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Dance legend Michael Flatley hails hard work and following your dreams as keys to success

Appearing on RTE’s The Late Late Show tonight, the dancer revealed how his Irish parents, who emigrated to the US in 1947 from counties Carlow and Sligo, worked seven days a week to forge a better life for themselves in America.

Michael Flatley at the Irish Premiere screening of his film 'Blackbird at the Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin Photo: Brian McEvoy

Allison BrayIndependent.ie

Riverdance legend Michael Flatley says hard work and following one’s dream no matter what obstacles lie ahead are the keys to success.

Appearing on RTE’s The Late Late Show tonight, he revealed how his Irish parents, who emigrated to the US in 1947 from counties Carlow and Sligo, worked seven days a week to forge a better life for themselves in America and he credited their strong work ethic and believing in their dreams, with his success.

“I’d be nothing without my hardworking Irish parents,” he said in the season opener of the late night chat show.

“I got nothing easy in life.

“I can’t tell you how many people told me it was impossible,” he said of following his dream of becoming a dancer.

He revealed how he was “laughed at” when he auditioned for dance roles in Broadway when he was just starting out because he kept his hands to his side in the Irish dancing tradition.

But he said he’s now having the last laugh as his Lord of the Dance franchise – which brought him fame and fortune – including his current home in the billionaire’s enclave of Monaco – is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

“They’re not laughing now,” he said.

He also revealed that his foray into film, with his new film ‘Blackbird’ which he wrote, directed and starred in, was inspired by his mother’s dream that he be a movie star.

He said he grew up on old black and white films and his heroes were old-school movie stars like Humphrey Bogart.

After he gave his last Lord of the Dance performance on St Patrick’s Day at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in 2016, he said “my mother was on the phone like a shot,” about him getting into the film business.

“So I gave her my word,” he said of his late mother.

“Mission accomplished.”

And despite some scathing reviews about the James Bond-inspired spy thriller, Mr Flatley said it doesn’t bother him.

“If one or two don’t like it, that’s okay with me,” he said. “I don’t read them because I don’t like any negativity,” he said.

“There’s no shame in failure,” he added.

“The only shame is not getting up and trying. Go for it,” he said.

He also praised what he said is the ‘wealth of talent in Ireland’ and said he was very impressed by sprinters Israel Olatunde, (20) from Dundalk, Co

Louth who was crowned Ireland’s fastest man after setting a record of 10.17 seconds in the European Athletics Championship in Munich last month and Donegal runner Mark English who took home a bronze medal in the 800m race.

Both runners made a brief appearance on the show, with Mr Olatunde revealing that he humbly celebrated his incredible performance at a McDonald’s with his coach.

“Those two runners, how cool are they?” Mr Flatley said.


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