This one's for the schools, and their students who continue to train.
The men and women of #LordofTheDance don't just appear out of nowhere; it takes years -- decades -- to hone a human being into a top-notch Irish dancer. This is work that happens out of the spotlight, in communities just like yours all around the world, with Irish dance teachers, parents, and students all working together.
2020 has been the most challenging year for the entire Irish dance ecosystem since the new era began a quarter of a century ago when Michael Flatley invented the genre of commercial #IrishDancing. For the first time ever, teachers have to train students remotely over the internet, and students have to stay motivated to learn at home, all while the competition scene is decimated and touring shows grind to a halt.
This is why the recent #FeetOfFlames Impossible Tour in Taiwan was so important. Over half the 90-strong troupe was brand new; they didn't anticipate finishing the year doing a massive #IrishDance stadium tour, but they kept training and were ready when the opportunity arose. Remember, Team Lord doesn't do any sort of strange branded racket where we charge people to audition in the hopes of earning a slot; we simply do things the way they're normally done in showbiz, by putting the call out, having people audition, and picking the ones who fit the best.
And the response was overwhelming. Here are the schools that contributed performers to the Feet of Flames 2020 draft: the Carey Academy, Flynn O'Kane Academy, Rooney O'Malley Maguire, Kelly Hendry School, Hession School, Aaron Crosbie, Kennedy School, O'Shea Chaplin Academy (Boston), Sharon Taylor Academy, MCBDA, McAteer School, Lally School, Lynn O'Grady Quinlan, S.R. Mona Ni Rodaigh, Mc Nelis/ Cunningham/ Boyle, Scanlon, Bernadette Short, Matthews, Murchu Duiggin, Holly & Kavanagh, Scoil Rince Aisling, Scoil Rince De Barra, Bell School, Croghan Greene Academy, Ferry Academy, O'Connor Barton School, McConomy Bradley, Scoil Rince Realta, Sullivan Academy, Claddagh Academy, Doherty Petri, Farrelly/Mulcahy Costello, Scoil Rince Ceim Oir, Lynam SD, S.R. Móna Ní Rodaigh, O'Shea, Butler Fearon O'Connor, Carson Kennedy Academy, Hopkins McSloy Academy, Olivia Daly, Corrigan White, Caroline Greene, St Patricks/Reilly School/Armstrong, Kidd School, Short School, Ward-Mallinson, Deborah Whelan Dance, Mulvenna Academy, Kavanagh Porter Warren Academy, Harney Pender Keady, Irwin School, Millennium Academy, Scoil Rince Uí Shé, McCaul Academy, Minette Kieran, Lorraine Duggan S.D, Holly & Kavanagh, Butler-Fearon-O'Connor, Dermot Cullen, Beldance Academy, Feely Bates Academy, Hungarian Dance Academy & University, Ronan Morgan School, Ronan Morgan School Budapest, Sean Eireann McMahon, The Academy, Doherty Academy, St Patricks/Reilly School/Armstrong, Gibbons-Farrell-Spelman Irish Dance Academy, Matthews Academy, Boyle School, Ferry Academy, Dawson McDonnell Academy, and the Wakefield Gymnastics Club.
That's what makes today's video so special. This comes from young Becky Reardon at the Victory Irish Dance Academy. Becky's a future professional dancer -- you can already see it -- and she's putting in the work to make that dream come true in her future. This LOTD-themed video from Becky is wonderful: the show has inspired her to spread the message of hope to the competitive dancers in her generation -- because the day will come, years from now, when it is her generation's turn to take the stage, tour the world like rock stars, and join the legacy of Michael Flatley's billion-dollar dance show.
We're sharing Becky's video because we hope it inspires fellow young dancers in the next generation to put together their own Lord-themed videos. If you're sitting in lockdown with no feis on the horizon to train for, then maybe we can help keep you motivated by offering a platform for you and your school to share your own Lord-themed videos. As Lord of the Dance enters its 25th anniversary year, let's spotlight you, your school, your teachers, and point to a brighter future that we all reach together.