Still got those dancing feet

Deborah Punshon
Deborah Punshon
Share this article

Even at the risk of being mocked a fair bit, I have to say I enjoyed a programme on the TV last week with Michael Flatley.

The world’s most famous Irish dancer chatted to Christine Bleakley about his life so far, his work and his return to the stage decades after he first graced it.

As a former Irish dancer, although not a particularly good one, I was a teenager when Michael – or should I say Riverdance – became an overnight hit after its debut on the Eurovision song contest.

It was a strange time for anyone involved in Irish dancing.

My friends and I had been used to a very strict and competitive schedule, wearing heavy velvet dresses and curls in our hair. Then, as Irish dance was rejuvenated, almost certainly by Michael Flatley, we were suddenly an entertainment act.

Our school was invited to perform at functions, concerts and parties, and generally show off a bit.

In fact, if you were at a Christmas party night at the Leapark Hotel in Grangemouth around 1995/6, you probably saw us.

However, in my early 20s, I hung up my dancing shoes, considering myself much too old and because I wanted to spend more time on other things.

But whenever he’s on the TV, I’m like a moth to the Celtic flame.

Seeing snippets of his performances always brings back happy memories, but then I get a little sad that I didn’t try that little bit harder to be good enough to be part of Michael’s troupe touring the world.

Despite being 56, Michael is returning to the stage.

Nice to see others not giving up so easily.