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Róisín Mullins

Róisín Mullins is a Sky TV Presenter, Sky TV talent show judge and world renowned Irish dancer. Róisín shot to notoriety as a talent show judge and reality TV star in 2011's A Gypsy Life for Me, appearing alongside Pop Star and Model Jentina. Róisín formerly toured the world with renowned Irish Dance shows, before performing on TV and stage with her own London Irish Dance Troupe, Raven. She currently works as a TV talent show judge and TV presenter.

 

Róisín's family hail from the small village of Castletownroche in County Cork, Ireland, with Romany roots. Róisín comes from a long line of Irish dancers and professional dancers on both sides, with her great-great Grandmother having toured Ireland Irish dancing for a living, long before it was considered acceptable for a woman to do so. Róisín also spent much of her youth travelling around Ireland with her family, entering competitions, talent shows, and dancing at seisiúns, as well as learning about Irish culture. She currently lives in the South East of England, but still travels worldwide dancing and making TV programmes about Irish and Gypsy & Traveller culture.

 

Róisín started dancing at the age of just 4 at a local dance school. She entered her first competition and won her first open title on the same day, at the age of just 5. Róisín competed at both a National and World level for over 15 years, travelling all over the world, as far afield as North America, to enter feis, as a solo and team dancer. She has been an English representative at the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha World Irish Dancing Championships, achieving a Bronze World Medal, and is a former An Coimisiún UK Open Irish dance Champion. Over her competitive career she won hundreds of first place awards, with her favourite dance being the Slip jig.

 

Róisín attended several different dance schools as a child, before eventually taking training in London, with the UK's top Irish dance teachers. She would travel to London up to four times a week for lessons, training alongside professionals from hit shows of the time, as well as taking intensive private tuition with teachers flying over from Ireland. Róisín was selected on many occasions to join world class Ceili and Choreography teams. Róisín also had a passion for dress design from an early age, coming up with patterns for competitive dresses which she would then have made. During her competitive career Róisín made many friends who she would go on to perform with in professional shows as an adult, and remains friends with them to this day.

 

'Róisín trained in Musical Theatre, Dance, Singing and Acting at The B.R.I.T. School for Performing Arts, attending at the same time as stars-to-be such as the late Amy Winehouse, and performing on a number of MTV music videos during her time there. Róisín also trained as a scholarship student at the University of Surrey, receiving tuition from the Royal Ballet principal Jennifer Jackson, Cats lead Patrick Wood, and Rambert star Sheron Wray, before being awarded a BA (Hons) in Dance. During her time at Surrey Róisín was also invited to become an associate tutor in dance at the University, lecturing and teaching classes in Irish dance to staff and students. After leaving Surrey, Róisín was additionally trained in acting and presenting in London by former RADA principal and TV and Film acting coach Dee Cannon, and by BBC presenter and Film acting coach, Mel Churcher (coach to James Bond's Daniel Craig).

 

Aged 21, Róisín began touring the world with top professional Irish Dance shows performing hundreds of times all over the world. She would often visit a different country each day with the troupe, travelling all over Europe and as far as Russia, dancing in some of the world's finest theatres and stadiums. Staying in glamorous luxury hotels with the dancers, Róisín met many wonderful people and saw many great sights.

 

Some of her fondest memories of her time touring include; climbing to the furthest and highest seat of a stadium pre show, before dancing in front of a roaring capacity audience of over 10,000 fans; passing the mountain peaks whilst winding through the alps on the tour coach, early in the morning, whilst the rest of the troupe slept; being screamed at like a superstar by the St Petersberg Ballet backstage, during an Irish Dance performance at the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia; being bought flowers and champagne at after show parties by ladies in fur coats in Europe.

 

After coming off tour, Róisín noticed a gap in the market for a professional Irish show dance troupe that could both offer work to professional Irish dancers between tours with shows, and also train young Irish dancers who had already achieved their competitive goals, but not yet won a place in a touring show, in the art of Irish show dance. Róisín then set up London based Irish dance troupe Raven, to perform at one-off celebrity events, balls, and on TV. The idea to make Raven an all- female troupe stemmed from the aim of forefronting the female in the world of Irish dance shows, which are typically male dominated.

 

As the lead Dancer of  the Raven Irish dance troupe Róisín has performed solo work backed by the company at prestigious UK venues such as London's O2 Arena, London's Olympia, Pinewood Studios, The Birmingham NEC, and across London’s Park Lane, at events such as The Rose of Tralee, Macmillan Annual Ball, and London St. Patrick's Day Celebrations. Raven have in addition performed at celebrity parties alongside celebrities including Des O'Connor, Bobby Davro, and professional and celebrity dancers from the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, including a tour with the Vincent and Flavia Fantasia Tour. Róisín has also been partnered with TV presenter Declan Donnelly in a sketch for Ant and Dec's ITV1 show Push the Button, backed by Raven.

