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Saturday 25 November 2017

Riverdance's Padraic Moyles: This day twenty years ago my life changed forever

Jean Butler and Padraic Moyles lead the cast of Riverdance on Samuel Beckett Bridge, during the world record attempt for the longest line of Irish dancers in Dublin.Photo: PA
Jean Butler and Padraic Moyles lead the cast of Riverdance on Samuel Beckett Bridge, during the world record attempt for the longest line of Irish dancers in Dublin.Photo: PA

Padraic Moyles

This day 20 years ago as I sat with my family in Woodlawn New York, my life changed forever.

Riverdance had just been performed at the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin and I couldn’t wait to see it.

Back then, in 1994, I had to wait until the VHS (remember those?) was sent out to me before I finally got to see it and once it arrived, I watched it so many times that I wore out the tape.

I knew then and there that I wanted to be a part of it.

Once I had graduated High School in the Bronx, my parents agreed that I could audition for the show so I travelled to Boston in 1997 and I became one of the lucky ones to get accepted.

I joined the show in London that year and I began living my dream.

I have had the honour and the privilege of not only doing what I love to do as a profession but also representing Ireland as a cultural ambassador around the world. I have been afforded the opportunity to travel all over Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa, perform the lead role for the first time in front of my mom and dad (my proudest moment), dance in Radio City Music Hall, perform the lead on the 15th anniversary DVD, perform for First Lady Michelle Obama and Queen Elizabeth II state visit to Dublin and create the latest Riverdance App, to name but a few.

Riverdance has given me the best 17 years of my life and I have met so many talented friends along the journey. There have been 60 Riverdance weddings and I am proud that my wife, Niamh O’Connor, and I were couple number 39. 

There have been 86 Riverdance babies and this June there will one more to add to that list when Niamh I become proud Riverdance parents.

Riverdance changed the landscape of Irish culture by putting it on the world stage and creating the opportunity for almost 1,000 performers to continue to live their dream. A unique and proud achievement!

Padraic Moyles, lead dancer with Riverdance since 1999

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