Michael Flatley reveals his body has taken a 'severe beating' as he retires from dance
Published 18/03/2016 | 07:26
Michael Flatley has said his body has taken a "severe beating" as he prepares to retire from dancing this evening.
Speaking after receiving an award from the American Ireland Fund in Washington DC, he said he had given "every last drop" of what he has to dancing ahead of his final performance in Lord Of The Dance in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas tonight.
"It has been a great 20 years," he said.
"I would like to think the good times have outweighed the bad times, but sometimes I wonder.
"My body has taken a severe beating."
Flatley (58) said he had both his shoulders replaced and his knees, while he also needs "a lot of work" on his spine.
"It's been severe, but I wouldn't trade it for the world," he added.
Flatley said it was a great honour to take his shows on tour.
"We've sold out every major performance venue from Tokyo to Texas and from Mexico to Moscow," he said.
"We've entertained people from all over the world, and I'm proud to say I brought the tricolour with me everywhere.
"As I finish in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas I can honestly say, hand on heart in front of God, that I have given every last drop of what I have to my art and to Ireland."
Flatley received the Arts and Humanities Award from the philanthropic organisation.
He also took the opportunity to pay tribute to his parents, "without whom I would be nothing".
Also on the night, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan presented his predecessor John Boehner with a Leadership Award.
Senator Tim Kaine and US union chief Terry O'Sullivan also received awards.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was scheduled to speak at the event in Washington, but could not attend due to EU meetings regarding the migrant crisis.