People of the internet: please join us in wishing our *amazing* physiotherapist, Hiromi Ushikubo, a happy birthday today!
As you know, Irish dancing is extremely physically demanding; you have to have the strength and poise of a ballet dancer, coupled with incredibly rigid hardshoe dancing that can create a lot of repetitive stress on parts of the human body. In Irish dancing, it's said that you train for twice as long as your stage time; so, in the competition world, if you're planning on three minutes of stage time in front of a panel of judges, you train for six minutes of stage time.
In Lord of the Dance, you're in up to eight or nine insanely high-octane numbers per night, and you have to stay warmed up over the length of a two-hour show. Hence why the lineups, warmups and workouts begin several hours before showtime. People don't necessarily realize that by the time the show starts, everyone in Team Lord has already been revving up and dancing at full power for hours.
Now add in the realities of touring life: being seated on buses, trains or planes for hours on end -- weeks or months at a stretch -- adds another layer of challenge. Put it all together, and it becomes clear that having a top-notch physio on the team isn't just a luxury; it's a necessity.
Hiromi, fortunately, is an absolute Jedi.
It's hard to explain in words the impact Hiromi has on keeping everyone literally going. We'll share just this one anecdote:
You know how Zoltan Papp, our fitness specialist and Dark Lord extraordinaire, is an absolute freak of nature? He pulls off movements that people half his age wouldn't dare try, and does it with a level of crisp perfection that only comes after endless levels of drilling. Michael Flatley himself refers to Zoltan simply as, "The Master".
Zoltan once came out of a physio session with Hiromi, stopped in the hallway, eyes wide , and proclaimed, "I AM A NEW MAN."
...Says pretty much all that needs to be said, doesn't it?
Happy birthday, Hiromi!