By Shelley Marsden
Lord of the Dance creator Michael Flatley has said he is thinking about becoming a coach and mentor to the stars of the future when he retires from dance himself.
The Irish-American, 55, who had said he would retire from dance in 2011 but reneged in order to perform in new production Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, has confessed that age is beginning to make itself felt as new routines are more challenging to learn than before.
“I’m nearer the end of this career – there’s only so much my body can take. I’d like to think in my heart that I’d never leave the stage because I love it so much. It’s part of me, it’s part of who I am,” he told The TV Times.
“But I also know that time is knocking on the door. I’m battered and bruised. Can I still dance? I think I can. Can I tap as fast? That’s debatable. Can I jump as high? Definitely not. But the passion is there and on a good night it’s not half bad.
“I’ll continue now through this next world tour until they raise the red flag. When my legs won’t do it any more, then we’ll take a look at it.”
Flatley, who lives in Cork with his wife Niamh O’Brien and their seven-year-old son Michael St. James, said he doesn’t want to bow out of the dance scene but rather, help others gain the levels of success he reached in his career.
“My new motivation in life is to take young dancers and turn them into stars. Irish dancers typically start aged four. I started later, but most will only work until they’re 19. They win their world title and then where do they go?” Flatley asked.
“If they were a doctor or an engineer they’d know exactly where they’d go after all that training. But if I can create an avenue for these talented young people, they can get on stage and show the world all the hard work they’ve done.”