It's one thing to be a viral sensation on TikTok. It’s another thing altogether when Beyoncé’s mum shares your video. And Richmond, Virginia-born Morgan Bullock almost didn’t post the video that Tina Knowles and so many others viewed and shared. The 22-year-old dancer told Brendan Courtney that the 12-second video of her Irish dancing to Megan Thee Stallion’s Savage wasn’t as good as she would have liked:

"I wasn’t really happy with the quality of dancing in the video. As a competitive dancer I was, you know, always a little bit hard on myself, but it was just a little bit of fun and I sent it to my mom and she was like, 'You should just post it, why not?’ So I said, ‘Ok, whatever, no one’s gonna see it.’"

Reaction to the video – which was posted in 2020 during the first lockdown – was overwhelmingly positive, leading to the afore-mentioned Ms Knowles sharing it and an invitation from the then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to dance in the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin. But – and this is why we can’t have nice things – some online responses accused Morgan of "cultural appropriation":

"Some people just chose to respond negatively to my videos and the fact that I was a black woman Irish dancing and claimed that it wasn’t for me. Which, you know, the only way I can describe it is disappointing."

According to her parents, Morgan was always dancing, so it made sense when they signed her up for ballet classes when she was 3. But it wasn’t until she was 10 that she first came across Irish dancing:

"At the studio where I was taking lessons doing ballet, tap, jazz, all these other dance forms, they started offering Irish dance classes... It was like nothing I’d ever seen and there were parts of it that looked like tap dancing and parts that looked like ballet and it was like – it looked like a lot of fun."

At that stage, Megan hadn’t connected with a dance form in the way she did when Irish dancing came into her life. She has said that discovering Irish dancing meant that dance had changed for her from being a pastime to being a passion. And then on YouTube she stumbled across an obscure Eurovision interval act from 1994 called Riverdance. She told Brendan what she thought when she first saw the now-legendary performance:

"It was just magic. Just to see so many dancers dancing in unison and something like that, I had never seen anything like that before in my experience as a dancer. So, it definitely was a turning point for me."

Going from watching Riverdance on YouTube to performing in Riverdance on stage was something that appears to have been remarkably straightforward. Megan’s posting of her dancing videos online continued through lockdown (and racist trolls be damned) leading to the Riverdance company asking her to perform in one show in Richmond and although that show didn’t happen because of Covid, the quality of her dancing in the videos was impossible to ignore:

"I just kept posting and that one performance turned into a tour and that turned into two tours and now I’m here."

"Here" is performing in Riverdance’s 25th anniversary show – Morgan is the first black woman to perform in the touring show, something she’s very proud of. You can hear Brendan’s full conversation with Morgan Bullock by going here.

The Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show is on now at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.

And Morgan spoke to Joe Duffy on Liveline back in 2020, which you can find here.