Flatley kept shoes from Riverdance success

Michael Flatley has revealed he still has the shoes that high-kicked him to superstardom at the Eurovision 20 years ago.

Flatley kept shoes from Riverdance success

The dancer also told ITV’s This Morning he still keeps a seat empty in the front row of his shows for his late granny, who taught him his first dance steps.

The 55-year-old, who is set to go back on tour with a new stage show, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, said he still has the shoes he used at the Riverdance interval act at the 1994 Eurovision in Dublin.

“I have those shoes. I have auctioned off many, many pairs of shoes over my career for charities,” he said. “But I kept the original ones I used to create Riverdance and I kept the Lord of the Dance shoes and the Feet of Flames and Celtic Tiger shoes.

“I have got a couple of magic pairs. I have one really old, beat-up, cool set of shoes. But they’re with it. There is something about them. There is something magic in them.

“They’re weighted differently. They are much heavier but if I’m really stuck they bring me to places I can’t get otherwise.”

Flatley has come a long way since his beginnings as a construction worker in Chicago.

He said he still keeps an empty front seat at his shows as a memorial to his revered departed maternal granny, who hailed from Kilkenny and taught him to dance at the age of four.

“I always try to keep an empty seat everywhere we perform. I believe those people are watching over us and guiding us, and my grandmother was always seemingly right behind me.

“I can feel her energy. Who would have thought I would still be here after 20 years? Somebody is helping me out. Somebody is watching me.”

As he embarks for a 200-date tour across 15 countries, Flatley admitted it takes longer to prepare for his gruelling shows. “It’s a ferocious schedule and it’s no secret it takes me a lot more runway to get up to speed now,” he said.

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