Updated: Feb 12
This past week at the CLRG World Championships, Target Training caught up with siblings Kelcey and Aine Steele of the McGing Irish Dancers to talk about their newest venture in the Irish dance world, RílTalk Podcast. Kelcey, 25, danced competitively for 22 years and is a 6-time Mid-American Oireachtas champion and placed as high as 3rd at the Worlds. Aine is 15 years old and has been dancing for 13 years—and is still going strong! She tells us her proudest achievement is placing 7th as this past North American Nationals. This multi-talented pair recently decided to start RílTalk as a platform to talk about news and events in the Irish dance world, and we sat down with them to learn more.
What inspired you to start your podcast RílTalk?
Kelcey: We talk a lot at home anyways about Irish dancing and what’s going on in the dance world, and my dad has a recording studio because it’s his hobby. We figured we might as well use it because there’s not really anything like this in the Irish dance world—where people just have a discussion about what’s going on, so I figured there was a niche there for us.
Is it just the two of you who sit and have discussions about the Irish dance world or do you feature guests on the show?
Kelcey: We will have guests on the show at some point, but at the moment it’s just the two of us.
What do you love about Irish dance?
Kelcey: I love how different it is from a lot of forms of dance, I love the intricacy of Irish dancing, the performance aspect of Irish dancing, and how it incorporates things that we associate with so many other different dance styles into Irish dancing in softshoe and hardshoe. We combine so many different elements that there’s nothing really else like it.
Aine: I like how it’s like a whole different world. People who do other styles of dancing don’t have this whole big world championship that takes a whole week of your time. And I like all the dedication that comes along with competition.
Do you think your experience as a competitive dancer has helped you in your life outside of dance—both professionally and with your podcast?
Kelcey: I think for me, just due to the ups and downs that come with dancing, that sometimes you do really well and sometimes you don’t, it helps you deal with yourself as a person during both highs and lows. You learn how to deal with disappointment and success in life and how not to get too attached to it for too long. Also the amount dedication required when you’re working and practicing and teaching yourself and being critical of yourself are super important lessons.
Aine: Mine’s the same thing.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received OR what is your number one piece of advice for competitive Irish dancers?
Aine: I think the best advice I ever received was that it’s just Irish dancing. I always get so worked up about competition if I don’t do well but really it’s JUST Irish dancing. It’s not the Olympics—well it’s kind of the Olympics but it’s not going to ruin your life if you don’t do well.
Kelcey: I think the best advice I could give someone who’s dancing is remember why you do it, have fun doing it, be happy with what you did. You can’t control what judges think or what other people think, you can work hard and make yourself happy and remember why you’re doing it.
You can find RílTalk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Play, as well as their website riltalk.buzzsprout.com. And follow their Instagram and Facebook @riltalkpodcast to see updates from Kelcey and Aine!