Leap of faith | 

Gráinne Seoige explains how you ‘leave your ego at the door’ on Dancing with the Stars

Gráinne Seoige says social media messages have been very supportive. Photo: Barry McCall

Melanie Finn

For Gráinne Seoige, signing up for RTÉ One’s Dancing with the Stars was a huge leap of faith.

Having never watched the Irish version of the show during her time in South Africa, she had no preconceived notions of what it entailed and is relishing how much it has forced her out of her comfort zone.

“Once we get to a certain age, we’re good at what we do, we’re not learning as much any more. We get comfortable with what we have mastery in and what we’re good at and our area of expertise. This is completely different, this is leaving all of that behind and also leaving your ego at the door,” she said.

“You really have to make peace with the notion that you’re not good at this and you’re starting from the ground up. And that happens every Monday morning, starting with a new dance.”

She and husband Leon Jordaan moved back to Ireland from South Africa only in 2020 and she’s been blown away by support that she has received on the show.

“The three judges are only half the story so you really do have to ask people to pick up the phone and make the effort to text or call on your behalf or else you’re not going to be in the competition for long,” she said.

“Even online on social media channels, the messages have been really, really lovely. I’m really touched and delighted by it. People are lovely, and particularly what I’m noticing is girls being lovely to other girls, that support, that sisterhood between women, it gives me such a lovely, warm feeling.

“It’s wonderful because women are often painted as being in competition with each other or not supportive of each other but that’s really not my experience at all.”

Now one of the 10 remaining celebrities competing for the glitterball trophy, performing an American Smooth with partner John Nolan tomorrow night, nothing could have prepared her for how immersive the experience has become.

“It’s such an adrenalin rollercoaster. You’re up, you’re down, you’re exhausted, you’re exhilarated but you’re learning and you feel great when you’ve mastered something. And sometimes, you feel there’s something wrong with you as you’re not learning it fast enough. You really go through every kind of emotion, probably in ways that you haven’t since you were a child.”

As for husband Leon, he’s “so proud” because he knows she is putting herself in a vulnerable position being on the show.

“Nobody knows how it will go for them and how dances are going to suit you every week. He’s very proud and he sees that I’m taking that chance.

“It’s a cliché to say you’re out of your comfort zone, but it’s no less true for being a cliché.”

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