CHRIS NAISH - FOUNDER/ ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Chris is a performer, teacher & choreographer originating from Bristol, UK. After learning multiple styles of dance from the age of 4 he soon became hooked on the high-energy and rhythm of ‘Irish dance’.
After many years of competitive dancing for the Sean Eireann McMahon dance school in Bristol, at the age of 19 Chris retired from competitive dancing All-Ireland, European, National & Regional Solo Champion (As well as being World Champion in Figure and Ceili teams). After graduating with a distinction in Performing Arts at Filton College in Bristol he joined Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the dance’ at the age of 20 where he then toured for 4 years. Highlights include being picked for corporate performances with Michael Flatley and performing at prestigious venues in over 40 countries. His professional dance career continued with other high profile touring shows including 5 years in ‘Riverdance’ & most recently as a featured dancer on Celtic Woman’s ’10 Yr Anniversary World Tour’.
In 2010, Chris branched away from what had become the typical Irish Dance show experience and co-created an experimental street level project called ‘Sneaky Steppers’, a public ambush crew that would break into several styles of spontaneous dance for unsuspecting audiences. Notable achievements include co-organising a Flash mob in Sydney Central Station with Tourism Ireland (20+ Million Views) and providing entertainment for the 2012 London Olympics. When taking breaks from the touring shows, Chris spent his time living in ‘New York City’ and began to choreograph for various dance projects and collaborations including dance crew ‘Hammerstep’. He was also invited to be a choreographer for ‘Studio2Stage’ in New Jersey for a cast of more than 80 dancers and teaching over 600 dancers at the original Irish Dance Camp 'Camp Rince Ceol' for the past 2 years.
On his return to the UK, Chris launched the progressive Irish dance project ‘Fusion Fighters’ on St Patrick’s Day 2013. It has quickly established itself as one of the leading Irish dance communities through their workshops, video projects, performances & campaigns. In 2016/17 campaigns alone have collectively received 50 Million+ views, earning a fast growing community of followers and interest across social media. In 2016 his professional dance crew gained national exposure on a 30-minute documentary series Jigs & Wigs shown on BBC1 and they have since performed at the 2016, 2017, 2018 World Irish Dance Championships, the Late Late show on St Patrick’s Day 2017, The North American Nationals, Nolan Live BBC NI & TG4 Fleadh TV.
With a successful 2016, 2017 & 2018 ‘Fusion Dance Fest’ in Limerick, the event is back in 2019 by popular demand. Fusion Fighters have also recently completed their first tour with 26 shows on 'The 'Irish Folk Festival Tour’ in Germany and another to follow in March 2019.