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6 outstanding Kiwi Irish Dancers to join Rhythms of Ireland

Rhythms of Ireland return to New Zealand in 2019, for the first time since their sell-out tour in 2010. The company is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. New Zealand is privileged to welcome back Ireland’s most outstanding and elite company of dancers to perform this awe-inspiring production.

RHYTHMS OF IRELAND are excited to announce the international cast will feature 6 of New Zealand’s best Irish dancers will join the 10th Anniversary Tour, including:

Ashleigh John from Auckland now based in Europe.

The lead dancer is local and international champion Ashleigh John. Ashleigh began dancing in Auckland at the age of 4, ever since she watched a video of Riverdance. This lead to many competitive years with Ashleigh winning multiple national titles plus top 5 finishes at the North American Championships and multiple world championship medals. Ashleigh had a taste of professional dancing in 2010 when she toured with Dance of Desire in Australia. After taking a few years away from professional dancing to complete her degree in business and marketing, Ashleigh has gone on to perform across North America and Europe as lead dancer with Rhythm of the Night, Hear the Dance and most recently Danceperados of Ireland.

In 2017, Ashleigh qualified as a TCRG with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha. She is the director of Eire Dance Company which holds adult classes and offers professional Irish dance performances at events and festivals throughout Europe.

Ashleigh is currently in Italy and will arrive in New Zealand on April 10 for the national tour.

Shannon Dilger from Christchurch is a qualified TCRG teacher, choreographer and co-director of Southern Cross Irish Dance in Christchurch and was a twelve-time New Zealand Champion Dancer. Now 27 years old, Shannon has been dancing since the age of four, originally with the O’Neill school, with a gap year dancing for the Costello school in Ireland. Shannon has toured China as a lead dancer in Flames of the Dance, and regularly performs at The Bog Irish Bar and Restaurant in Christchurch.

When not dancing, Shannon also works as a Teaching Assistant at a primary school, and has graduated from the University of Canterbury with a BA majoring in Psychology and Education.

Phoebe Hilliam, 19 years old from Wellington. Phoebe currently dances for the Kerry School in Wellington under the teaching of Sharon and Kristina Craig. Phoebe has won numerous regional titles as well as two National Championship titles. She has competed in London and Dublin and in her first North American National Championships in Florida in 2018.

Brigid Lundberg started Irish dancing at age 6 years and is currently training to become a qualified Irish dance teacher. Brigid won the New Zealand National Championships when she was 18 and has gone on to represent New Zealand at the World Championships in Glasgow, Belfast and London. Brigid is aiming to compete at the 2020 World Championships in Dublin. Trained in classical voice and ballet Brigid recently performed in two touring light operas.

Kelly Reid, from Ashburton, at 5 years old Kelly Reid discovered his passion for dancing and started a career which saw him win four national titles and place in the top 10 at the World Championships. Kelly hung up his dancing shoes to focus on his university studies but his love for dance recently pulled him back into the competitive world. Kelly dances for the O’Neill School of Irish dance in New Zealand.

Juliet Sewell is from Christchurch. Juliet dances with the O’Neill School of Irish Dance. Juliet was first enraptured by Irish dancing when she saw Riverdance as a two-year-old and she has been hooked on it ever since. Her personal career highlights include her team receiving 4th at the Worlds and winning the National Championships. She also enjoys helping younger dancers in her school and plans on getting her T.C.R.G. when she retires from competitive dancing. She loves being able to share her passion for dance with others so she is happiest when she’s performing.


Highly successful and critically acclaimed, The Rhythms of Ireland, seen by over two-million people worldwide, has an unsurpassed reputation for “stunningly executed performances”.

The quality and spectacle of their work perfectly blends the ancient traditions of Irish dance and music with flawlessly innovative choreography and production values of contemporary Irish excellence.

Experience a spectacular evening of traditional Irish dance, music and song enhanced by stunning costumes, lighting and sound.

The Rhythms of Ireland NZ Tour 2019

DUNEDIN - Sunday, 14 April, Regent Theatre

INVERCARGILL - Wednesday, 17 April, Civic Theatre

ASHBURTON - Thursday, 18 April, ATEC

CHRISTCHURCH - Saturday, 20 April, Isaac Theatre Royal

OAMARU – Sunday, 21 April, Oamaru Opera House

BLENHEIM – Tuesday, 23 April, ASB Theatre

WHANGANUI – Thursday, 25 April, The Royal Wanganui Opera House

PALMERSTON NORTH – Friday, 26 April, Regent on Broadway,

WELLINGTON – Saturday, 27 April, Opera House

NAPIER – Tuesday, 30 April, Municipal Theatre

NEW PLYMOUTH – Wednesday, 1 May – TSB Theatre

TAURANGA – Thursday, 2 May – Baycourt

HAMILTON – Friday, 3 May – Claudelands

AUCKLAND – Sunday, 5 May – Bruce Mason Centre

KERIKERI – Wednesday, 8 May – Turner Centre

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