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Be Inspired By Paula Goulding

Diddlyi has five inspiring and super talented Dance Masters as part of our team helping you to dance your best. We want you all to get to know each of our Dance Masters a little better because they are great people on and off the stage floor. Next up is Paula Goulding of Riverdance who teaches our Train like a champion, dance like a star workshop. Get ready to be inspired by Paula!

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What’s the best advice you can give dancers about achieving goals?

10% inspiration, 90% perspiration. It’s a cliche for a reason. Go for what you want and make small steps every day to achieving what you want from dance. Knocks will come, expect them and then get over them.

What’s the best Irish dance accessory?

Hairspray. Hairspray is like a woman, it knows how to multi-task!
Keep your hair from getting in your eyes and your mouth while you’re dancing – Hairspray it!
Combat slippery stage surfaces, hairspray the tips of your shoes!
You’re about to go on stage and you notice a run starting in your tights – hairspray it!
Haven’t time to polish your shoes – Hairspray them!

What’s your best fitness tip for Irish dancers?

Warm-up and more importantly cool-down. Also pilates is fantastic for dancers of any kind.
We were lucky enough to have a brilliant pilates/massage therapist & warm-up conductor in Riverdance. It was through Juliet that I secured the interest to study sports therapy and pilates instruction after leaving Riverdance and I can honestly say it kept me dancing professionally to a ripe old age!

People will get away with being a little inattentive with their physical routine for a while but the ones who don’t adhere to a good routine do not get as long out of dancing as those who do. Simple as.

Editor’s note: Paula offers an awesome Pilates workout for Irish dancers as part of her Train like a champion, dance like a star workshop.

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Where is the best place in the world you have performed?

This one is tough. There have been so many distinguished and memorable venues that I have loved performing in but to narrow it down – being on a broadway stage was definitely a highlight. Riverdance ran in one of, if not the biggest theatre, The Gershwin, for 18months and I also earned my stripes as dance captain during this time!

Sticking with New York, Radio City Music Hall was probably my first jaw-drop moment! When I walked onto the stage, looked out at the auditorium and thought “Holy… I’m going to be dancing on this stage in this, one of the most famous theatre’s in the world (and I was 16!)” It was a defining time alright. “I wanna be a part of it, New York, New York..”!

What’s your most embarrassing dance moment?

Oh the falls are always embarrassing. I fell in a troupe number called ‘Oscail’ in Riverdance and when I tried to get up someone was dancing on my hair so back down I went. I was lucky I didn’t get a heavy shoe in the face!

Falling while performing lead was worse though. At least falling in ‘Oscail’ I was somewhat masked by the other troupe members around me. While dancing ‘Countess Kathleen’, the first female solo in the show, I went on my bum and I can still hear the audience gasp. My pride was hurt a lot more than my bum but up I got and carried on and it was forgotten about by the next dance. That’s show-biz, I guess!

Photo credit: Image of Dance Master is courtesy of and belongs to Paula Goulding.

Get to know the other Dance Masters

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