding in their field, but in this case Peachy Deegan is being literal as well! She has studied hard shoe with Niall.

Niall O'Leary TCRG, ADCRG is from Dublin Ireland. A former All-Ireland and World Champion, he founded the Niall O'Leary School of Irish Dance in Dublin in 1995, in the New York metropoilitan area in 1996 and in Florida in 2007. The School is currently the largest in New York City.

Niall O'Leary's Irish dance teachers included Kevin Massey, proclaimed by Michael Flatley to be the greatest Irish dancer ever, and Rory O'Connor the first man to do Irish dancing on the radio. Niall O'Leary qualified as an Irish dance instructor in 1994 and as an Irish dance adjudicator in 2006. In 1996 he put together and choreographed the first ever multi-national team to compete in the World Irish Dance Championships, including dancers from Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Australia, Botswana, USA and Ireland. He has also choreographed shows for Comhaltas in Dublin and in the US and Irish dance routines for Pfizer's Corporate Show. In April 2009 the Niall O'Leary School of Irish Dance will be presenting a 6 minute dance-drama at the World Irish Dance Championships in the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia.

The Niall O'Leary Irish Dance Troupe performs at weddings, corporate events and has also performed at the St. Patrick's Day Ball in the Plaza Hotel, Manhattan, the American-Ireland Fund dinner, AIB corporate dinner, New York Athletic Club Dinner, Union Square in Manhattan and in summer 2001 did a hugely successful tour of Japan, performing in such prestigious venues as Osaka Festival Hall. The school has been featured on NBC TV, CBS Radio, The New York Times, The Daily News, The Irish Emigrant, Home and Away and Fuji TV (Japan). The school performs regularly at festivals and fairs, such as the New York City Irish Dance Festival presented by the Irish Arts Center and Woodside Street Fair.

Niall O'Leary performs regularly as a solo artist, in duet with Darrah Carr, and with various acts such as Natalie MacMaster,Cherish The Ladies, The Prodigals, The Andy Cooney Band, Atlantic Wave, The McCabes and Mick Moloney's Green Fields of America. He is in constant demand as a choreographer and master instructor and conducts regular workshops around the US, Canada, Ireland, Japan and Mexico. He has made a CD and an instructional video in Irish step dancing entitled 'Cuts from the Kitchen'. He was the founding chairman of Ull Mor CCE, the Manhattan branch of Comhaltas.

Niall is currently accepting new students for Spring 2009 childrens' and adults' classes: Please email or call 212-726-1602 for further information.

What is your favorite place to be in NYC?
Indoors: The Guggenheim
Outdoors: Down by the Hudson River!

What is your favorite shop?
I cannot stay out of Brookstone on Fulton Street for too long...

What is your favorite drink?
Morning: Grapefruit juice
Evening: Guinness in Mr. Dennehy's or Boddingtons in O'Lunney's

What is your favorite restaurant?
Irish: Saints and Sinners, Woodside: the best burger in NYC!
Other: La Palapa, Greenwich Village, great Mexican food!

What is your favorite NYC book?
Here is New York, E. B. White

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC that you can do nowhere else?
Have a choice of places to go for food at 4.30am!

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Most underrated: The NYC subway: the train always arrives when I walk into the station.
Most overrated: 'Threat Level Orange': groups of NYPD officers in the subway is a waste of time and space!


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