Celebration of Celtic dance to take viewers on an adventure
"I THINK it's kind of funny," Celtic Illusions director and dancer Anthony Street said.
"You'd think that growing up in that kind of place (country-rural living) and with my dad being a builder - you'd think I'd follow in his footsteps."
Before delving into the world of Irish dance, Anthony, 30, was your simple country boy - growing up in Healesville, Victoria.
After 16 years of dancing, eight of those professionally, Anthony has taken to the role of director with his magical performance.
Celtic Illusions is set to arrive in town at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre Convention Centre on November 24.
The contemporary Irish dance and grand scale music event meets magnificent illusions taking audiences on an epic adventure where the world of dreams becomes reality.
"I'm all about taking the audience on a journey to a place where things impossible just seem possible - that's what I wanted to do with this show," Anthony said.
As a child, Anthony was your typical farm kid, riding motorbikes and surrounded by race cars and hunting.
"I used to want to be an actor or cameraman, mainly for film and stage," he said.
But after watching one spectacular Irish show - the wheels were set in motion for what was to become Anthony's magnificent career in Irish dance.
Anthony said Riverdance blew him away at 14 years old.
"I didn't think I wanted to do that for a career - I just wanted to do it.
"I wanted to learn this amazing new art form that no one had seen before - it looked so impossible and impressive and I wanted to do it."
He said the same year he took up the dance, he also started football.
"So many times I had to miss things with friends because of dancing."
While originally keeping it a secret from his mates - it wasn't long before the day came for him to sit them down and reveal his secret.
"I sat them down and said; promise you don't laugh at me.
"I told them and they replied, 'so what - who cares?'"
"I had the most amazing friends - they were so supportive."
From here things only got more serious. The young teenager had found his passion.
He would constantly watch Irish dance videos and practice constantly - anywhere and everywhere.
"So much to the point of ruining my mum's floor," Anthony laughed.
"Even the deck outside is all scratched, marked and dinted."
The steps came naturally to Anthony, who had his past experience with gymnastics to thank but he said it was still hard work.
And the dance certainly had its challenges and dangers.
He received his worst injury at 17 years of age.
"I was practising outside the hall where I learnt and didn't realise I had gotten close to the concrete.
"I must have rolled 90 degrees on my ankle. I was on crutches for six to eight weeks.''
Other than the torn ligament in his ankle, Anthony said he had been lucky.
When he turned 19 he was touring professionally.
Now after many years touring the globe Anthony is back in Australia.
He spent two and a half years touring with Lord of the Dance - which he admits to being one of his favourite.
"It's the perfect Irish dance - 15 years old and still incredible to watch.
"I compare everything I do to that."
So whilst embarking on demolition work as a day job, Anthony spends his spare time preparing and practising for Celtic Illusions.
Not to mention keeping fit with the challenging dance moves and four to five days of gym per week.
"I haven't had a day off from this for a couple of years," he said of the show.
"Even if I'm at a friend's house I'll be sitting there thinking about it."
The lean, talented dancer even practises at work, tapping on the demolition floor.
"It's like a real life bootmen," he laughed.
Celtic Illusions was born in November 2011 and continues to go from strength to strength.
"I'm constantly chipping and working away at stuff. This is literally just the beginning of potentially one of the greatest dance shows in the world.
"The only thing I can say - is there's a surprise around each corner when you least expect it."
- WHERE: Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre
- WHEN: Sunday, November 24
- TIME: 7pm
- TICKETS: Ranges from $44.90 for students to $200 for a family (two children, two adults)