 

In March 2011 Róisín also created her own stage show, Raven Dance, which toured venues in London, including the Broadway theatre and the 02, and received excellent press reviews from the Irish media. Raven also filmed sections of their Theatre Show for a new TV series hosted by Irish presenter Paddy McGuinness, Walk the Line, and for Sky TV's A Gypsy Life for Me.  Most recently the troupe have appeared alongside The Saturdays and X-Factor judge Louis Walsh on Keith Lemon's LemonAid for ITV1.

 

After being approached by Sky TV to become a judge and professional act mentor for their TV talent show Travellers Got Talent  in 2011, Róisín joined up with Romany model and pop star Jentina, and Gypsy Journalist and broadcaster Jake Bowers, to judge heats throughout the UK. The contest scoured the country for a Gypsy star, whether singer, dancer, musician, or performing horse trainer! The Travellers Got Talent competition, and surrounding lives of the contestants and judges, were broadcast as an eight part series for Sky, entitled A Gypsy Life for Me. The series became an instant hit, smashing all ratings records for the Bio channel, and challenging negative public and press perceptions of the community, as well as giving Róisín the chance to meet many of the fantastic and proud groups of Travellers and Gypsies all over the UK.

 

Following the success of the series, Róisín and Jentina were signed up by Sky as presenters and talent show judges, to film a second series of ‘A Gypsy life for Me’. This time the pair would be teamed up with fellow Irish Traveller and singer David Essex, and London celebrity agent Anne Shore. During the eight part series, Jentina and Róisín travelled throughout the UK and Ireland in search for Sky TV’s Gypsy and Traveller Face of the Year 2012. The duo hunted for an ambassador for the community, who could act as a mouthpiece for gypsies and travellers across the country, and counteract negative stereotypes being portrayed in the media and on TV, as well as win thousands of pounds and a media contract. The girls were also interviewed about the new show in 2012 by Sinéad Desmond and Mark Cagney on TV3’s ‘Ireland AM’ in Dublin.

 

After wonderful, and sometimes wet, heats at Traveller and Gypsy fairs in Appleby, Henley, Stow, Wickham, and Epsom, as well as a trip over to Dublin and Cork, Ireland, the girls finally found their contestants. The entrants were then whittled down and given celebrity training at a boot camp in London, before the live grand final in London.  

 

Series two of A Gypsy Life for Me began airing on the Bio channel, Sky, and Virgin, as well as channels throughout the USA, Europe and Australia from May 2013.

 

In addition to judging traveller talent shows, in early 2011 Róisín was also invited to judge regional heats and shows of TV Talent show Britain Does Variety, alongside celebrity judges, including Eastender's Emma Barton aka Honey Mitchell, CBBC's Naomi Wilkinson, and host Dave Payne of Channel 5 and Sky Sports fame. She was asked back to judge heats and the grand final of the competition in 2012 and 2013, with the show airing on TV on Sky Showcase, with judges including Giles Cooper, executive producer of the Royal Variety Performance.  Most of all, Róisín has loved helping the next generation of young performers reach their potential in the TV shows, and always looks forward to watching and judging the dance acts.

 

In July 2014 Róisín was announced as judge and founder/organiser of the first World Gypsy Dance Championships, hosted in London. Róisín also flew over to RTÉ in Dublin in July 2014 to promote the competition on the Mooney show on RTÉ1, in an interview with RTÉ presenter Derek Mooney and All Ireland Talent Show judge Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh.

 

In 2016 Róisín founded a new branch of Raven, permanently based in Cork City, County Cork, Ireland.

 

In November Róisín performed a Riverdance-style routine live on The X-Factor, partnered with Louis Walsh, and backed by eighteen Raven troupe dancers, along-side Simon Cowell, Sharon Osborne Nicole Scherzinger and Dermot O'Leary. She also co-choreographed a routine for Presenters Matt Edmondson and Rylan Clark, for The Xtra-Factor, with X-Factor Choreographer James Collins, set to a live performance of song ‘C’est Le Vie’ by Dublin born B*Witched singer Keavy Lynch.

 

In September 2017 Róisín featured in Season two of Gypsy Kids: Our Secret World for Channel 5, at the funeral of Simon Doherty, father of TV Celebrity and bare knuckle boxer Paddy Doherty (TV personality). At the funeral, Róisín paid tribute to the 'Father of all Travellers', giving a commemorative speech, singing traditional Irish song 'The Fields of Athenry', and performing a traditional Irish dance alongside four members of the Raven Irish Dance troupe.