Michael Flatley is the reason thousands of kids dance to this very day I think the best way to understand the Lord of the Dance himself. He started dancing at the age of 10 in Chicago. (not Ireland like his Irish accent would have you believe.) He went on to become the first American to win the World Championship. Then Mr. Flatley toured alongside the Chieftains where he met Jean Bulter, who would later become the female lead in Riverdance. At this point in the world of Irish dance that was as high as one could go. If you win the worlds and tour with the biggest Irish band most people would usually say, “I’ve had a good run,” that person would then take the exam to become a teacher and fade off into the sunset. This was simply not enough for Mr. Flatley; he helped to choreograph the original version of Riverdance. Now this would not be such an accomplishment in itself but it was featured on 1994 Eurovision Song contest intermission with such a large audience, people were shocked that someone could move their feet that fast. It caught on like wildfire. Now this was before youtube, so no one could replay the dance over and over, but in a way I think this helped because the people who did not see it originally heard about it secondhand and this allowed the legend to grow. Once Riverdance began to tour it had this large audience either wanting to see whatever they saw, again, or to see what everyone was talking about. Once the show had attained craze status Michael Flatley created Lord of the Dance. This was far flashier that its predecessor and loosely based on Irish fairytales. There was more glitter and less fabric and was almost exclusively Irish dance. (Riverdance not only included Irish dancers but also flamenco, Russian, and later, tap dancers.) This also spawned its identical twin brother Feet of Flames, which was the exact same show just with more red on the backdrops and costumes. The latest show to arise from the mind of Michael Flatley is Celtic Tiger. This was supposed to be a spectacular that explored the history of the Irish through Ireland and into America. What the show actually demonstrated was the least possible amount of clothing that can be worn while using every Irish-American stereotype short of drinking green beer onstage. (There is literally a part of the production when a girl walks onstage in an America flag bikini for no reason whatsoever.) While his shows are still touring, they are not nearly as popular as they once were. Many shows, like Riverdance, have taken the Cher route and have been on their “farewell” tour for the last six years. Lord of the Dance has just recently started touring through Asia where Irish dance is being seen for the first time. Now this brings up the question that many Irish dancers shutter to think about, “Is Irish dance simply a passing fad that the public is already sick of?” The diehard dancers, like myself, want to think that Irish dance will always continue to grow on into eternity. The reality is that the success of these shows is a barometer for the future expansion of Irish dance and when these shows finish with their farewell tours and tours in Asia it might be a signal that Irish dance itself will no longer have the vast numbers of people it once had in the heyday of the Irish dance show.
Blandish: to coax using flattery She tried to blandish the dancer into teaching classes for free.
Buffet: To strike with force She buffeted the floor with her hard shoes