Introducing the Step Up 2024 team

Wed 19 Jun 24

Meet the team behind the 14th edition of Step Up Dance Project.

The 14th edition of Step Up Dance Project welcomes Catherine Young as lead choreographer, while Fearghus Ó Conchúir and Lucia Kickham return to their roles as curator and rehearsal director respectively. Ella Daly is project manager and costume designer one more year while Sorcha Hassett takes on the role of Production Manager.  

Fearghus Ó Conchúir – Curator 

Fearghus is an independent choreographer and dance artist who uses film and live performances as frameworks for audiences and artists to build communities together. He is developing two long-term research and performance projects: Tearmann Aiteach/ Queer Sanctuary in collaboration with Isabella Oberländer and Dancing More Wisely, a project that asks ‘what do we need to know and do now if we imagine ourselves dancing all our lives?’. He was Artistic Director of National Dance Company Wales (2018-2020) and Deputy Chair of the Arts Council (2018-2023) 

Learn more about Fearghus’ work here.

Catherine Young – Choreographer 

Catherine Young is a Dance Ireland Associate Artist, Artist in Residence at the Backstage Theatre (2023-2025) and has also been dancer in residence with Kerry County Council since 2005. She has created work for the Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, Coisceim Dance Theatre, The Big Bang Festival of Rhythm, Féile Fáilte a.o. 

Her company works A Call to YouFloating on a Dead SeaState of ExceptionUltima ThuleWoman Stood Regardless and Welcoming the Stranger have all been received to critical acclaim, with Welcoming the Stranger opening the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival in Palestine in 2017. Catherine premiered her new work CISEACH in June 2024 and is planning a tour of Floating on a Dead Sea in Autumn 2024. Catherine is co-curator of What Next Dance Festival  and she runs The Welcoming Project, which she established in 2016 – a progamme designed to foster cultural integration & social inclusion for Ireland’s new communities through dance. 

Catherine is delighted to be the Step Up choreographer this year, and looks forward to working with the dancers on this new creation together in Limerick, sharing her highly physical style, infused with rhythm, socio-political themes and mindfulness. 

Lear more about Catherine’s work here.

Lucia Kickham – Rehearsal director 

Lucia is a Wexford-based dance artist. Trained in the Netherlands, she has worked with companies and artists including Liz Roche Company, Company Philip Connaughton, Junk Ensemble, Maria Nilsson Waller, Laura Murphy and TRASH (NL). Training intensively with David Zambrano in Flying Low and Passing Through techniques, Lucia has developed her interest in group dynamics within improvisation, composition and teaching environments. Lucia is a guest tutor at IWAMD at University of Limerick and regularly leads workshops at dance centres across Ireland.

In recent years she has been a recipient of awards from Dance Ireland, Dance Limerick, Tipperary Dance, Grand Studio Brussels, Tanztendenz Munich and the Arts Council of Ireland, including the Next Generation and Commission Awards. As a performer, she has toured extensively across the UK and Sweden and has presented her choreographic work at Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Fringe Festival, side.kicks Festival Munich, Modes of Capture Symposium and What Next Dance Festival. Lucia was Dance Ireland HATCH Artist 2018 and Associate Artist with Liz Roche Company 2018/21. In 2022 she took up the role of rehearsal director on Step Up Dance Project and is delighted to return to this role on an annual basis. 

Learn more about Lucia’s work here.

Ella Daly – Project Manager 

Ella Daly is a Producer, Writer and Designer from Limerick. Ella began her career with Daghdha Dance Company and has worked across several organisations locally and nationally since then, She is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD in playwrighting at the University of Galway, and coordinates various festivals and cultural events in the city and county. She designs costumes for film, theatre, puppetry and dance. She is coordinator for Step Up and also costume designer and is relishing the opportunity to work with such exciting artists! 

Sorcha Hassett – Production Manager 

Sorcha Hassett, is a Limerick-based interdisciplinary artist, creative technologist and multimedia technician with a background in the performing arts. Hassett’s work is concerned with the expression of the felt experience of dancers through cybernetics and kinetic sculpture. Hassett’s work uses performance gesture, moving image, live performance, e-textiles, data analysis and sculpture to tap into the understanding of felt experience and movement. Most recently Hassett’s work has expanded to the field of production and technical management, most notably for What Next Dance Festival 2024 at Dance Limerick.  

Watch this space for more on the #stepup2024 participants and team. 


Step Up Dance Project is a partnership between the Arts Council of Ireland, Dance Limerick, the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and Dance Ireland. 


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