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I feared Riverdance dress would fall off - Jean


Riverdance star Jean Butler narrowly avoided a Janet Jackson-style wardrobe malfunction in front of 300 million viewers during the iconic Eurovision interval dance it has been revealed.

The new RTE documentary Insiders: Riverdance gives a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of the seven-minute performance that put Irish dancing on the global map.

While audiences watched the stunning dance unfold at the Point Depot, the costume designer of the iconic sexy off-the-shoulder dress worn by Jean Butler was praying the tiny lace costume wouldn't come undone.


The documentary tells how Butler had come running in to costume designer Margaret Crosse just minutes before the performance with the front of the deep blue dress hanging down requiring frantic last minute pinning.

The Irish-American dancer may have looked the picture of grace as she sashayed across the stage but she was terrified her dress would fail her.

"I didn't know if the dress was going to stay on me or fall off me and to complicate matters even further the floor was like an ice skating rink. It was very, very slippery," she said.

Designer Ms Crosse said she was horrified when the panicked flame-haired dancer ran up to her backstage with the drooping dress just minutes before she was due to go on.

"Jean didn't really wear the dress for rehearsals because she wanted it to be fresh and new on the night.


"It had fitted her perfectly but now when she did her steps for me the top of it flopped and I could see her boobs. It was a total disaster. I felt it in my stomach. It was the only dress. That was it. I had to get black elastic and two pins and try and secure the top of the dress.

"This was all happening at the side of the stage as they were preparing to go on.

"I ran behind her and pinned her and pulled the elastic through and put a big knot in the back and said 'It will stay up'. It was like we all had this secret. We knew hiding in the back about the dress but the audience didn't know."