From jive classes in Coppers to bopping in the ballroom in Fethard, the dancefloors around Ireland are hopping every night of the week. Accessible to everyone, regardless of ability, age, shape or size, dancing is a fun way to keep fit, socialise, and learn something new. But dancing can be more than that – it can be where love stories begin, an escape from grief, or a way to keep old memories alive. Secrets from the Dancefloor explores our passion for dancing as we meet those who can’t live without it and offer insight into what inspires people to dance.
The programme features several contributors including Kilkenny based, 103-year-old, James McManus who loves to tango, and has no plans of stopping. “The day I do that, I’ll be in a coffin” he laughs. He reminisces on dancing through life with his beloved Patsy, and his time spent in the British Army during World War II.
Wicklow teenager, Freya Roche, is enamoured with ballroom dancing, “I don’t know what my life would be without it, it’s made me so confident and outgoing”. Freya defied her dyspraxia diagnosis, which affects her co-ordination, to become The All-Ireland Ballroom Dancing Champion last year. The programme follows Freya as she dances to retain the title for 2023.
Rebecca Harte and Eoin Sexton from Cavan met and fell in love at jive classes. They are busy preparing their home for the arrival of their very own tiny dancer, as well as planning a wedding and the all-important first dance.
Ethnochoreologist, Orfhlaith Ni Bhriain, from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Desmond O’Neil, Professor of Medical Gerontology, and Loraine Barry, one of Ireland’s most successful ballroom dancers and Dancing with the Stars judge, all give their expert opinion on what it is about dancing that makes it so appealing.
Speaking about the programme, series producer, Darragh Byrne said: “The ‘Secrets’ world brings audiences behind the scenes of familiar areas of Irish life and puts the viewer into the shoes of some remarkable people. With an access-all-areas approach, these are stories we can all relate to but which still have the power to surprise by allowing viewers into the sometimes-private thoughts of often unsung everyday heroes.”
Secrets from the Dancefloor is episode one of the three-part series that will lift the lid to reveal the inner workings of various areas of life in Ireland. In addition to dance, the series will look at the Secrets from the Sidelines, and the Secrets of a Delivery Driver.
Watch Secrets from the Dancefloor on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player on at 21:35 2nd October 2023.