Strictly Let’s Dance

Lucy and Darragh jazz hands

Lucy Blake & Darragh Quinlan of The Solas Centre take to the floor for Waterford’s Strictly Let’s Dance this month. Lucy gives us a flavour of the preparations and the glamour!

My name is Lucy and I’m living in Waterford City. I volunteer for the local Solas Centre which is part of The South Eastern Cancer Foundation and am always interested in new fundraising ideas. So when I saw on Facebook that there was to be a Strictly Let’s Dance event to be held in aid of The Solas Centre and that my friend had tagged my name in the post I decided to apply. Along with 500 others!!!

Rachael Ellard of Vesper Events produces Strictly Let’s Dance Waterford and she was looking for 40 dancers, 20 men and 20 women. There was phenomenal interest in the event so it was extended to two nights and 60 dancers. When I heard about the numbers of people applying, I thought I had no hope of getting in, so I was thrilled when Rachael phoned to inform me that I had a place.

So the intensive dance training began and I was introduced to my dance partner, a fantastic young man called Darragh Quinlan. Darragh is 26 years old and works for The Brothers of Charity Services in Waterford. We were both delighted to have been chosen. Last year Darragh had taken part in Wreck Creations Strictly The Best Dancing (under Brothers of Charity) and had done really well and discovered his love of dancing. I am constantly amazed by Darragh’s energy and enthusiasm for pretty much everything in life. So far the hardest part has been fitting in dance training around Darragh’s hectic work and social life which includes swimming, horse-riding, bowling, darts, matches to name just a few!

When I asked Darragh how he’s feeling about it all, he said that he finds it a small bit hard sometimes but is really enjoying himself- He really enjoys the company of Rachael, our dance teacher and finds her very helpful. He also gets on great with all the fellow dancers and they too enjoy his company, Darragh is fast making a name for himself as the practical joker, but he is also the kindest member in the gang, always offering to help out anyone in need. We sometimes call him Dr Quinlan as he is renowned for his medical advice if someone is under the weather.


We are training hard usually around 3 times a week, with extra practice at home with our families. From next week the training will be all go as we prepare for the actual event which takes place on 28th and 29th March in W.I.T. The Dome. Darragh and myself are dancing on Sunday 29th. We will perform two dances, one group dance and then our individual couples dance. We have been sworn to secrecy about our dances and costumes to surprise the audience on the night.


Tickets are €20 and are available from The Solas Centre on 051-304604, but are selling out fast!!

Vanessa Whelan from The Voice of Ireland is also participating in Strictly Let’s Dance Waterford. Darragh and herself are becoming great friends, they had their photo taken together at the official launch party in The Granville Hotel.

We’ll be waiting for Lucy and Darragh’s update to hear how the competition goes…


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