Saturday 19 January 2019

'Dance poise is down to mum', says Alannah

Alannah Beirne and her mum Brenda Hyland.
Alannah Beirne and her mum Brenda Hyland.

She's been at the top of the Dancing With The Stars judges' leaderboard every week - and model Alannah Beirne says it's all down to her mum.

The 6ft tall model is the daughter of Brenda Hyland, the 1983 Rose of Tralee.

Brenda was crowned the "loveliest and fairest" Rose in the land during the festival's Jubilee year.

At the time she was working as a garda recruit.

However, she now runs the Irish School of Etiquette - which aims to teach men and women how to walk, talk and eat with a sense of poise and grace.


Before she began competing on the show, Alannah worked for her mum as a "deportment coach" at the school.

Alannah would teach pupils how to carry themselves, whether they were "walking a red carpet or on their way to work".

"It's a great way to build confidence," Alannah said.

"I was really shy when I was a kid and found classes like this helped build confidence."

In primary school, Alannah was diagnosed with a learning difficulty called auditory processing disorder.

"And now I work in an industry where you are constantly getting knocks and knocked back, so it's important to have that confidence," she added.

Alannah is one of the judges' favourites on the dance show.

According to her mother, she inherited her fancy footwork from her grandfather, Ritchie Hyland.

"He was a terrific ballroom dancer and Alannah dedicated her first dance on the programme [to him]," Brenda said.

"I am not a gifted dancer but I am thrilled Alannah has inherited his skill."

Brenda is confident her daughter has what it takes to take home the trophy.

"I would love if she won," Brenda said.

"We do set goals in our house, but she won't be stepping over anyone or squashing them into the ground."

Alannah is aware, however, that she doesn't have the same fan base that other contestants - such as Marty Morrissey or Erin McGregor - may have.


"It is a popularity contest, which is scary, but I like that too because it's not predictable and you never know who is going to leave," she said.

Tomorrow there will be no eliminations as it is switchover week.

Alannah's partner was Vitali Kozmin but tomorrow night she will take to the dance floor with Kai Widdrington - for one night only.

"My new dance partner is a lot more laid-back than Vitali was," she said.

"But they are both great dancers and great teachers."

Ratings have slipped since the start of the season, from 590,200 to 526,100.

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