Swords’s BSD ‘on cloud nine’ after talent show win

by Sylvia Pownall

Back Street Dance Studio are still on a high after a “whirlwind” weekend that saw them crowned winners of TV reality contest Ireland’s Got Talent.

They topped the public vote on Sunday night, netting a €50,000 prize fund as well as the chance to feature in a one-hour TV programme on Virgin Media.

Dance teacher Niamh Carroll yesterday reflected on a “crazy” few days for the Swords-based Hip-Hop academy as they come to terms with their massive win.

She told Dublin Gazette: “We knew the kids deserved it for all the hard work they put in but when they were announced as winners it was still a huge surprise.

“These kids are only young, their career is only starting, and this is a massive boost for them.”

One member of the troupe, 17-year-old Paddy Ferris, sat his Leaving Cert Spanish oral exam before his rehearsal on Friday and had to go into school afterwards.

Niamh revealed that there were also at least half a dozen of the 38 members on stage, aged from 10 up to 17, who were sitting their Junior Certificate this year.

She said: “Paddy was coming to the studios with his books for his French and Irish orals. But he gave 100%, just like every single one of them did.”

BSD collectively credits Sunday as “the most incredible day” they’ve had since opening their doors at Airside in 2003.

They said their ethos was to create a safe place for dancers where they could “grow up, feel at home, break away from their problems. Somewhere that they can be themselves and somewhere that they can live their dreams.”

With this in mind, Niamh hit out at mean-spirited critics who were quick to slam Sunday night’s win claiming that the voting system needed to change because it gives large dance troupes an unfair advantage.

She said: “People picked up the phone and voted. We put in the hard work, the kids trained and trained, and we got the votes, so that was that. I think they said there was 800 votes in it so that was quite close.”

Filming will start on the BSD special, which will air during next year’s run of IGT on Virgin Media, in coming weeks but in the meantime it’s business as usual.

Niamh said: “They’re all buzzing and they’re still on cloud nine. We’ve given them a couple of days off after a whirlwind of emotions, but after that it’s back into studio to plan what our next steps are.”

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