A St. Patrick's Day #TBT: Let's Remember How Awesome Riverdance Is

March 16, 2016

Happy St. Patrick’s day, lads and lasses! May the luck o’the Irish be with you today—by which we mean, “may you finally nail that insane fouetté combo you’ve been struggling with in rehearsal tonight.” (And then do a celebration dance inspired by the adorable Google doodle shamrock.)

Since St. Paddy’s happens to fall on a Thursday this year, we thought we’d put together a Riverdance-themed #TBT post. Because it’s easy to forget just how cool this fantastically ’90s take on Irish dance is. (Is, present tense! The show recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.)

Pre-Riverdance, most of us had hazy impressions of Irish dance as a world of toe-stands and stiff upper bodies and very aggressive ringlet curls. But afterward? Afterward, we realized high-level Irish dancing was not only incredibly technically impressive—it was also darn sexy. And for that, Michael Flatley and Jean Butler, we thank you.

I mean, just look at how expertly the show’s opening number builds the drama before Flatley’s powerful first entrance (how does he make that poet blouse look so good??):

Or at how elegantly alluring, in an almost ballerina-like way, Butler is in this soft shoe solo:

Or at the intricate footwork and passionate heat on display in the grand finale:

, we raise our green smoothies to you. Did watching all that get your toes tingling? Click here for a look at what life as a dancer in the show is like, and here to learn a little more about the history and technique of traditional Irish dance.

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