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Follow Your Dream, Day #248: High Octane, High Impact

Ready for a wild ride?

While we were in Mexico City, we held an Irish dance workshop onstage prior to the show. Those of you reading this who have attended one of our Live Stage Experiences in the past can testify to this fact: Michael Flatley's art form atop Irish dance is *a lot* faster than you think it is.

How fast?

Well, let's see it from the dancer's perspective -- literally.

Since hardshoe Irish dancing is one of the few dance forms where you can hear the dance as well as see the dance, it's a remarkable optical illusion: your brain easily syncopates with the rhythm pattern and thinks, "I could do that."

...Then you actually *try* to do it, and suddenly your brain is out to lunch somewhere.

I've experienced this myself. When hanging out with Lord of the Dance Matt Smith a few months ago during the filming of the "LOTD Cribs" video for LOTD TV, he tried to teach me a very basic sequence: stamp-treble-hop-back on both sides, then three treble-backs in a row. This is something that Irish dancing children can do at the age of three.

Meanwhile, what my legs produced was, uh...not that.

This is one of the key reasons we've started putting cameras on the dancers when they go onstage. Aside from the fact that it's a brand-new way of consuming professional Irish dancing that you've just never seen before, seeing a first-person perspective of the action gives you an idea of just how *hard* this is to do. A normal camera angle makes your brain think it's easy; a first-person camera angle shows you just how insanely difficult this truly is. By cross-cutting between the two camera types, you get to see that dichotomy on full display.

It's also a nifty way for us to spotlight each dancer. Typically, in a dance show, you don't hear that much about the backline; Lord of the Dance, meanwhile, wants to spotlight everyone. Because every single dancer in Team Lord is the best of the best. This particular video, filmed by Team Lord member Gillian Monaghan as she performed it, is a roller-coaster of a video.

You know how Red Bull TV loves to put cameras on extreme sports athletes when they're doing something nuts, like biking down razorback mountain spines? It just gives you a different level of appreciation for the skill required to not just pull it off, but make it look *good.* Look at how calm and composed the dancers are onstage, and contrast it with the absolute earthquake the dancers themselves are seeing as they perform it!

Nobody's ever tried this kind of visual presentation with a dance show before. But if you know anything about Lord of the Dance, breaking rules and trying new stuff is par for the course with us. The whole ethos of Lord of the Dance is raw, hardcore, tip-of-the-spear extreme Irish dancing; thus, visually breaking the fourth wall in this fashion actually fits the ethos of the brand.

Our nights at the 12,000-seat National Auditorium will echo with us for a long time to come. It was an incredible experience for Lord of the Dance, and we can't wait to return again soon.


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