After dancing all over the world, Olivia Kennedy brings popular show to Penrith

Olivia Kennedy.
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For Emu Heights resident Olivia Kennedy, Irish dancing was always in her veins, with a family connection getting her into the artform at the age of four.

“I followed in the footsteps of my sister – she did it as well, and then mum put me into it, and from there I completely fell in love with it,” she said.

Now, aged 20, Kennedy has been doing Irish dancing non-stop, recalling the moment when she realised she wanted to turn her hobby into a profession.

“I moved to England at the age of 14 to further my training and competed over there. Then, when I was about 18 in COVID, I started thinking that maybe I didn’t want to keep competing and that I’d rather move on to touring like my sister did for years,” she said.

“I did a couple of tours in England, went to Taiwan with ‘Lord of the Dance’, and then came home and joined ‘A Taste of Ireland’ to do some local tours.”

And it’s this aspect of it that she’s always adored – showcasing the thing she loves most to audiences both at home and around the world.

“I love the feeling you get when you’re competing, and now that I’ve gone on to touring, of the atmosphere,” she said.

“I love to perform for others, and show them what I love to do.”

Kennedy said the variety in her career, which has seen her perform in all corners of the world, has been “fantastic”, with Taiwan a particular highlight.

However, she added that there’s no place like home.

“You get very different audiences no matter where you go,” she said.

“Being at home, it’s great to have friends and family and people I grew up dancing and competing with come and watch the show, so it’s nice to do it to both audiences.”

Kennedy will soon be bringing ‘A Taste of Ireland’ all the way back to Penrith, with a show at The Joan taking place just days before St Patrick’s Day.

“It’s very exciting. Obviously, my family have been to a lot of shows, but it’s the first time my close friends and extended family that are close to Penrith will come to my show,” she said.

“I went to school around Penrith, I’ve grown up here my whole life, so it’s nice to bring it back to my home town.”

Seen by over 150,000 people across the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand, ‘A Taste of Ireland’ aims to merge cultural tradition with modern flair, sharing the story of Ireland’s tumultuous history complete with intricate choreography.

“It starts in the pre-historic times, and goes to modern Ireland, so through the famine, the Vikings, and everything like that,” Kennedy said.

Though she noted that Irish dancing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, or so they think, Kennedy is encouraging locals to give it a go.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t even really know about [Irish dancing], but it’s a Thursday night, why not!” she said.

“A lot of people once they see it once, want to see it again.”

‘A Taste of Ireland’ will be on at The Joan on Thursday, March 14 at 7.30pm. Tickets are $84.90. For more information or to book, visit

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