When 19-year-old Liam Costello first witnessed an Irish dancing performance at the age of five, he was captivated.
Originally starting in the jazz discipline, he quickly realised where his calling was.
“From watching it, I was really drawn to how exact, athletic and strong the movements were. I joined as soon as I could,” Liam told the Galston, Glenorie & Hills Rural Community News.
It didn’t take long for Liam to find his feet in the Irish dancing world and skyrocket through the ranks. He went on to clinch multiple titles across the world, including All Ireland, North American and Australian titles. His most recent was being crowned World Champion for the third consecutive year in a row.
“It was genuinely the best feeling. It was just incredible, amazing. All the hard work that you put into it finally pays off,” he said.
Liam admits that his admirable achievements didn’t come without a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication.
“I’m quite an overachiever. I guess I’m a perfectionist, so I like everything to be perfect as much as it can. So, I strived for the title, and I’m glad that I was able to achieve it.”
Hailing from West Pennant Hills, Liam attended West Pennant Hills Public School before completing his schooling at Newton High School of the Performing Arts. He revealed to the Galston, Glenorie & Hills Rural Community News that it wasn’t always easy as a male dancer.
“Taking up dancing as a guy can be challenging, especially growing up in primary school with people being immature. But you just have to get through it. I did also swim competitively, I did soccer, I did tennis for a bit, and basketball, but it all came back to dancing.”
Liam admits that he has Irish dancing to thank for introducing him to his roots in Ireland.
“I didn’t really know I had Irish heritage until I started dancing. I knew my grandparents were from the UK, but it really forced me to look back further into my heritage and find out that they’ve come from Ireland.”
However, the outbreak of a global pandemic brought the teenager’s wave of success to a screeching halt, revealing that he had to reevaluate and adapt.
“COVID was quite a big hit on me because Irish dancing, specifically in the competitive world, really focuses on going to all the competitions and competing against other people.
So, with all that completely stopping, it was quite hard to build motivation, but knowing that things would kick back up again, I was able to push myself and keep myself occupied in other ways that would also benefit my Irish dancing. I did a full-time dance course at Brent Street last year which really helped me build up strength and also made me a more versatile dancer,” he said.
After returning to Australia from the World Championships this year, Liam joined Eireborne, an Irish dancing production that toured the country in July and August.
“It was amazing, it was such an awesome world. It was very energetic and very involved with the audience. It was special to be a part of, especially being able to dance with all my peers who I’ve grown up dancing against. Being able to come together and dance on Australian soil was fantastic,” he said.
Liam admits that although Irish dancing will always remain a big part of his life, he is looking to branch out into other areas of dance, as well as take some time to reflect on his whirlwind past year.
“I’m really just seeing what takes me at the moment. I haven’t really got anything set in stone because I’ve been travelling so much. It’s just kind of good to take some time to slow down and think about what I’m going to do in the future.”