Karen Byrne in Dancing With The Stars

There has been great excitement at Karen & Wojtek School of Dance over the last few weeks with the start of the Dancing With The Stars TV Show.
Our fabulous teacher Karen Byrne from Dublin has been making us all very proud.
She was partnered up with sports commentator Des Cahill for the show & has been wowing us since it started!!!

Partner Des Cahill

Week 1 – Karen and Des started their journey on DWTS with a foxtrot. It’s a difficult dance but even more so for Des as he has never danced before. They both did a great job and received a great response from the judges. The public vote carried them forward to week 3!
The ‘Dancing Dessie’ was born 😉

Week 3 – Karen and Des performed the Passo Doble which was an absolute show stopper and received the first  full standing ovation of the show!!! They were straight in to the next round again!

Enjoy the amazing show from our Star teacher Karen & her partner Des!

Week 4 was the time for Salsa based on a film – Austin Powers !
While everyone thought that their Passo Doble could not be beaten for entertainment value, Des’s salsa as Austin Powers was a revelation which left the judges at a loss for words and yet again a full standing ovation from the audience!!!
The ‘DessieSwim’ and ‘DessieLifts’ became an Irish sensation!

Karen & Des still staying very strong in the competition – they just got through week 5 after their amazing Tango!
This week brought a big change. We had a very serious tango to show that Des could in fact dance. The audience loved it and yet again a standing ovation – a hat trick of standing ovations in such a competition will not be an easy task to beat!!!
The judges were very complimentary, giving Des his first 7 of the show!
Its great to see Karen and Des perform and the progress Des is making in his dance journey shows what can be acheived with hard work and  good teachers.

And then we had Cha Cha! This was a Valentines Day theme and Karen and Des danced to Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee. It was a fun dance with plenty of content with cupcakes for the judges. The judges weren’t too happy but as always the public loved it and voted them through! Many thanks to the Cupcake Bloke for the cakes and for the fabulous Red Velvet Cake he made for Karen and Des.


Week Seven was switch up week where all the pro dancers swapped partners and Karen was paired with Aidan O’Mahony for Samba.  All votes carried to the following week and so we had week 8!


Week 8

Week 8 proved to be the most emotional week so far.  Des and Karen were dancing the Viennese Waltz to one of Des’s favourite tunes of all time- the Marino Waltz by John Sheehan of the Dubliners.

As a surprise for Des, Karen organised for John to come to the rehearsal and play for them in their practice session. It was absolutely magical and Des was reduced to tears and delighted to meet him.

At the live show the emotion of the dance had the effect of reducing all the audience and judges to tears and again they received a standing ovation for the choreography. Again the public sent them through to week 9!!!!!

Week 9.

Week 9 was Icon Week and Des picked Billy Joels Uptown Girl for an American Smooth. Nicky Byrne loved this as he along with his Westlife buddies had also had a hit with this song. As usual this went down a storm with the audience and public alike so again Des and Karen went through to the quater finals!!!!!

The highlight of this week was a group dance with all the pros and young dancers from Karen & Wojtek School of Dance!!!
They all danced brilliantly with Elliot having a solo part where he danced with Kai as his reflection in the mirror to the ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson. This was a very proud moment for our School and a great opportunity for the children!!!!!

Week 10

Who would have thought at the beginning of this journey that Des and Karen would still be here at the quater final stage!! This week had yet another twist with two dances. First was a Ballroom Blitz. All the couples were on the floor and could basically freestyle dancing whatever they wanted and be voted off by the judges with the last couple being awarded 5 additional points.

The next dance was Karen and Des’s favourite, The Jive! The music was very fitting, with the line ‘…Now That I Can Dance’! And he most definitely could.Unfortunately the judges low score and public vote saw them, for the first time, in the dance off against Aoibhinn and Vitaly. In this case the judges voted for Aoibhinn and Vitaly and the most entertaining couple in the show were sent home. The reaction from the audience and all the staff was unbelieveable. Everyone was in tears. It was the end of an incredible journey that had started back in January.

No-one could have believed how well they both had done. This was a testament to the teaching skills and Des’s willingness to learn. Little did they know the effect they would have on the viewing public. All the positive feedback was great to read and the feel good factor they brought to the show had such a great impact!

They may have left the show but to most people they were the true winners having won a place in the hearts of everyone. We all looked forward to them coming back for the final.

Thank you to everyone for your support and votes for Des and Karen to keep them in the programme every week!
There are no limits if you have dreams!

The Final:

The final saw all the celebs and their partners come back for a group dance. This was brilliant as they all got a chance to perform an exerpt from one of their dances from the show, the reaction was as always fantastic.

Professional Dance Challenge:

Each week every professional dancer took part in a dance challenge. They were trying to beat each other proving who has the fastest feet.

Karen officially won it!
Once again – The Irish Champ showed her class beating everyone on the field!


It was a fitting end to the best live show to have been on RTE in a long time, A big thank you to them and to Shinawil production company and hopefully it will not be the last time we see Karen on our screens.

And so now its all over for the present and Karen has returned to her adoring students who have missed her and are delighted to have herself and Wojtek back together in the school. They have lots of hard work to do with lots of competitions coming up.

Wojtek and Karen have so much experience between them which is evident in the amount of success they have had with their dance careers and their students on-going success wherever they compete.