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Riverdance and that dress changed my life – Jean


Jean Butler

Jean Butler

Jean Butler

RIVERDANCE star Jean Butler danced her way into Eurovision history with her interval performance alongside Michael Flatley.

That seven-minute act changed her life, and Jean says she still treasures her Riverdance dress.

The Long Island native keeps her midnight-blue velvet dress and battered jig shoes next to her wedding dress at the back of her wardrobe.

"All the important things are boxed away together," she said.

Jean's Riverdance dress, right, is made of velvet with a delicate crochet detail and sparkling jet beads.

According to the show's producer, John McColgan, it was "like no other Irish dance dress ever seen before".

The off-the-shoulder dress was traditional but sexy, and showed "how Irish dancing could be re-imagined for a modern, global audience".

Jean and Michael's rhythmic foot tapping won over the Eurovision audience in 1994, and 42-year-old Jean says the performance changed her life for ever.

"Everything that I'm doing now has stemmed from my experience within Riverdance," she told the RTE Guide.

Jean will return to Dublin next month for the Riverdance Gathering.

"We're hoping to break the record for the longest line of Irish dancers dancing together. I'm supposed to lead it, so we'll see how that goes," she said.

Jean added: "I come back quite a lot, which is why I feel like I have two homes.

"I'm always here – whether it's through work, dancing or just bouts of mischief with friends and family."