This is Ruth Charles -- and, like yesterday's story on Albert Yao from Taiwan and our previous coverage of Simon Polushkin from Belarus, she represents the changing face of #IrishDance.
A native of Ireland and fluent in Gaelic, Ruth was the first member of her family to delve into #IrishDancing. She began dancing initially for CRN at the age of four, before moving to An Coimisiún when she was nine. There, she danced for the O'Shea School, competing until she was 21 and crowned Leinster champion three times.
The competition to earn a slot in #LordOfTheDance is absolutely ferocious -- this is Michael Flatley's billion-dollar dance show, and slots aren't handed out like party favors -- and Ruth was invited to join #TeamLord for the #FeetOfFlames Impossible Tour in Taiwan last month. Along the way, she filmed her experiences on tour, which we are sharing with you today. This is *her* video; as with the other compilation videos from individual performers you've seen over the last few weeks, this is her story as she saw it and experienced it.
"Believe in yourself," she told Black and Irish only a few months before touring stadiums in Taiwan with Team Lord. "Your skin tone doesn't mean that there's a limit to the successes you can achieve. Work hard, dream big and let your dancing do the talking."
Remember this: if you want to be in Team Lord, your country of origin does not matter. Your skin color does not matter. Your native tongue does not matter. All that matters is what you bring to that stage and what you carry in your heart. *That* is Planet Ireland.