Strictly Mary: The Final Countdown Has Begun

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Mary O’Donnell and her dance partner, Richard Walsh.

Our Beauty Columnist, Mary O’Donnell, is taking part in this year’s Austin Stacks Strictly Come Dancing, which takes place in the Dome on August 23. Here she keeps us informed on her progress…

THE final countdown has begun and so have the nerves.

Rehearsals have increased: we have group ones, rehearsals for our own dance, as well as practice.

The group ones are great as everyone is just having fun and you need to be able to laugh at yourself, because at the moment we are a work in progress.

As for our own dance, we have just one major problem: me!


Continued below…


Edward T. Hall wrote a book called ‘The Dance Of Life’ and in it he believes that a man, in life as well as in a dance, must lead for a successful marriage.

Now every town and village in Ireland from Baldoyle to Ballincollig has a ‘strictly come dancing’ on Youtube. I have watched a fair few and if the woman leads it looks all wrong.

Paola Kennedy from letsgetfitireland explained to me it is hard for woman today to allow the man to lead.

Firstly we are so independent and great multi-taskers and it is very hard to hand all the power over.

So this is the new problem; not only do I want to lead, I have to lead and in ye olde world of ballroom dancing, what I do is a cardinal sin. To turn me from a sinner to a saint in a week is the challenge.

When I allow Richard to lead it works out perfectly but I don’t allow him to lead very often. I know in my head it looks better, but I think what step is next and like most women, I see what needs to be done and just try to get it done as fast as I can.

The work has to be done with my head, as well as my legs and the forecast is not looking good. The phrase involving an old dog and new tricks come to mind.

There’s just a week to go and we will head to the Dome to practise from next Thursday until showtime on Saturday.

When I say this I feel sick to the pit of my stomach. My fitness has really improved thanks to Joe O’Connor of Nisus Fitness and there is no way I could have done this without the training.

Even though the dance is only three minutes, I am up on my toes for most of it and it is fast and furious. I am praying to baby Jesus to help me get through it.

Karyn Moriarty is making our costumes and we had our first little dress rehearsal last night. She has done a great job and I am looking forward to playing ‘dress up’ on the night.

Jackie told us we will be in the Rose parade on Saturday night, which in itself will be great fun. We have our sashes (the poor kids will wonder who are the wannabe roses and escorts).

Jackie told us we were going to have the best week, full of fun and memories and so long as one of those memories will not be “do you remember what happened to poor Mary?” all will be good.

Thanks to everyone who has posted good wishes on ‘Mary and Richard’ on FB.

Please keep them coming…we need all the support to get us through!


One Comment

  1. You’ll do brilliant Mary . A strong vodka to limber you up and you’ll be shaking your booty .. The very best of luck X X X