TLC Unveils Irish Dancing 'The Big Jig' Special October 9
For those who think ballet is brutal, welcome to the world of Irish Dancing, where competitors practice for over 300 days a year - for only three minutes of stage time. This fascinating dance subculture is the focus of THE BIG JIG, TLC's new special premiering Tuesday, October 9 at 10pm ET/PT, that opens the door to five young dancers as they train and compete in the 2012 World Irish Dance Championships, which was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Competitive Irish dancing, however, comes with many trials. Each parent has put in thousands of dollars on dresses, training, and travel to compete. Each girl has trained for hundreds of hours, but nerves and injuries can derail even the most confident dancer. In the end, a few minutes onstage will decide who is the world's best dancer.
The dancers you will meet in THE BIG JIG:
· Grace, 10, from Elmhurst, IL. Grace is known as the Energizer Bunny to her friends, is a regional champion and rising star-when she's focused. Her coach Gary Healy believes she can bring it, but worries her erratic energy may ruin her chances.
· Julia, 11, from Rochester, NY. Julia channels Rocky Balboa in her training regime, complete with raw eggs and pushups. Her confidence, however, was shaken by a foot injury, and a minor sprain days before the Championships could throw her off her game.
· Emily, 10, from Rochester, NY. Emily is Julia's younger sister and her biggest rival. Emily is a three-time national champion but has never been to a world-level competition. When her mother's attention is torn between the sisters' overlapping performances, Emily's nerves start to show.
· Marina, 12, from New Lenox, IL. Marina competes not only for herself, but her family name, heading into her first World competition. As the niece of Michael "Lord of the Dance" Flatley, Marina feels pressure from peers and family to be a winner.
· Julia, 12, from Long Island, NY. Julia is a former World Champion and renowned for her immaculate footwork. At her last championship, however, a broken foot sabotaged her performance. Julia wants nothing more than to stand at the top of the podium once more.
THE BIG JIG is produced by Sirens Media. Executive producers are Rebecca Toth Diefenbach and Valerie Haselton. Co-Executive Producers
More On: Gary Healy.