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The Cafe

Dáithí, Monica and Luan

On the Café this Thursday, February 15th, Laura and Aidan chat to TG4's favourite weatherman Dáithí Ó Sé and Irish ballerina Monica Loughman.

Live on stage there's Meteor Music Award winner Luan Parle, who performs 'Make It On My Own', and the comedy act TJ and TJ.

We also find out how our Valentines Couple from last week got on during their date salsa dancing at the Dance Theatre of Ireland in Dun Laoghaire with the help of Hilary Clarke from danzon.ie.

Dáithí Ó Sé
Daithi O SeRecently nominated for a Personality Of the Year IFTA award, Dáithí Ó Sé became a household name through his entertaining performances on last summer's 'Charity You're A Star' (he made it to the last three).

Though his day job is TG4 weather and continuity presenter, Dáithí is a prominent traditional Irish singer and set-dancer.

He is a member of the group The Three Fivers along with Seamús Begley and Laurence Courtney.

The group thí sang with the Chieftains on their album 'Water From the Well' and recorded a track for the album 'Éist Aríst'.

A former teacher, Dáithí joined TG4 seven years ago. The programmes he has worked on include 'Gradam Ceoil TG4 (Traditional Music Awards) 2002', 'Féilte' and chat show 'Coinne Le'. Most recently he presented 'Glór Tíre' a series where TG4 is looking for the next country music singer.

He also presents the annual 'Steip' show featuring live sean-nós dancing from Oireachtas na Gaeilge. Dáithí is a mean dancer himself and has travelled extensively to bring introduce the world to the subtleties of West Kerry set-dancing.

From West Kerry Gaeltacht, Dáithí is a passionate supporter of Kerry's Gaelic footballers.

And he is also a regular ring-master with Duffy's Circus, where he does the circus in Irish!

Monica Loughman
Monica LoughmanDubliner Monica Loughman is one of Ireland's and Russia's leading ballerinas.

Dancing from the age of four, Monica made the huge decision to move to Perm in Russia to train to be a professional dancer when she was just 13.

Of the 10 Irish dancers who made the trip to the Perm Ballet school only three are now professional dancers.

At the school, Monica endured years of gruelling training where she was hit by teachers, fed macaroni and cabbage and survived bullying from the Russian dancers.

By 16, Monica turned professional and in 2002 was promoted to solo dancer. Over the years, she has performed in numerous lead roles including 'Giselle', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Cinderella' and 'Swan Lake'.

The pay as a professional dancer was bad and economic conditions in Russia, though better than when she arrived in the country, were still poor.

Monica lived in Russia for 14 years. She moved back to Ireland over a year ago to publish her autobiography 'The Irish Ballerina'.

In 2005, Monica and Alan Foley published a book of ballet photography 'Ballet Through The Lens - Foley and Loughman: A Portrait' and a DVD 'The Magic of Ballet'.

Monica will be dancing with the Cork City Ballet in April and Drogheda in May. She has also set up her own youth ballet company.

Luan Parle
Luan ParleMeteor Music Award winner Luan Parle performs 'Make It On My Own' live for The Café.

Luan comes to The Café fresh from beating Moya Brennan, Cara Dillon, Eleanor McEvoy and Ann Scott to win the Best Irish Female award at the Meteors on February 1st.

From Wicklow, Luan landed her first music deal at the age of 21, bringing a breath of fresh air to the country rock scene. In 2003, she signed to Sony Music and released two hit singles 'When I see You Smile' and 'More Than A Ghost'.

Luan's debut album 'Free' is the product of years working in America with such songwriters as Billy Steinberty (winner of 11 Grammys) and Bill Bottrell (Like A Virgin, True Colours and Eternal Flame).


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