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I said YES and guess what????


....nothing bad happened!!!

Have you ever been asked to do something and for a split second you think that would be cool but then that inner voice says, no I couldn’t do that? I’ve had lots of those moments and I’ve said NO to opportunities that I should have said YES to. I wanted to share a recent experience where I did say YES and I’m so glad I did.

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Pictured L-R : Brian Gleeson, me in all the glitz and fellow judges Fr. James Mc Sweeney and Monica McNulty at the Strictly Come Dancing Bantry semi final, March 2022

So the back story, in 2018 up to 2020 I worked on organising the Strictly Come Dancing show in Bantry, which has been hugely popular and now in its 5th year of live shows! But I was always happier behind the scenes, not front and centre. Then in 2022, post covid, I took a step back from that position with Strictly, as I had other work commitments but I’ve always remained a big supporter of this fundraiser.

Back in January I got a call from Brian Gleeson, the absolute driving force behind Strictly Bantry and he asked if I’d be a judge for the semi final show. Even though I was delighted that they’d even consider me for the task, I instantly said NO!!!. "Ah No, I couldn’t do that", "I don’t know anything about dance", "I’d be no good at that"! These are all the reasons and more that I gave Brian why I had to say NO. But Brian wasn’t having any of it, he was determined to talk me around. That is something he is good at, which many past Strictly Bantry dancers can confirm.

To cut a long story short, eventually I said YES, I’ll be a judge for Strictly Bantry semi-finals. Actually once I agreed to it, for some strange reason the nerves disappeared and I just got on with it.

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Let me just say I LOVED IT ….. it was an amazing show. I had great fun being up on stage as a judge, not that I know much about dancing but I do know the work that goes into producing a show like this. I do appreciate the hours that the dancers and their teachers, Theresa and Josie put in and I know how much work Brian, the school’s parents association as well as the team at The Westlodge Hotel and other suppliers put in to making it all happen. By the end of the night, I thought I was a right pro! Thank you to all the dancers who said YES and put on such a great show to entertain others and raise funds in the process,

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This year’s Strictly Bantry was a fundraiser for St Finbarr’s Boy National School and also for the West Cork Jesters. There were two couples dancing to represent the Jesters and I found myself almost emotional when I was commenting on their dances because it was just another reminder that nothing should hold us back. And the group dance with West Cork Jesters and the 6thclass boys, that was very special and I was so delighted to be part of it.

Check out their performance here, amazing !!!

So the moral of the story is… Stop holding yourself back! Often others see our abilities more than we do and most of the time we are the people saying NO to ourselves and only we can change that attitude.

PS : Thank you to Tony O Donovan for the photos