Aoibhín Garrihy Says Her 8-Hour DWTS Rehearsals Are No Sweat: ‘I Always Need To Be Busy’

aoibhin garrihy

Aoibhín Garrihy wowed the judges with her cha-cha on RTE’s Dancing With The Stars last weekend, but there’s no time for reflection. The actress is already prepping for the weeks ahead.

“I’m feeling confident, and it was a fine start but I just have to keep going with it now,” she tells, adding that she’s been dancing “a minimum” of four hours a day, often up to eight, in anticipation of her next performance on stage with her professional dance partner Vitali Kozmin.

“My partner is a total perfectionist. He expects me to put the hours in, and I want to as well. It’s every day. We’re trying to stay on top of it all, so we’re already looking ahead to weeks three and four,” she says.

Despite a somewhat shaky start in rehearsals before her first dance, Aoibhín is coming around to the idea of being a dancer… and having the cameras capture her every move.

Aoibhín Garrihy pictured as she is announced as a judge for the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

“I was feeling so stiff and so awkward in rehearsals at the beginning, because the cha-cha is all about the hips. I felt like a bit of a tree for a lot of the time,” she admits.

“And with the cameras, you don’t have a script to hide behind, you have to be on all the time. That was a little bit alien to me at the start… There was a big teething period [in rehearsals].”

Since leaving behind her role as Neasa Dillon in Fair City in 2013, it’s been all go for Aoibhín, with a move from Dublin to Clare, a wedding to plan – she married her partner John Burke last September – and roles in The Fall and Monged to contend with. But the actress says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Aoibhín Garrihy pictured as she is announced as a judge for the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards. Pic. Robbie Reynolds

“I’m a Gemini and Geminis need lots of projects on the go. I’m really angsty when I’m not busy. I hate waiting for the phone to ring, I just need to be busy all the time. That’s when I’m happiest. And to be doing what you love is great.”

Will there be time for a break once her stint on Dancing With The Stars is over? Quite the opposite, as it turns out. “I’d love a proper holiday, but my husband is climbing Everest in March, and I’m going to trek to base camp with him,” Aoibhín tells us.

“He’s going to climb for two and a half months so I’ll trek in with him and leave him there. Even though it’s labour-intensive it’s still downtime from work which is always nice.”

Aoibhín was this week revealed as a judge for the fourth annual Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards, which recognises drama and performing arts talent in schools across the country.

Entry forms for this year’s awards are available on The closing dates for production categories is January 27 and for written categories is February 10.