|Mollie McCabe, of Buffalo, N.Y., Irish step dances along the shores
of Lake Erie in her "Heartbeat of Home" audition video.
Open auditions for "Heartbeat of Home" -- the dance fusion show produced by the creators of "Riverdance" -- began Monday, and the competition is as fierce as it is diverse.
Judges responsible for casting the new show will be watching video auditions uploaded to YouTube by dancers of various genres, including Irish, flamenco, Latin and street dancing. So far, Irish dancer videos outweigh dancers of other forms in the competition.
The quality of Irish dance applicants is unreal. Many of those auditioning are regional, national and even world champions.
Irish dancers of the competitive circuit will recognize a few names and faces, including former CLRG world champions Ashley Smith and Olivia Griffin, and current senior men's world title holder Tyler Schwartz, just to name a few of the step dancing big-timers competing for a spot on the "Heartbeat" stage.
Professional show dancer Owen Jones' video channels a bit of Irish dance nostalgia with footage of him dancing at a child, followed by a recent video clip of him dancing on a show stage. Tom Brosnan and Erin Trevena of "Brosena," the dancing duo that made it to the semi-final round of Sky1's "Got to Dance," both threw their hats into the "Heartbeat" ring, too.
Then, there are the dancing dark horses -- those who don't hold any fancy titles or have professional shows listed on their resumes but clearly possess talent, showmanship and energy worthy of the "Heartbeat" judges' attention.
Korean-born Mollie McCabe shot her a capella video in freezing temperatures in Buffalo, N.Y., yet her beats are both precise and audibly crisp regardless of the undeniably harsh dancing conditions.
Lisa Murphy, of Brooklyn, also stands out from the crowd. Her video takes an unexpected twist when she transitions from trebles to music video moves.
Audition videos continue to pop up on the official "Heartbeat" talent search website. According to judge Padraic Moyles, the top 10 videos at the end of the online audition cycle (later this month) will be invited to try out for the show in person. Those not ranked in the top according to viewer votes still have a chance though. The judges, Moyles said, will identify dancers possessing appealing show qualities and invite them to formally audition as well.