Meet Darren Tubridy
I started dancing in 1994 at the age of 14. I loved it immediately & attended classes by an instructor called Glenda McCabe every week. I stopped for a few years whenever I went to college, but started again in the year 2000 with an instructor called Bryan Kelly. A few months after starting back, I started dancing competitively. My first competition was with the WDAI (Western Dance Association of Ireland) I didn't receive any placements for a few years, but eventually placed 3rd in the All Ireland Championships.
One of the more memorable times in my Linedance journey was when I qualified for the UCWDC World Championship finals in Nashville, Tennessee in 2004 & 2005 where I placed 4th & 3rd in those years, 4th in 2004 & 3rd in 2005.
In 2015 David & I made a transition into Latin & Ballroom fitness programmes Fitsteps & Chasamba which meant that linedance took a back seat for a couple of years until we decided to make a comeback in 2018.
In 2019 things took an unexpected turn when I was diagnosed with a heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy & the doctor told me that I may never dance again. But I didn't let that stop me & I also joined Rob Fowler's I.C.E program in 2020. Rob & the members of I.C.E really helped me with my confidence in both my dancing & choreography. They helped me to become a better dancer than I ever was before.
Last year David and I entered the WCDF Spanish and European championships which were both held virtually. We both won our categories in the Spanish Championships & I am joint European Champion & David is 3rd Place in Europeans. That is definitely one of my other memorable moments of my Linedance journey.
One the most recent highlights of my journey is the success of my beginner linedance Sundown swing that I choreographed along with Elaine Cook & Rob Fowler with the I.C.E program. Some of my other successful dances with I.C.E are Ava's Last Laugh & Runaway Rumba which David & I also choreographed with Elaine Cook, Rob Fowler & the I.C.E program.
People I look up to in the Linedance Community are Gary O Reilly, He is an amazing dancer & Choreographer, he has achieved so much during his linedance journey including winning multiple awards, travelling the world & doing so much for the linedance community. His hilarious personality makes everyone laugh around him & I have so much admiration & respect for him.
Another person I look up to and have utmost respect for is Jo Thompson Szymanski, to me she is one of the queens of Linedance. She has battled her own health problems like myself but she is still dancing, choreographing & not letting anything stop her.
David & I are both current B.W.D.A 2000 members.
Our thoughts on the industry these days is that it has progressed so much. So many new Choreographers are getting recognised & the established choreographers are there to help them on their journey. The linedance industry has really been there for each other over the past two years through the tough times & is like one big extended family & David & I are proud to be a part of it.
A selection of Darren's favourite photos
A selection of Darren's Choreography