A CLYDEBANK man who revealed he first felt intimidated when he started studying dance has now been handpicked to work on a new cruise ship that will hold more than 4,000 people.

Pierce Meehan has worked with Carnival Cruises for more than three years and has recently signed a new contract to spend 12 months on the cruise line’s brand-new ship Panorama.

The 31-year-old was picked alongside four other dancers to create the show.

In 2012, Pierce graduated with an HND in dance artists from Glasgow Clyde College before moving to London where he attended London Studio Centre, specialising in musical theatre, whilst obtaining an honours degree in theatre dance.

And before he set off again from Miami, he returned to the college in Anniesland to teach and choreograph for the end of year performances.

Pierce said: “I’m so thankful that I get to do what I love for a living. It’s been incredibly hard work, but I wouldn’t change any of it. Maxine Railton (senior lecturer at Dance Studio Scotland/Glasgow Clyde College) encouraged me to go to London when it seemed too daunting to me, for which I am grateful.

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“I am honoured to have come full circle and teach at the college. I’ve been blown away by the standard of the talent here and look forward to watching their careers develop as professional dancers.”

While in London, Pierce worked four jobs to fund his studies and says a career in dance is hard work and not for the faint hearted

He added: “It’s incredibly difficult. As a working dancer you have to stay at peak fitness, continuously develop your skills and be ready to perform at a day’s notice. The grounding and discipline I learned at Anniesland has absolutely helped with this.

“Studying at Glasgow Clyde College highlighted the importance of the history and background of dance; it’s about so much more than learning steps.

“I had never considered a career in dance - in fact I went to Glasgow University to study medicine before changing my path and going into performing.

“When I started studying at the college, I was resistant to almost all aspects of the course.

“It is very intimidating being in an environment that’s predominantly female, especially as a 22-year-old guy. But I was encouraged to explore the vulnerability I felt and use it to grow my confidence - which I absolutely did.

“The academic side of the course was also eye-opening to me.

“Spending time learning the theory behind the movement became so important to me, as it provided context as to why the movement was communicated in the way it was.”