19 Aug 2022

Kilkenny dancer Clodagh has the world at her feet

Broadway is calling to the 14 year-old dancer from Kilmoganny

Kilkenny Kilkenny

Clodagh Murphy, from Kilmoganny, has just been named Dance World Junior Ambassador. Pictured courtesy of Dance World

A young dancer is putting the village of Kilmoganny on the map with her dance achievements.

Clodagh Murphy is just 14 years old but in the last few months she has been accepted to the Irish National Youth Ballet Company, the Morea Performing Arts Company associates programme. She has also been chosen as a junior ambassador for Dance World, the largest dance supplies store in Ireland.

Dancing captured Clodagh’s heart the first time she saw children ballroom dancing during a St Patrick’s Day Parade in Kilkenny, when she was only 10.

Rebecca and William, Clodagh’s parents, are ‘super proud’ of her. Rebecca is not only impressed with her daughter’s commitment, but has also been a steady supporter, encouraging and driving Clodagh to her many dance classes over the years.

She started with ballroom dancing with tutor Fiona Hutton in Carlow, placing seventh in the 2019 World Championships. Clodagh took up ballet to help with her posture for ballroom dancing, but it soon took over as her favourite form of dance. Just before Covid hit she decided to give up ballroom in favour of ballet, with the aim of becoming an all-round dancer.

Dancing seven days a week, most days she has two classes. She gets up early before school to do Pilates and in the evening, after homework, there is stretching, a warm up and then a dance class.
The support of Clodagh’s family can really be seen in the construction of her own dance studio at their Kilmoganny home! They converted a bedroom into a studio, with special flooring, mirrors, mats, proper lighting and a ballet barre.

Clodagh used lockdown to her advantage and took Zoom classes with dancers in New York and Switzerland.
A student of the Kilkenny Academy of Dance, Clodagh will have a busy year ahead now she has been accepted into two dance companies based in Dublin - The National Youth Ballet meet every Saturday and Clodagh will attend the Morea programme once a month.

Clodagh will also regularly travel to Dublin to take part in professional photo shoots with Dance World. Being chosen as a junior ambassador for the company is her most recent success. She will be taking part in her first professional photo shoot for the company this week.

Dance World also has senior ambassadors and everyone involved in the company has a background in the world of dance so will be able to offer advice to Clodagh.
Over lockdown Clodagh won online dance competitions, and even took part in the making of a short film, in Limerick.
On top of all this Clodagh will be starting third year at Kilkenny College this September, sitting her Junior Cert at the end of this academic year.

While her main ambition is to work in musical theatre, in the West End and, eventually, Broadway she also has a ‘backup plan’ that involves studying pharmacy and working in the area of vaccine development.

Clodagh comes from a musical background. Her mother Rebecca used to be a professional musician and her siblings Ailbhe (16) and Stephen (12) can play instruments and they all sing.
“We’re super proud, delighted for her,” Rebecca said, “this is going to be her year.”

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