“Lord of the Dance” is the theatrical performance that has broken the traditional realms of Irish dancing by incorporating upper body movement, edgy rhythms and breathtaking visuals. While they were touring in Taiwan, Formosa News spoke to dancers Matthew Smith and Erin Mcilravey about their dance careers and what it”s like working with legendary Irish-American dancer Michael Flatley.A troupe of Irish dancers incorporating upper body movement, edgy rhythms, and hyperactive footwork perform onstage. A full orchestra accompanied with the clatter of tap shoes mesmerizes audiences. Created by legendary Irish-American dancer Flatley, “The Lord of the Dance” has toured all five continents, sweeping audiences in 65 countries and regions in the past two decades. The show features holographs, dancing robots and acrobats accompanying Irish tap dancers. The latest iteration “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games” features new staging, costumes, choreography, and music. Matthew Smith Dancer The show is a classic good versus evil storyline. If you”ve seen the original Lord of the Dance show, you see that it”s very oriented towards good overpowering evil. This time in the “Dangerous Games,” the bad side kind of comes out. With all guns blazing, they”re trying to battle against the good side. But you have to watch the show to find out and see what happens. It has a darker twist than the original. Everyone in the show would”ve started Irish dancing from a very young age. I started at five. Erin McilraveyDancerI was 4. Matthew Smith Dancer As children, very young kids, as you progress and you get better, you will be training six to seven times a week. Going to competitions and then at about 17 years old, that”s when we both joined Lord of the Dance. It”s pretty rigorous training. We will train for two to three hours a day before the show, fitness workout, strengthening, flexibility, training the actual dancing numbers to make if everyone”s technique and spacing and choreography is correct. That”s before the actual show. During their recent trip to Taiwan, dancers Smith and Mcilravey revealed that the secret to their success in the troupe was learning Irish dance from a young age. They also shared why they love to perform in Taiwan.Matthew SmithDancerIt”s hotter than at home. We”re glad there”s a bit of heat. For you guys it might be a bit cold, but for us we”re enjoying being in some hot weather and It”s good for the legs so that they”re not stiff. Everyone is so friendly as well. When we land in the airport, we sometimes have some fans waiting for us dont” we?Erin McilraveyDancerIt”s always a warm welcome here.Matthew Smith DancerIt”s always a warm welcome. We are happy to be back. Flatley, an Irish-American dancer and choreographer, is considered one of the most outstanding dancers in Ireland. In 1998, he broke the Guinness World Record of 28 taps per second, completing a phenomenal 35 taps per second. He is also credited with reinventing traditional Irish dance by incorporating new rhythms, syncopation, and upper body movements, which were previously absent from the dance. Many dancers in the troupe learned Irish dance from a young age. Even so, it was still quite challenging to adjust to Flatley”s Irish dance style. Flatley”s shows incorporate tap dancing in a way unnatural at first for most competitive Irish dancers.Erin McilraveyDancerRhythm-wise, yes. But the basics of Irish dance we have to crossed feet, straight knees and like a traditionally quite a stiff upper half. Tap dance is a bit more loose, a little bit more weight. But then when we bring it the show dancing, we have to learn how to use our arms. So it switches it up for us. It”s quite a hard challenge at the start. Flatley mentors the world”s most outstanding young performers across the globe, including 17-year-old Taiwanese tap dancer Albert Yao, who also joined the show. Matthew Smith Dancer We have Albert from Taiwan. He”s a fantastic dancer. He joined us for “Feet of Flames” in 2018. We see that he has great potential. We are really impressed by him so we”ve asked him back for this run and we are excited to have him with us. Erin McilraveyDancerWe”ve looked up to Michael since we were young kids, watching the original Lord of the Dance. So to be able to actually work alongside him and for him to mentor us is amazing. He brings the best out of in each individual. He kind of picks out your strengths and realizes what potential you have in you, so a lot of self belief he”s put into us as well. Flatley retired from dancing in 2016 due to spinal, knee, foot, and rib pain. Besides breaking the mold of traditional Irish dancing, Flatley hopes to continue to mentor and inspire young dancers to continue his legacy.