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Follow Your Dream, Day #233: LadSquad

Mexico City is *ready* for Lord of the Dance.

There are Dangerous Games billboards everywhere. Buses are painted with Lord of the Dance images. And the press appetite has been absolutely massive. James Keegan actually flew out to Mexico ahead of the troupe to get a head start with Mary Mirasola on the advance press.

As it turns out, we needed even more reinforcements. James had three days of solid back-to-back press, and there were still more opportunities. So, once Team Lord made it to Mexico City, it was time to assemble the LadSquad.

Today, I went off with Matt Smith, Zoltan Papp, Alasdair Spencer, Connor Smyth, Conor Rodgers, Declan Durning, and Krén András to film them doing press here in Mexico City. The end result was one of the most hilarious days out I've ever had with Team Lord. Yes, we were there to promote the show, and the televised finished products look absolutely brilliant -- but it was also sort of a lads' day out.

The pressure is always notched up just a little higher when you've got TV cameras on you. The camera is a microscope; the slightest misstep -- even the slightest microexpression -- is impossible to hide. But the guys absolutely nailed both Warlords performances, as well as the subsequent press interviews, because they dance with a confidence that comes from within them: the confidence of knowing they're the best.

Consider: if you're performing in Lord of the Dance, you're typically in eight to nine numbers per night. That's sixteen to eighteen numbers on a double-header day. The level of physical conditioning required -- especially to dance at altitude, which we're doing right now here in Mexico City -- is truly Olympic-level. You only put yourself through this kind of crucible if you're determined to prove one thing: that *you* are the best in the world, doing things no one else can physically do, and you're *so* good that you can make it look easy.

Warlords is a great number to prove that point, especially for TV, because it's such a pure statement. No frilly costumes, no special effects, no music; just raw, hardcore Flatley-style Irish dancing. It was the very first number created for Lord of the Dance -- an important statement piece, once again proving Michael Flatley's genius as not only a dancer but a choreographer -- and its rhythm patterns are easily some of the most recognizable in the world of percussive dance.

It's also -- and this is important -- a full-throttle *male* dance piece.

There has long been a completely inappropriate cultural stigma, at least in the western world, about men dancing. Warlords punches that stigma in the face.

Which made it so much fun to hang out with the lads today. You haven't lived until you've gone for brunch in a Mexican diner with over half a dozen lads in full costume. You haven't lived until you've seen an entire TV studio set -- including the crew, who have seen everything under the sun -- stop what they're doing and just watch the dancing take place.

And you haven't lived until you've seen a Lord of the Dance and a Dark Lord spontaneously join a live televised Zumba class.

This is one of the reasons I love this show so much. Lord of the Dance adroitly avoids the trap of becoming calcified, obsessed with trying to be significant to some cultural zeitgeist. Instead, Lord of the Dance has *fun.*

And tomorrow, at the 12,000-seat National Auditorium, we intend to do just that.

We're here, Mexico. Let's dance.


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