How everything began with me...

Someday in autumn 1997 I ( Ralf, 42 at this time *g*) saw on TV in a broadcast called “aktuelle Stunde” what compares to current hour, a short event notice about an Irish Dance formation, which should perform at the Arena in Oberhausen.Unfortunately it was so short, that I was not able to remember the name of this troupe. But this short part electrified me and I told myself, that is what I want to see! Some days later a colleague told me, that his parents had been at a show in Oberhausen and were totally enthusiastic. The name? Riverdance or something like that..never heard about before! But I began to search in the Internet, looked for Riverdance, Arena.. found something, but after a while I forgot the whole thing. Then, I can´t remember how, I noticed that in February or March 98 again an Irish dance troupe should perform in Oberhausen. At once I called the Arena in Oberhausen..yes, there would be a troupe to perform called “Lord of the Dance”!! Lord of the Dance?? what is that again? Irish? Is that worth seeing? Yes, they are very good! And the costs? 59 to 170 German Marks ( up to 55 pounds) *ouch*! so expensive? hmm..which tickets are available? Only for 125 Dm and up?? Yes, it´s nearly sold out, only a few tickets available, and they will perform 3 or 4 days only! And Friday and Saturday are already sold out! Hmm..so I spoke with my colleague whether we should do that for that price, but finally we did. Then, on a Thursday evening, we drove to Oberhausen. I´ve never been on such a show before (yes, years ago, AC/DC or Ted Nugent *g*), and the atmosphere in that hall was quite good before the show..so we looked for our seats, row 16 on the infield (not too bad for the first time!) and were really tensed what would happen now..and then it began!! and how..what can I say, it was so fantastic and I was so enthusiastic about it..like a fairy tale! .-)) For me it was like a dream- you never want that it ends!
That was the start of a passion what hasn´t  released me until today! Later I saw Riverdance, different, but fantastic, too! Then again LotD, that time without Michael Flatley, in Dortmund. And again it was super, but a replacement for Flatley?? The lead-dancer was good, but..not like Flatley! Later I noticed, that this Michael Flatley had a huge part putting up Riverdance, I didn´t know that before. A long time he beside Jean Butler has been a celebrated star (Jean too, of course)  You can find more information about the shows and the casts on the next sites..

Again I saw Riverdance, and more and more Riverdance draws me into its own magic.. Riverdance and LotD differ actually in story and arrangement of the show. The story of Riverdance is the story about the Irish emigrants, who left Ireland during the great famine and found a new homeland in America. It is a beautiful, sustained story, which has experienced many (very positive) changes since the premiere.
 LotD in comparison concentrates more on dance and (fantastic) effects, maybe the whole show is a little more mind-blowing? The story is about the endless fight of good against the bad, but spectacular and rousing. And, an important component of these shows are fantastic live musicians, who complete the whole flair! Meanwhile I saw LotD 6 times, Riverdance 5 times, FoF 3 times, Gaelforce Dance 2 times, Rhythm of the dance, To dance on the moon, Magic of the dance... I can´t wait to see more ;-))
 
And then? Sometimes I got one of these city-magazines, this one called Coolibri, what is well propagated in the Ruhr area. Accidentally I read, that there will be a Riverdance-workshop in a studio in Essen. What? Riverdance?? Where is it, what are the costs, can I participate??? I called this studio, and on a Sunday in December 1998 I stood there amongst some 30 people! And then it began, about 3,5 hours! The trainer, Sabine Nettler, started with warm ups and before dancing she “robbed” all the shoes from the people, what turned out to be very useful ;-) She showed many steps, hops, jumps..how should I only remember all these steps? At the end we had a complete little dance and one could see the enthusiasm in all these red faces! And that was only a small section of all the dances to learn later in the regular courses.-) I was so exhausted afterwards, but I decided: That was so much fun, even for me as a non-dancer, I want to continue. And now, since that time I try to improve my hopping around and to de-knot my legs afterwards *gg* What a day, when our class got the Hardshoes for the first time! the first wobbly steps ;-) And after a while, months later, we had our first performance at a presentation of our dance school, in front of nearly 800!! people! We all were so nervous, but after that, when the crowd applauded and whistled so loudly, you saw smiling faces all around. A great day for all of us and for our trainer, Sabine, too! For her humorous, laid-back and kind way of work with us she received a little bunch of flowers in front of all the people there.

Once again: Thank you, Sabine :-))    
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