Riverdance Turns 25

I couldn’t let today pass without acknowledging the 25th anniversary of a show that changed my life: Riverdance. The stage show began as a 7-minute act performed during an intermission at the Eurovision Song Contest on April 30, 1994. The performance was a smash hit with the audience, causing a chain reaction that breathed new life into Irish dancing around the world. The great minds behind this phenomenon are composer Bill Whelan, director John McColgan, featured dancers Jean Butler and Michael Flatley who also contributed choreography, producer Moya Doherty, and, of course, the rest of the hardworking crew & talented company of dancers.

Four years after Riverdance made its grand debut, I received a VHS from a family friend, a tape of the show during its 1995 debut run in Dublin. Four-year-old me had no idea my life was about to change. I can’t even tell you how many times that tape played while I leaped & twirled across the living room floor. It wasn’t long before I was taking my first tap class. Did I become an Irish dancer? No. Did I bring every ounce of passion I possessed as a proud Irish girl into ballet, jazz, modern, & tap classes for 12 1/2 years? YES I DID!!! 🔥

It’s hard to explain how much this show means to me, but believe me when I say it holds a very VERY special place in my heart. It was not only my introduction to the dance culture in both Ireland & Spain but also my introduction to dance. I lost my passion & did not pursue a career as a dancer, but I never lost my love for all things dance. To this day, I drag my dad to the theater if Riverdance visits our neck of the woods (he knows he loves it!). I’ve seen it five times, & I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

To the Riverdance companies & crews: From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that you have done. Happy Anniversary! I am looking forward to 25 more years of this special show!

Do yourself a favor & watch the moment when it all began:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAtkcHpSHCw

P.S. Shout out to María Pagés, the original flamenco dancer in Riverdance & my Spanish queen since the age of 4. 🇪🇸

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk6LYFwP8lE

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– Lauren Michele ❤

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Dream Come True

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

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0v_pu6miJ8

• “Feet of Flames”, my favorite incarnation of “Lord of the Dance”

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0WfSm6-vQU

• Michael Flatley: A Night to Remember

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_h1bn4C4Wo0

“Whenever I hear, ‘It can’t be done,’ I know I’m close to success.”  – Michael Flatley

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– Lauren Michele <3

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Can’t Help Falling in Love

(Image Source: http://www.rougemagz.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/il_570xN.309602305-570×400.jpg)

Three months ago this blog post was 75% complete and well on its way to being published.  Despite my August deadline, I was feeling uninspired and decided to walk away for reflection.  I missed the opportunity to connect this post to August, “Romance Awareness Month”, but I would much rather publish content I am proud of than meet deadlines for the sake of being clever.  That being said, allow me to set the stage for this project that has been a labor of love (HA!).  Back in April, I made two collages of Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley from “Anne of Green Gables” in honor of Jonathan Crombie.  When I found out August was “Romance Awareness Month” (who knew?!!), I immediately put my Photoshop skills to work and made collages for my favorite TV and movie couples.  This project is near and dear to my heart.  The couples I have chosen are fictional, but their stories inspire me because they have substance.  Personally, I am not fond of glorifying the physicality of relationships.  Less is more!  I recently watched the BBC miniseries “North & South” for the first time.  The main characters do not interact romantically until the last few minutes of the series, and yet I felt tension and passion throughout; I did not need to see more in order to empathize.  It was absolutely brilliant!  I strongly believe purity and subtlety go a long way, much further than graphic details.  We should all have high standards and use the term “love” with caution.  Go ahead and call me a “hopeless romantic”; I accept that label with open arms.  :)

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(Image Source: https://quotefancy.com/quote/772/Helen-Keller-The-best-and-most-beautiful-things-in-the-world-cannot-be-seen-or-even)

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**These stories come from either a TV show or a movie, not book(s)**

*** It is hard to keep track of so much content.  Feel free to notify me of any mistakes. ***

*** I recommend you click each image to make it bigger ***

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Counting down from #6, let’s meet our couples!

6. Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly

(Image Source: https://longagoandohsofaraway.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/for-your-consideration-the-office-2-05-halloween/)

What: Television Show, 2005 – 2013

Title: “The Office”

Jim and Pam

Jim Halpert: “Not enough for me? You are everything.”

I could name specific episodes, but I wont because there is at least one Jim and Pam moment in every episode.  The list would go on and on and on!!  Instead, I recommend that you take the time to watch the entire show.  It is hilarious so time well spent.

Jim and Pam’s Love Story (SPOILERS):

“The Office” Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/ustheoffice/featured

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5. John Thornton and Margaret Hale

(Image Source: http://north-and-prejudice.tumblr.com/post/103886129826/why-do-i-love-north-and-south-so-much)

What: Miniseries, 2004

Title: “North & South”

John and Margaret

Margaret Hale: “It offends me that you should speak to me as if it were your… duty to rescue my reputation!”

