From Riverdance to broadway
Longford man, Bobby Fox has reached new heights in his career as a performer, having landed the lead role in the International hit musical, Jersey Boys.
The musical, which is currently running in Melbourne, Australia, tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, a band that had 27 top 30 hits in the USA. Bobby performs the role of Frankie Valli.
"This is the first lead role I've had in a musical. It is the role to rule them all, as far as I'm concerned," says Bobby. "It takes my talent and really stretches it. It is a very challenging role."
Since opening in July 2009 at The Princess Theatre, Melbourne, the musical has been performing to a sell out crowd six days a week.
It is expected to complete a year in Melbourne and then move to Sydney where further success awaits.
Bobby is no stranger to the stage limelight having been a top class performer since his late teens.
He danced with Riverdance prior to 2002 when he moved to Sydney to undertake a performing arts course, and in the last seven years he has performed in many musicals, such as Mamma Mia and To Dance On The Moon, as he climbed the success ladder to his present role.
Despite all this, when talking to Bobby it becomes very clear that his foundations still mean a lot to him.
"I started out Irish dancing competitively with the O'Reilly School of Dancing (becoming World Irish Dance Champion] and it really set me up. I learned the basics in choreographics and how to pick up steps. Then when I trained in other types of dancing, I wasn't starting from scratch," explains Bobby.
"I can attribute everything to the foundations of Irish dancing, you can't build a house without good foundations. Irish dancing was a huge part of my life."
Another huge part of Bobby's life is his family in Edgeworthstown; his parents Robbie and Betty Fox, and sisters Laura, Lisa, Roseanne and Lynn.
"I don't think I can say how important my parents were to me as I developed. I made the decision to leave school after third year and to focus on my dancing.
"My parents supported me and helped me reach my goals. I will never forget their help. They were encouraging and understanding," says Bobby.
To become a success in any field requires clear focus and single-minded determination. When talking to Bobby Fox, it is clear that one is talking to a highly focused and determined individual.
"I once heard a story where someone was asked 'why are you the best in your field?' The answer was 'Because I practiced the most'. I don't believe that everyone has to be the best, but if you want something then you have to be clear about what you want and work your ass off for it," explains Bobby.
"You hear of stories where success falls in people's laps, but that is very rare. Most people have to work very hard."
So what advice does Bobby have for the budding Irish dancers who are starting back into their dancing classes around Longford?
"Listen to your parents and practice hard," says Bobby.
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Weather for Longford, Ireland
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west