My favourite moments from the lockdown streams over the last 6 months! #lordofthedance #planetirelandarises #bestlockdownmoments #allcreditstolotd

Follow Your Dream, Day #448: Fans Meet Pros

It can be argued that one measurement of an entertainment brand's success is how many fans are motivated to make their own content around it (Star Wars fan films come to mind as a pertinent example). This particular video is from #LordOfTheDance superfan Mary Jose Pro, who compiled together some of her favorite moments from the last six months of Dancelord TV livestreaming.

When the pandemic shut the world down in March of this year, all touring shows, including Lord of the Dance, ground to a halt. From a social media standpoint, this presented a unique challenge: how do you maintain engagement with your audience and keep them excited in a live touring stage show when you don't have a live touring stage show to promote?

The easy way out would have been to just play it safe and go silent. But that's not the ethos of Lord of the Dance. The strength of this show is its authenticity -- the genuine connection between the fans and the performers.

So, instead of going quiet, we turned the volume *up.*

With everyone cooped up at home, the demand for digital content skyrocketed -- and Team Lord was there to meet it. Over the last six months, we've cracked open the vault and released tons of never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage. The Dance For Hope videos have gone mega-viral and picked up mainstream press attention. The first-person onstage videos give you a whole new way of seeing the show. Jaws dropped when the OG Troupe reunited for a special charity performance, and now you can enjoy commentary videos from them as they reminisce about the classic show.

But there's another part to this equation: the livestreaming.

Livestreaming was introduced to the show in June of last year. For the first time ever, you could interact in real time with the performers backstage *live,* and go on tour with Team Lord from the comfort of your living room. Once lockdown brought the tour to a halt, we continued the livestreaming, with troupe members broadcasting from their homes all over the world.

No other major touring show has tried anything like this, allowing you to interact with the stars in their homes in real time. But the pandemic has thrown the rule book out the window -- and Lord of the Dance doesn't play by conventional rules anyway. We thrive best in doing things completely new and original.

The goal of all this is very straightforward: we want you to get to know the current generation and form the same sort of emotional attachment to them that you have to the classic generations. These are the top #IrishDance professionals in the world, but they're not in some ivory tower; they're regular down-to-Earth people who are a lot of fun to hang out with. This is the age of social media, and in today's world, we want you to be able to chat with a performer live online, buy a ticket to see them perform in person, ask them questions during the backstage livestream, and get their autograph after a show, having already communicated with them for months or years.

All of this builds up to next year -- the show's 25th year -- and what's planned beyond. What you're seeing right now, put together during a global lockdown, is just the very beginning.

Planet Ireland arises: 2021.

#FollowYourDream

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