John Thornton: “I spoke to you about my feelings because I love you; I had no thought for your reputation!”

“North & South” Trailer:

John and Margaret Montage (SPOILERS):

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4. Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot

(Image Source: http://biathenas.tumblr.com/post/115466669253)

What: Film, 2007

Title: “Persuasion”

Captain Wentworth and Anne

Captain Frederick Wentworth: “I imagined myself indifferent to her but I was only angry and resentful. Too late… too late I began to understand myself and her.  Never have I met her equal in good sense or sweetness of character. She’s perfection itself. I’ve never loved any but her.”

“Persuasion” Trailer:

Frederick and Anne Montage (SPOILERS):

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3. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet

(Image Source: http://katieoliver.com/ko/2015/05/ten-reasons-why-mr-darcy-reigns-supreme/)

What: Film, 2005

Title: “Pride and Prejudice”

Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth

Mr. Darcy: “Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain, and I can bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment.  I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you… I had to see you. I have fought against my better judgment, my family’s expectations, the inferiority of your birth by rank and circumstance. All these things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony.”

Elizabeth: “I don’t understand.”

Mr. Darcy: “I love you.”

“Pride and Prejudice” Trailer:

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Montage (SPOILERS):

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2. Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls

(Image Source: http://effyeahlittlehouse.tumblr.com/post/108620013240)

What: Television Show, 1974 – 1983

Title: Little House on the Prairie

Almanzo and Laura

Laura Ingalls: “I took Ma’s advice and didn’t say anything more about Almanzo. I guess I knew I’d always be Half-Pint to Pa, but I was just as sure that I would someday be Laura Ingalls Wilder.”

“Little House on the Prairie” Trailer:

Almanzo and Laura Montage (SPOILERS):

Important Episodes to Watch:

Almanzo And Laura Meet – “Back to School” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 6, Episodes 1 and 2)

Laura Gets Jealous – “Annabelle” (Season 6, Episode 5)

Almanzo Starts to See Laura as an Adult – “Wilder And Wilder” (Season 6, Episode 20)

Almanzo Falls in Love With Laura – “Sweet Sixteen” (Season 6, Episode 22)

Almanzo Proposes – “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 6, Episodes 23 and 24)

Almanzo and Laura Get Married – “Laura Ingalls Wilder” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 7, Episodes 1 and 2)

*** From this point on, the newly married couple are seen on and off on the show.  The following are some of my favorite episodes post-wedding. ***

Laura Thinks Almanzo is Having an Affair – “Divorce, Walnut Grove Style” (Season 7, Episode 7)

Almanzo And Laura Get Their First Taste of Parenthood – “Nephews” (Season 7, Episode 14)

Laura is Pregnant – “I Do, Again” (Season 7, Episode 20)

Almanzo Comes Close to Death – “Days of Sunshine, Days of Shadow” Parts 1 and 2 (Season 8, Episodes 17 and 18)

Almanzo And Laura Lose a Child – “A Child With No Name” (Season 9, Episode 18)

Baby Rose Wilder is Kidnapped – “Little House: Bless All The Dear Children” (Movie)

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

1. Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley

(Image Source: http://anneandgilbert.tumblr.com/post/24994025167/polkadotage-squeeeeeeeeeeeeee-3)

What: Film Trilogy – 1985, 1987, and 2000

Titles: “Anne of Green Gables”, “Anne of Avonlea”, and “Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story”

Gilbert and Anne

Gilbert Blythe: “Anne, There’s not going to be any wedding anymore.”

Anne Shirley: “You’re gonna get well, Gil. I know you are.”

Gilbert Blythe: “I called it off. It wouldn’t be fair to Christine. There would never be anyone for me but you.”

“Anne of Green Gables” Trailer:

“Anne of Avonlea” Trailer:

“Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story” Trailer:

Gilbert and Anne Montage (SPOILERS):

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(Image Source: http://lovehonourandrespect.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1-Corinthians-13-vs-4-8.jpg)

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Shoutout to my fellow November 5th babies.  Happy birthday!!  :)

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– Lauren Michele

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– Image Sources (L to R, Row by Row) –

* * * Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly

Image 1: https://ngbbpc.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/1197844.jpg

Image 2: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/xebHJQU4Lqg/maxresdefault.jpg

Image 3: http://s892.photobucket.com/user/irishirideyo2/media/movies/f9575553-e6d0-49ef-9ffa-0a1822ab7c64.jpg.html

Image 4: http://canbabiesdrinkredbull.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Office2.png

Image 5: http://www.fanpop.com/images/polls/16619_1_full.jpg

Image 6: https://pixelbrushstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/1403451878497.jpg

Image 7: http://www.ew.com/sites/default/files/i/imgs/100714//Jim-Pam-Niagara-office_400.jpg

Image 8: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/d8/fa/1b/d8fa1b5fdd4405c1c03c65a41f07b600.jpg

