Sean-Nós dancer Emma O’ Sullivan hails from Connemara, Co. Galway in the West of Ireland. Her late grandfather, Johnny Coyne, a fiddle player who was one of the founder members of her local Comhaltas Seisiun Group, gave Emma her first introduction to Irish traditional music, song and dance as a young child. She took up sean-nós dancing in 2005 while a business and marketing student at university in Galway and by 2009, at the age of 24, had won the All-Ireland Sean-Nós Dancing title at Oireachtas na Samhna in Letterkenny. Her extraordinary drive and determination in mastering her art has seen her eclipse all other sean-Nós dancers with her creative, exciting, and masterful footwork.
Emma found fame in early 2010 when she triumphed over other thousands of other acts to reach the finals of RTE’s “The All Ireland Talent Show”. She was partnered with box player Johnny O’Hallloran from Inishbofin to dance in her flowing, relaxed and spirited style, perfectly matched by Johnny’s vigorous playing on a-melodeon. Credited with reviving the age old tradition, Emma showcased her expertise in sean-Nós dance and wowed both the judges and the Irish public. She won widespread admiration and acclaim and has since become a household name.
Her dancing has been described as a breath of fresh air and an experience to be relished. Musicians are impressed with her impeccable timing, her intuitive, innovative style and her skill for dancing to each note that is played. Audiences delight in her charismatic stage presence, her obvious joy and passion for her art form and her ability to capture the heart and soul of the tune with her freestyle footwork and fluid upper body movement. She has danced in the United States, Europe and Asia. She made numerous television and radio appearances both in Ireland and abroad. She has performed with some of the most influential acts in traditional Irish dance music including Sharon Shannon, Martin O’Connor, Lunasa, Teada, Dervish, Dedannan, Altan, Cherish the Ladies, Seamus Begley and Sean Kane to name but a few. Emma is currently performing throughout Ireland and abroad making guest appearances on the festival circuit.
Emma is committed to her art and to bringing the sean-nós style to a new realm. She is currently involved many exciting new projects including television, stage, collaborating with recording artists and is very much in demand for her skills in choreography. She has become Ireland’s most well known and loved sean-nós dancer, however Emma has no plans for slowing down and continues to push her creativity and test her abilities.