Life on the Road: Being a nomad
The name ‘Gypsy Feet’ has to come from somewhere right?
I think I was born with the urge to travel and constantly explore. I haven’t lived in the same spot for over 6 months since I was at Uni - and even then that was on the other side of the world!
A brief into about me; born in New Zealand with an Irish mother. Started Irish dancing at the age of 4, so between competing internationally and visiting family we traveled to Ireland every 3 years. When I finished school I knew I didn’t want to stay in NZ, I wanted to be different. I moved to Ireland to study a BA in Irish Music and Dance in Limerick. Once I graduated in 2010, I packed my bags and I’ve been on the road ever since!
My first job out of Uni was as a dancer in Spain. I earnt €34 a day (and had to buy food out of that!), and danced around the hotels in a four person Irish dance show ‘Celtic Nights’. It was great, I loved every second of it! We spent the days sunbathing and the nights performing on tiny stages...sometimes they weren’t even stages. I vaguely remember some sort of tree house where our shoes kept getting caught in the gaps between the wood!
After doing that for a couple of years, I moved up in the dancing world and got cast in the prestigious Son Amar dinner show in Mallorca. This was definitely one of those ‘Pinch me, is this real?’ jobs. We had the most incredible cast, most of whom I’m still friends with today. Thats when I fell in love with the beautiful city of Palma de Mallorca, and thought, ‘I could settle here’. From there my touring career began and I toured with many shows all over the globe.
I was hooked on touring! How could anyone not love it? I was being paid to perform in amazing venues, constantly getting to see new places while having many laughs and making amazing memories with awesome people! Sure, there are hard parts of touring, like the constant worry of what your going to do after tour, dealing with the exhaustion of late nights, early mornings and long travel days, and of course those times where you think ‘How am I physically going to do this’, as your standing in the wings before a show so exhausted you don’t think your legs will work. However in saying that, I had a lot more of those ‘I can’t believe this is my job!’ moments more than anything!
in 2014 while dancing in Son Amar, I met my now fiancé Dylan in Palma. He was a chef on superyachts, something I knew very little about. Nearing the end of my contract at Son Amar I made the decision to also become involved in super yachts. It is a far cry from dancinrg in front of cheering crowds every night, however unfortuantely being an artist is not the most well paid of jobs - more like minimum wage! Even though us dancers spend years and years perfecting our craft, and only a small percentage of us make the cut to be professional, what you earn barely pays the bills! I’ve usually worked second jobs just to support myself!
From the moment I began my yachting career, my travel adventures increased rapidly! I spent my first season based in the Caribbean living in Antigua for a few months, which then led me to working on a private Island in Fiji in the Pacific! (With Dylan which was amazing!).
Although I was seeing all these amazing new places and getting paid really well to do so, being stuck for hours on end in the laundry was making me extremely nostalgic for my glamorous dancing days!
Luckily, after gaining experience on super yachts, I managed to combine working on boats with touring. Yachting can be seasonal, and touring in Irish dancing shows in not an all year round affair, so with careful planing, a LOT of risk taking and mostly following my heart, I have found a way to get the best of both worlds.
Last year, I achieved something which has been a dream of mine for many years. I toured the USA with a dance show! 3 months, 56 shows and 26,000 miles covered in a tour bus. It was absolutely incredible! To tour the states is like the pinnacle of many performers careers because of the sheer size of the country, the incredible venues, and yes...you really do get treated like a rockstar! And the best part of all, I was the Dance Captain and the Lead Dancer.
After the tour finjshed, I flew straight to the Caribbean to join my boyfriends boat as they needed a temp stewardess. A year later, I am still on there today! (I am actually currently writing this on the boat as I’m on weekend watch!). After a few years of working apart we finally nailed that couples job position. The best part? I can still tour if it fits in with the boats schedule! Our captain is really supportive of my dancing, so if a tour comes up and it falls on a quiet time for the boat, I can take it off! I recently went on a tour of Poland with Gaelforce Dance as the boat was crossing the Atlantic. It was a short tour so I managed to catch them in the Canary Islands and finish the crossing with them. Never a dull moment eh?!
Nowadays, Dylan and I have a little house in Palma. We got so tired of living out of our bags for years that we really just wanted to unpack! We still only get to spend a couple of months a year living there, but at least now I can say I have an address!!
For now, I am not sure when my next dancing adventure will come up, but that’s the thing about dancing, you can get an email for a casting at any moment. Let’s just hope I can make it! 🤞🤞🤞