Image 9: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/jakle06/files/2013/05/officejimpam.jpg

Image 10: http://reallylatereviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/jim-and-pam.jpg  (This is the source, but the link is no longer available)

Image 11: http://www.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/20100303/425.fischer.krasinski.theoffice.lc.030310.jpg

Image 12: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-muSy491aT_w/UZ4EGLxeBgI/AAAAAAAAAeI/XeL5DOVd34Q/s1600/jim+and+pam+family.png

Image 13: http://www.ew.com/sites/default/files/i/2012/10/08/the-office.jpg

* * * John Thornton and Margaret Hale

Image 1: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 1)

Image 2: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 1)

Image 3: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 2)

Image 4: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 2)

Image 5: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 4)

Image 6: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 4)

Image 7: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 3)

Image 8: http://www.richardarmitageonline.com/north-and-south/north-south-pictures-episode4.html

Image 9: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 5)

Image 10: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 11: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 12: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 13: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 14: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

Image 15: http://caps.desert-sky.net/n&s.htm (Zip File 10)

* * *Captain Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot

Image1: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/displayimage.php?album=225&pid=492280#top_display_media

Image 2: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_0522.jpg

Image 3: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1833.jpg

Image 4: http://www.janeitejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5250064-1024-576.jpg

Image 5: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/displayimage.php?album=225&pid=492761#top_display_media

Image 6: http://www.cap-that.com/austen/persuasion/2007/images/persuasion-2007_1041.jpg

Image 7: http://www.janeitejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5249840-1024-576.jpg

Image 8: http://www.janeitejournal.com/moving-pictures/through-the-eyes-of-a-janeite-2/through-the-eyes-of-a-janeite/persuasion-2007-persuasion-5249807-1024-576/

Image 9: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1708.jpg

Image 10: http://kissthemgoodbye.net/movie/albums/Persuasion%202007/P_2007_1277.jpg

Image 11: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/5200000/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5251119-1024-576.jpg

Image 12: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/127454_1223825332686_full.jpg

Image 13: http://www.cem.itesm.mx/signo/images/Notas/cinetv/Persuasion-2007-persuasion-5251156-1024-576.jpg

* * * Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet

Image 1: https://reginajeffers.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/lizzy1.jpg

Image 2: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Elizabeth-Darcy-pride-and-prejudice-couples-954305_1280_554.jpg

Image 3: http://images2.fanpop.com/image/photos/9500000/Mr-Darcy-jane-austens-heroes-9589809-2560-1664.jpg

Image 4: https://terbsworld.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pride_and_prejudice_0980.jpg

Image 5: https://imheathcliff.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/darcy_lizzy2005.jpg

Image 6: http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/2005-P-P-mr-darcy-and-elizabeth-683783_1920_1237.jpg

Image 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U56CTlGkx8

Image 8: http://breezybaldwin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/sh4.jpg

Image 9: https://terbsworld.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/pride_and_prejudice_0980.jpg

Image 10: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/9570217930523482/

Image 11: http://images1.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Elizabeth-Darcy-pride-and-prejudice-couples-954122_1280_554.jpg

Image 12: https://vinnieh.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/elizabeth-and-mr-darcy.jpg

Image 13: http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/127418_1223818551045_full.jpg

* * * Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls

Image 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 2: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BVvMG2BIWs0/UtnyxArlXmI/AAAAAAAAgfQ/t4CduAeYOcE/s1600/Ya+wanna+talk+about+it+now.JPG

Image 3: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/361343570077920259/

Image 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 6: http://www.moviemarket.com/library/photos/291/291536.jpg

Image 7: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/OzYG03I3whc/hqdefault.jpg

Image 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 11: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzYG03I3whc

Image 13: http://auto.img.v4.skyrock.net/2203/84812203/pics/3106697159_1_3_SBzOa5hG.jpg

Image 14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

Image 16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 17: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEf-gdSgE8s

Image 18: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euFznRRl0SE

* * * Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley

Image 1: http://data2.whicdn.com/images/173326929/large.jpg

Image 2: http://40.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljnf0kbWtb1qak5hto1_500.jpg

Image 3: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG2-001.jpg

Image 4: http://sullivanmovies.com/articles/fashion-in-avonlea-gilbert-blythe/#jp-carousel-4246

Image 5: http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/AOGG-The-Sequel-anne-of-green-gables-600620_500_375.jpg

Image 6: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/09/Gilbertc.jpg

Image 7: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG2-002.jpg

Image 8: http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/17600000/Anne-and-Gilbert-anne-and-gilbert-17693147-500-333.jpg

Image 9: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/AOGG3-008.jpg

Image 10: http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/17600000/Anne-and-Gilbert-anne-and-gilbert-17693181-500-333.jpg

Image 11: http://anne.sullivanmovies.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/07/102-580×377.jpg