Follow Your Dream, Day #491: Anticipating Taiwan

#FeetOfFlames Taiwan approaches rapidly. In fifty days, Team Lord -- now with more than 90 dancers -- will be in its final rehearsals for a full-blown #IrishDance stadium tour.

Seven months ago, the world changed. Everyday life as we knew it came to a halt. All sorts of new phrases like "social distancing" entered our lexicon. The human race hasn't had to deal with a global pandemic in over a century, and it's easy to think that it will never end.

For the Irish dance community, the last seven months have been particularly challenging. Professional Irish dancers have the willpower to continue to train even when there's no show on the horizon, but how do schools adapt to remote teaching? How to keep students motivated when there's no feis around the corner? It is ironic that the arts are often the first to be sacrificed during something like a pandemic, when *demand* for the arts -- for any sort of escapism -- is simultaneously through the roof.

But this too shall pass. There is still no cure, but there is pragmatism and force of *will.* Taiwan has done an outstanding job in containing the virus -- it's one of the safest countries in the world right now -- and as a result we can (with proper safety precautions involving testing and quarantine) get back out on the road and employ a heck of a lot of people to bring Irish culture to the other side of the planet.

And we're doing it in the biggest possible way: with Feet of Flames.

There simply is no larger statement in professional #IrishDancing. The hard truth is this: when you need to pack *stadiums* with Irish dancing as an event unto itself -- not as a side attraction for someone else, but as the main event people actually buy tickets to go see -- you turn to Michael Flatley. It's his art form atop Irish dancing, showcased in his productions with the finest Irish dance professionals, which galvanizes people around the world to go see it live.

2020 will end with a (literal) bang. It's time for LORD of the Dance.


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