Words cannot describe the experience I had last night. I waited 17 long years to see my favorite dancer and dance inspiration Michael Flatley perform in person. FINALLY, my dream came true. If you don’t know much about Michael, his decades-long career has produced a long list of injuries, some that are irreversible. Despite living with pain, Michael is giving his fans one last chance to see him dance. Even though he appeared in “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games” for a short period of time, those few minutes were leaps and bounds above the rest of the show. How can I not be content knowing that he is suffering to say thank you to his fans in person? No one else but Michael could dance a few steps and get away with it. When he stepped onstage, I had the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face. I don’t even care what I looked like because I felt five years old and free as a bird in that moment.
Mr. Flatley has earned quite the reputation. He had a bumpy start due to a creative dispute with “Riverdance” colleagues. Even though the eventual split led to the creation of “Lord of the Dance”, success brought with it rockstar behavior. I don’t care about all of that now because Michael has overcome problems of the past and grown into the role model I always believed him to be. When I was 5 years old, I received a gift: a VHS tape of “Riverdance” with Michael Flatley & Jean Butler. The number of times I watched that tape and mimicked the dancers is incalculable. I didn’t know how or where; all I knew was I had to dance. I didn’t go on to dance professionally, but some of my most treasured memories come from dancing for eleven 1/2 years. Michael Flatley revived Irish dancing and made it a worldwide phenomenon. On a personal level, he sparked a desire within me to dance and see how far I could go. For that, I will forever be grateful.
* * * Special thank you to my dad for buying the tickets and taking me to the show. Rain, Italian food, Starbucks, & Michael Flatley. That is one heck of a daddy-daughter date! :D
• The Birth of Riverdance
• “Feet of Flames”, my favorite incarnation of “Lord of the Dance”
• Michael Flatley: A Night to Remember
“Whenever I hear, ‘It can’t be done,’ I know I’m close to success.” – Michael Flatley
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