Irish dance sensation Morgan Bullock on St Patrick's Day, going viral and Beyoncé's mam

Irish dance sensation Morgan Bullock on St Patrick's Day, going viral and Beyoncé's mam

Morgan Bullock will be performing alongside two other Irish dancers as part of the Shades of Green virtual celebration hosted by the Irish Embassy.

Irish dancing sensation Morgan Bullock was unable to take up then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's invitation to come to Ireland for St Patrick's Day this year but that won't stop her from celebrating.

People will remember Morgan from her TikTok last summer where she performed Irish dancing to Megan The Stallion's Savage Remix. The video went viral and was even shared by Beyoncé's mother.

The video received a phenomenal response all over the globe. From the Irish dancing community to those whose knowledge of the dance goes no further than Riverdance, it was clear to all that Morgan was a star.

Following the video's success, Morgan - who is from Virginia, USA - received an invitation to dance in the 2021 St Patrick's Day Festival from Leo Varadkar.

Covid has, of course, put pause to any plans for Morgan to travel over to Ireland to perform. However, she is still joining in today's St Patrick's Day celebrations in the US.

Tonight, the 21-year-old will be performing alongside two other Irish dancers as part of the Shades of Green virtual celebration hosted by the Irish Embassy.

The Embassy has hailed her as "one of the brightest stars to have blazed across our skies this past year" and said they are delighted to have her perform.

Tonight's event will be livestreamed from 11.30pm until 1am Irish time and people can register for the event here.

While she is disappointed not to be celebrating in Ireland this year, Morgan said she is just happy to be participating in tonight's events and has enjoyed choreographing the performance alongside her dance partners.

Meanwhile, plans are already afoot for 2022 when Morgan is hoping to perform with Riverdance. Lead dancer and Associate Director with Riverdance, Padraic Moyles extended the invite to join the world famous show last year.

"I've been in contact with them and we are looking at March of next year for that - fingers crossed." Should those plans come through then Morgan will be poised and ready to take part in next year's Patrick's Day Festival.

Morgan has visited Ireland for big competitions previously and in 2016 was able to stay on with a friend's family and do some sightseeing in Wexford. She is hoping to see more of the country once international travel opens up again.

"If I get over, it's going to be hard to get me back!" 

'I want everyone to know that Irish dancing is cool'

Prior to her Savage video, Morgan was a competitive dancer first and foremost but since she went viral, she has had a variety of opportunities and collaborations open up to her.

"Prior to posting that, I really was just a competitive dancer and that was it. It was great and it was more than enough for me.

"I didn't even know there was this opportunity of being a social media Irish dancer, I guess? I don't even know what it would be called but I didn't even consider these possibilities."

Once the video started to garner so much attention and recognising the importance of that moment, Morgan said she just ran with it.

Almost a year on, she still finds the events of the past few months crazy but is grateful for all it has brought her.

Having herself thrust into the international spotlight so quickly was overwhelming. Morgan turned her phone off for a time when the video was blowing up and never imagined that when she turned it back on Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles, would have shared the video.

"I've been a fan of Beyoncé for as long as I can remember because I was raised by a huge fan of Beyoncé - my mom. I don't know if it was more exciting for me or for her but it was just so crazy."

Later, Morgan was sent a gift from Beyoncé's collection with Adidas which will be treasured forever.

Social media offers Morgan the opportunity to introduce Irish dancing to people who weren't aware of it and it is something that she truly enjoys doing. 

"I want everyone to know that Irish dancing is cool because I know it hasn't had the reputation of being cool. Even though it always has been to me!

"My first experience of Irish dance was very traditional and it was love at first sight so I'm always trying to show people parts of Irish dance that are a little bit less traditional which is not to say there is anything wrong with traditional Irish dance but it's just different for so many people.

"I think putting Irish dancing to contemporary music makes it more relatable to people who have never seen it and that's what is so cool about it - it's so adaptable." 

'I want to have Irish dance as a constant throughout my life'

Social media may have been what first brought Morgan to international attention but it's not her main focus these days as she has used her online success to build a network and create opportunities for herself.

"This is definitely something that I want to be doing for a long time whether it is for social media or competitively or professionally or whatever it may be. I definitely want to have Irish dance as a constant throughout my life."

Establishing herself as an outstanding talent within the Irish dancing is something Morgan hopes will inspire lots of people in the future.

When she first began Irish dancing at the age of 10, Morgan said she was the only person who looked like her at competitions.

"I really didn't have anyone to look to who wasn't a traditional-looking Irish dancer when I was growing up.

"I remember there was one dancer named Drew Lovejoy and he is a world champion and my mom sent me all these articles about him when I was younger because he is mixed race and it was so great to see him achieving such great things in Irish dance.

"I really held on to that even though he had retired before I'd even started dancing."

Things have changed since 10-year-old Morgan first discovered her love of Irish dancing, now she says there are many people for young dancers to look up to as the world of Irish dance is growing and expanding all the time.

With Morgan as an ambassador for Irish dance, there is little doubt that it will continue to grow in the future.

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