herald

Thursday 13 December 2018

Couple who waltzed to fame inspired grandson to take US TV dance show by storm

DANCING With The Stars' Irish pro Tristan MacManus is following in the footsteps of his ballroom dancing grandparents.

Joe (78) and Phyllis McCann (73) dance many a waltz and foxtrot in ballroom events -- and it was their love of dancing that led their grandson to follow suit.

Talented Tristan (29), who is partnered with American current affairs presenter Nancy Grace on the US smash hit show, claims his grandparents inspired him to pursue his career.

Joe and Phyllis recalled how their grandson asked to join them in their classes while he was still in school.



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"Joe started dancing when he was in his 50s, that's when we took part in competitions and we would take Tristan along with us with his sister Kelly, and then one day he said, 'I wonder if grandad would mind if I did it as well'," Phyllis recalled.

"My husband was delighted because it's very hard to get boys to take classes. He took to it very well, and we never practised with him, or pushed him to do anything, he did his own thing and never looked back."

Joe added: "He was only nine years old when he started competing. I think he was trying to win from the first day he started dancing."

The couple, who have been living in Bray, Co Wicklow, for decades, have won numerous competitions at home and abroad at senior level.

After Joe retired from his job as an inspector for Dublin Bus, they even moved to the States for 12 years to pursue their passion and won the North American championships in the 1990s.

hnews@herald.ie

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