Belfast Telegraph

Lurgan TV dance star Ryan McShane waltzes way in to model Thalia's heart

By Stephanie Bell

A professional dancer has not only wowed the judges to lead his celebrity partner to the final of RTE's hit Saturday night show Dancing With The Stars -he has captured the affections of one of Ireland's top models.

Romance has blossomed under the glitterballs between Lurgan man Ryan McShane (32) and Dublin beauty Thalia Heffernan, who has been described as "Ireland's biggest model sensation".

The 22-year-old, who dated One Direction's Niall Horan two years ago, also works with top London agency Elite, which helped launch the careers of supermodels Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington.

The couple met in January through the Strictly-style show where Thalia was one of the celebrity competitors and professional dancer Ryan is partnering Irish actress Denise McCormack.

Ryan said he and Thalia had become "inseparable".

And after what he described as an exhilarating and exhausting 12 weeks of rehearsals seven days a week, Ryan is looking forward to a romantic holiday with his new love when the show ends this weekend.

He said: "I met Thalia through the show and we started dating on the second week and we've been pretty much inseparable.

"I'm probably punching well above my weight but it is going really, really well and she has been really supportive of me on the show. I hope it is not going to have the Strictly curse, as I wasn't dancing with her.

"Most of Thalia's work is in Dublin but she does some gigs in England as well and we've got this VIP Style Awards coming up which we will be going to, and we have also planned a holiday in Tuscany.

"She hopes to visit me in Birmingham and I will no doubt be back and forward to Dublin. I've signed up for two years with Dancing With The Stars so I will be back again in about six months' time."

Ryan and Denise were among three couples to dance their way to the final for a chance to pick up the Glitterball trophy.

You can find out if he gets to lift it at 6.30pm this Sunday on RTE1.

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