Gerard Carson may be only 20, but he’s almost ready to retire from Irish dancing.
Carson is slim, dark-haired and has a strong Northern Irish accent. A four-time Irish dancing World Champion, he is a co-organizer of the Big Apple Feis, where his role was to help Unateresa Gormley, the main organizer.
Although he was thousands of miles away in Belfast, he was very much involved in the Big Apple Feis – he was, for instance, in charge of running the competition's Facebook group.
He grew up in Belfast, and met Gormley 12 years ago through Project Children, a group that has brought children from Northern Ireland to New York during the summers to let them temporarily escape the Troubles.
Even though he now studies marketing at the University of Ulster, Carson remains passionate about dance. “It has given me a lot of opportunities. I’ve been able to come to the U.S and to travel the world,” he explains.
Gormley says that Carson, who turned down offers of tours with Lord of the Dance and Riverdance, has "an awful lot of talent." But still, she supports his decision to not lose sight of his college career.
"He makes his own decisons, and he knows what he wants," says Gormley. "I think he'll be his own entity, and will go on to something different. He has a lot of friends in the dancing world, so I think he'll take things a step further."