‘Lord of the Dance’ performer likes high-energy show

February 08, 2004|JENNIFER BRUMMETT

Dancer Geraldine Bergin really enjoys touring with "Lord of the Dance." She's been with the tour for 6 1/2 years, and currently plays Saoirse, pronounced SOR-shuh.

"The story of 'Lord of the Dance' is basically like a modern-day 'West Side Story,'" Bergin explains. "There's a good lord, a bad lord, a good girl, and a bad girl. I'm the good girl."

Bergin originally is from Bayside, N.Y., and began performing at her mother's dancing school when she was 3. She has danced in all three troupes of "Lord of the Dance" and also with Michael Flatley, the originator of "Lord of the Dance." She danced with the Las Vegas troupe as a lead dancer and the dance captain.

She is a winner of numerous regional and national championships and has had high placements in the World Irish Dancing Championships.


She says she loves "getting to meet some of the fans after the show."

"That's when you realize you're doing the job well," she explains. "It's sometimes monotonous, but people are appreciating what we're doing, which makes me never want to give up."

She adds she loves the dancing itself and the people with whom she works.

"Being that we are a touring company, we're a close-knit group," Bergin explains. "Interacting with each other onstage is wonderful. It's easier to look at friends and smile at them, and then at the audience. It makes (the performances that much more enjoyable."

The choreographer, Marie Duffy-Messenger, keeps all the dancers from becoming complacent.

"She comes out every few months and we have to impress her every time she comes out," Bergin says. "We're trying to keep on our toes at all times.

"We're constantly updating the show and trying to add more intricate moves that come out in the Irish dancing world."

The dancers also must follow a strict stretching regimen and watch what they eat, Bergin adds.

"The show is quite intense and high-impact," she explains. "There's stretching before and after the show, and we're keeping a strict diet. We eat a healthy enough breakfast, then we're fed at the venue. Usually we have a light snack after the show."

Bergin has studied for two years towards a nursing degree, and plans to return to pursue a career in physical therapy. Why physical therapy?

"My sister is a nurse and I've always looked up to her," she explains. "And I've had my fair share of injuries. I can empathize with others (who are injured) quite well."

She also would like to open her own dancing school, Bergin adds.

In her free time, she says she loves to be home and spend time with her nieces and nephews.

"And I keep active - I do Pilates and yoga, and I like any kind of sports. I'm used to an active lifestyle, and I like to keep it that way."

As for the show, Bergin thinks "Lord of the Dance" is a "feel-good experience."

"There's a lot of high energy from it," she says. "(Many) people come out of the show dancing up the aisles. People of all ages can watch it and enjoy it."

If you want to go

Lord of the Dance will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday at Newlin Hall, Centre College. For tickets, call (859) 236-4692 or (877) 448-7469.

Central Kentucky News Articles