‘Lord of the Dance’ Michael Flatley urges young people with dreams to follow in his footsteps

“It’s the dream of a lot of young kids coming up and I think that’s why they work so hard to win competitions and improve in their art form, because they hope to one day compete in one of my shows. ”

The man who created Riverdance’s groundbreaking choreography before finding worldwide success with his show Lord Of The Dance, says the entertainment world is waiting to welcome young dancers.

Although he would not comment on the current controversy involving allegations of contest rigging in the competitive Irish dancing scene, Flatley said parents should continue to support their young children who have the passion and ambition to be professional dancers.

“Our Lord Of The Dance shows give young people more effort than just winning a trophy,” Michael told The Sunday World in an exclusive interview.

“All beautiful young children and dancers should know that there is something bigger and better waiting for them when they finish competitions. And they deserve their success for all their hard work.

Since premiering in Dublin 25 years ago, Lord Of The Dance has become one of the most successful touring productions in entertainment history, having been seen by over 60 million people.

“We are in the joy business, we spread Irish culture and joy around the world,” says Michael. “For many young dancers coming up through the ranks, our show is something to look forward to, something to look forward to and something to work for so they can have something to be proud of after all their years of hard work and practice.

“It’s the dream of a lot of young kids coming up and I think that’s why they work so hard to win competitions and improve in their art form, because they hope to one day compete in one of my shows.

“My dancers have a great life traveling the world, seeing all the big cities and getting standing ovations at night.

“And an important point for me to emphasize is that not all the dancers I choose in my shows have won a world championship, and they don’t need to. There are very special dancers who, for some reason didn’t win their world championship, but when they’re on stage, they come to life under the lights, they belong on stage, they want to be on stage, they have to be on stage.

“They were born actors and performers. It’s my job to bring out the best in each of them to give them the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and achieve something great in their lives. Making each of them a star is my goal.

“Many of the dancers from our shows will have participated in the competitions and of course we have many other dancers in the show from other parts of the world including Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and Australia. America We have them from all over now because it seems like everyone these days wants to get involved in Irish dancing.

“It created livelihoods and lifestyles for my dancers who then ran their own successful dance schools because they had a big name in my shows.

“When we were doing a six week sold out Broadway tour with Lord of the Dance, one of the dancers came up to me and said his mother was from England and I would meet her for a picture backstage after the show.

“I said ‘no problem, bring her back.’ Then a little light bulb went on in my head and I went to get him and said, ‘Liam, you’ve practiced being the bad guy, get ready, you’re doing it tonight.’

“So he got dressed and he knocked down the house with his mum staring into the audience crying her eyes out. For the rest of this Broadway tour, I then invited each of my dancers, as many as they could, to try out one of the show’s four lead roles and I had a different one each night. That’s when they got off my show that their resume for the rest of their life would say, “I was a star on Broadway.” I can’t tell you how many dancers have told me how that phrase then opened doors for them.

“So it’s my dream, to make my dancers stars so that they continue to take this show around the world to raise the profile of Irish culture, do good things and pave the way for talented young dancers who want to step up and do something bigger and better with their lives on behalf of Ireland.

Lord Of The Dance by MICHAEL Flatley, who is currently enjoying standing ovations at sold-out shows across Europe, will perform at the Bord Gais Energy Theater in Dublin from Thursday 23rd February to Saturday 25th February 2023, including performances in morning on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are now on sale.

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