From dance classes in Cork to busting moves with Beyoncé - a young Irish professional dancer says her dream has come true after she performed with the global megastar in a spectacular private concert in Dubai.
Chelsie Jasmine Wright, 25, from Cork, said she now plans to move to LA for six weeks this summer in the hope of landing a full-time dance job with the 'All the Single Ladies' songstress.
“For as long as I’ve been a dancer, it’s my dream to dance with Beyoncé,” Dubai-based Chelsie said.
“It’s because of what she portrays, she’s so powerful, and she appreciates the art of dance. It was always my biggest dream to dance next to her and now it’s happened. It’s just surreal.”
Chelsie was part of Beyoncé’s ensemble dance team, and had to remove one of her stunning headpieces, and place a microphone stand for her during her hour-long concert to mark the grand finale of the official opening of the ultra-luxury €1.4bn Atlantis The Royal hotel in Dubai on January 21.
Rooms in the Jenga-style hotel go for an average of $1,000 per night. Its top-end suite will set you back a cool $100,000 per night.
Featuring massive fireworks and a stunning outdoor stage with a built-in waterfall, it was Beyoncé’s first live concert in more than four years. She was paid a reported €24m to perform for 1,500-invited guests which included model Kendall Jenner, rapper Jay-Z and a host of other influencers, socialites and royals.
Chelsie, who grew up in Ballincollig, spent three years after her Leaving Cert studying at the Leicester School of Performing Arts before moving to London, then back home during the pandemic, and then to Dubai about 18 months ago to pursue dancing and modelling full-time.
Earlier this month, she was invited to a private casting for what she was told was a confidential project. But when she got rehearsal videos, and spotted rumours online about a Beyoncé concert in Dubai in January, it began to dawn on her that she had a chance to perform with her idol.
“This was the first time I really believed in myself and I thought I know I deserve this, there is a reason why things haven’t happened until now, this is my opportunity,” she said.
“I felt really confident and super proud of myself to even get to audition.
Chelsie was the only Irish dancer on the dance ensemble team which underwent a week of intense rehearsals with leading choreographers, Fatima Robinson, who has worked with Destiny’s Child and Janet Jackson, and Tia Rivera, who has worked with Christina Aguilera and Justin Bieber, amongst others.
Chelsie said: “I never felt an opportunity like this would arise unless you were in the US. But the whole environment was so relaxed and comforting, very, very professional – we got a lot of work done – but they brought the best out in everyone.”
Beyoncé came to the final rehearsals the day before the show and spoke to the dancers.
Chelsie said: “She is very humble, her presence doesn’t intimidate you and she was always very thankful. She spoke to us afterwards and told us we are so blessed to be able to do what we love – that our art brings us together.”
On the night of the concert, Chelsie performed in five numbers, including Crazy in Love and Brown Skinned Girl, which had a special significance for her.
“As a mixed-race girl myself, I felt very empowered,” she said.
“The whole experience was overwhelming. It didn’t feel real. I thought I would be super-nervous and there was a lot of excitement and nerves, but I thought this is my dream coming true.
“My message to anyone with dreams is to stay true to who you are, truly believe in your abilities, never doubt yourself.
“I always had self-doubt. It’s only been in the last 18 months that I’ve been able to believe in myself and achieve my dream. Anything is possible.”
She’s not the only one in her family with good footwork. Her brother, Tyreik is a professional footballer playing with League One side Plymouth Argyle and the Ireland U21s.