Marie Duffy is the undisputed queen of Irish dancing: she has trained more world champions than any other teacher, and has been Michael Flatley’s right-hand woman for twenty years. She works tirelessly to promote Irish dance and culture internationally.
In this honest and entertaining book, Marie gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of professional Irish dance, and draws back the curtain on her own fascinating and inspiring life.
Marie first gained recognition dancing on entertainment shows in the 1960s, and went on to become a hugely successful Irish dancing teacher. Watching the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in her living room, Marie was filled with pride as she’d taught many of the dancers in the famous Riverdance interval act.
Two years later, Marie received a phone call that transformed her life when Michael Flatley offered her a job on a new show he had devised. Lord of the Dance would go on to become a worldwide hit, beginning years of fruitful collaboration between Marie and Flatley. Sadly however, Marie’s professional highs have been accompanied by many personal lows, including the loss of her mother (who didn’t live to see her daughter’s success) and first husband Ian, and being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. Marie had a mastectomy, but in the showbiz tradition of ‘the show must go on’ she went back to her work rehearsing the dance troupe.