Bright Young Things: Joe O'Donnell Bitter

PUBLISHED: 13:31 04 August 2011 | UPDATED: 19:44 20 February 2013

Bright Young Things: Joe O'Donnell Bitter

Bright Young Things: Joe O'Donnell Bitter

A young Irish dance champion, and film star, has his feet firmly on the ground - most of the time

A young Irish dance champion, and film star, has his feet firmly on the ground - most of the time

What are you studying?

Im in my first year of A levels studying Maths, Psychology, French and Business

Tell us about yourself and what you have done to be a Bright Young Thing

I am the World Under-17 Irish Dance Champion, having retained the world title for my age group for the past five years. I started Irish dance lessons at the Kennelly Dance School in San Francisco at the age of seven while I was growing up in Silicon Valley California. My sister Caroline danced so I wanted to as well. I loved the music and the fast pace and progressed so well that within a year I won my first British title.

For the next two years I travelled regularly to the UK and Ireland for competitions before my parents decided to move to Britain so that I could go to the world-leading Danny Doherty Dance Academy in Coventry. I trained at first under Danny and then under John Carey, eight-times world champion and understudy to Michael Flatley in Lord of the Dance.

Johns teaching and choreography have enabled me to win every competition that Ive entered since 2009. Irish dance has opened many doors including the opportunity to star in a new feature film Jig about the 2010 World Championships in Glasgow. Directed by Sue Bourne, the film has been released at cinemas nationwide and opened in America in June Ive enjoyed all the media attention including appearing on ITVs Daybreak and BBCs Breakfast shows and Irelands Late Late Show, and being interviewed for the US premiere in New York.

What are your ambitions?

I have had a great Irish dance career. I would now love to branch out and take up tap dancing. But my first priority is to get into a good university to possibly study Business, Economics or Law, or a combination.

Whats best about Warwickshire?

As well as having two outstanding schools in Solihull School and the Carey Academy, it has great transport links. I live in the countryside with a front garden overlooking a canal and a back garden abutting a cricket club yet just five minutes from the M42 motorway and Birmingham Airport. Its like having the world on your doorstep.

What do you do in your spare time?

I stay very active. If Im not dancing, Im likely to be keeping fit at my local David Lloyd Centre. I also enjoy going out with friends to the cinema and doing other things that keep me entertained.

What is your favourite book?

These days all I seem to have time for are textbooks!

What is your favourite film?

Blood Diamond because it illustrates how the Western world funds civil wars through the use of Africas most prized resources.

What is your favourite TV show?

Friends. Its the funniest programme on TV. Ive seen each episode repeatedly they never seem to get old.

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