“Holey moley, look at them feets fly!”
The Irish Riverdance Academy is a place where young Irish people come to learn how to do their national dance and combat the English forces of Morris dancing. Based in Dublin, Ireland, it is currently headed by Michael Flatley, also known as "Lord of the Dance" for his heroic conquests of the American dancers on Broadway.
The style of dancing taught at the Academy is noted for the dancers ability to keep the upper torso completely paralyzed, while everything below the waist including the legs appears to go all quick and spastic. The reason it's called "riverdance" is because when the dancers reach their top speed, they tend to "sweat rivers".
The Irish Riverdance Academy traces its lineage back to the noble Druid order of belly dancers based out of a grove in east Sneem, well known for hundreds of years for its sexy, snake-like movements and arousing moves. However, this grove was disbanded when St. Patrick came to Ireland and brought Christianity with him. Though the information has been lost to time, the oral history of the Irish druids tells of how St. Patrick, a notorious hater of sex, forbade the ancient Irish religious practice of the lap dance. While legend tells of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland, in reality he drove this grove of belly dancers underground and into obscurity.
However, the Druids' ancient tradition was preserved, though altered. To conform with Christian doctrine, all the sexy moves above the waist were dropped. It's these alterations which led to the style of dance that the Irish Riverdance Academy teaches today.
The next great threat to the Irish Riverdance Academy came when the English first invaded. With the soldiers came Morris dancing, an extremely old and extremely boring and extremely gay-looking form of dance. Over the next few hundred years, competitions between Irish riverdancers and English Morris dancers took place across the Emerald Isle. To combat the English dancers who had their sticks and ribbons, the Irish dancers developed ever-increasingly fast and complex footwork to outwit the English. In the dance competitions it worked, but it never stopped the military occupation of Ireland.
Oliver Cromwell was a Puritan, hated dancing, and banned it, being the right bastard he was. He declared dancing was punishable by death, and at this time activities at the Irish Riverdance Academy were stopped, though dance studios were opened discreetly in the countryside to secret teach riverdancing. When Cromwell died, spontaneous dancing ensued across the land, and the Irish Riverdancing Academy re-opened.
In the 1920s, the Irish independence movement began after the Easter Rising. When the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizens Army united and came up with a new name, the Irish Republican Army, they had no dancers amongst them, and thus did not realize that the initials I.R.A. were already being used by the Irish Riverdance Academy. The Irish Riverdance Academy found out and sued the Irish Republican Army for stealing its initials and taking its credibility. Whereas once, they stated in front of a magistrate, to say you belonged to the IRA meant you were a great dancer, now it meant you were part of a paramilitary organization to overthrow the English rule by violence, whereas the Irish Riverdance Academy just wanted to out-dance the English by non-violent means. The magistrate sided with the Irish Republican Army, saying Irish independence was better for the nation than the honor of a bunch of dancers.
Because of this ruling and the popularity of the Irish Republican Army, the Irish Riverdance Academy began to loose prestige. For decades, people wanted to join the IRA and fight the English, not join the IRA and learn to dance. The Irish Riverdance Academy dwindled to only five dance instructors and only two-hundred students.
Resurgence in Popularity
In 1989, a young man by the name of Michael Flatley was quietly appointed the new head of the Irish Riverdance Academy. He breathed new life into the school with a grand scheme to make the name of the IRA honorable again. In 1994, the Irish Republican Army called for an indefinite cease-fire. Seizing the golden opportunity, Flatley preemptively released the Academy's show, Riverdance. It was a big hit across the entire world, and the honor of the Irish Riverdance Academy was restored. After the shows run in New York, thousands of people who claimed some Irish ancestry, real or imagined, immigrated to Ireland and enrolled in the Academy.
A New World Record
In 1998, Michael Flately attempted to set the world record for the fastest dancing ever. As his feet reached the speed of light, time appeared to slow down, and he vanished. However, he was found an hour later passed out in his office, as his fast dancing caused him to tire out, so still dancing fast he popped down to the pub for a pint, had too much, and came back to his office to sleep off his hangover.
People Who've Attended the Academy
- Abu Zayd as-Sarkasti because he needed linky lovin'
- Michael Jackson: failed out
- Shams Freelander
- Gang of Four
- Sinead O'Connor
- Adam Phillips
- Andrew Greeley
- Tim Gunn: failed out but awesomely dressed
- Stephen Fry
the "Morris dancing is gay" debating society
One popular pastime at the Academy is debating why the English' Morris dancing is gay. Academy legend has it that the "Morris dancing is gay" debating society was actually started by the English lord "Prince Edmund", the Blackadder -a notorious loather of Morris dancing- when he distracted a band of Irish raiders by siding with them in their battle cries against the English Morris dancing forces. No one knows exactly why this technique was successful - it has something to do with "a cunning plan" by his henchman Baldric- but for some reason this instance was the genesis of the "Morris dancing is gay" debating society.
Members of the society get together in the great hall to discuss why Morris dancing is gay, and many hours are spent in this pastime. Some say it's because the outfits look silly, or 'queer'. Others say it's all the dancing with banging sticks, dancing with bells on your feet, and waving ribbons make it look silly or 'queer'.
A popular sub-thread of the debate is to say Morris dancing is gay because it's a traditional English dance, and there's that popular school of thought that lumps all things English in with gay, except for the punk rock movement. Others debate the English-haters, saying all other folk-dancing other than Irish folk-dancing is gay, so of course Morris dancing is gay because it's a non-Irish traditional folk dance.
As a nod to Irish national pride, it's an expellable offense to debate that English Morris dancing is not gay. Anyone caught Morris dancing on Academy grounds is tapped to death by their fellow students.
Rumors, Legends & Trivia
- It's rumored that headmaster Michael Flatley's feet and legs are robotic. His real legs were blown off in Vietnam and he got a replacement pair from Japan, who are masters of making giant robots and cybernetic people parts.
- It's rumored that the Irish Riverdance Academy has a pot of gold that you can find at the end of the rainbow.
- It's rumored there's no such thing as the Irish Riverdance Academy, but this is a lie.
- It's rumored the writer of this article has tried extremely hard to not make jokes about jokes about Michael Flatley being gay because he's a dancer, but this is also a lie, and these types of jokes can be found through this entire article. If you have not found the Michael Flatley is gay jokes, you have no sense of humor, or you're an illiterate.
- Fact: Michael Jackson is a drop-out of the Academy because he couldn't stop moving his torso. Also he found out the leperchauns weren't really little boys.
- Fact: The Jackie Chan/Bruce Lee film "Feets of Fury" was filmed at the Academy.
- Fact: while ninjas are fast, the feet of an Irish Riverdance Academy dancer are faster. If the dancers were taught to fight, they could kick the ninja's ass. Too bad.
- Fact: you don't have to get drunk to do an Irish riverdance, but it sure looks funny when you are drunk and try to dance. You may not think so, but ask your friends.
- Fact: the dance step was originally developed from the fast shuffling motion of removing dog mess from ones shoe, the occasional lift and glance to see if the shiite was still attached and continued foot scuffing while looking dead serious and staring straight ahead at the same time concealing the contents of a dogs arse on your instep with fierce foot motions.