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Anyone who is not terrified by this requires psychiatric help.

“You know how the Riverdance started? Too many drinks and not enough toilets.”

~ Captain Obvious on Irish Riverdance Academy

Riverdance began as a joke by the already smug Irish who were on the verge of winning the Eurovision Song Contest for the third consecutive decade; the problem was the rest of the world didn't get it. When the producers saw the potential profit of showing such a show to tourists, they wasted no time in stretching a five minute interval act into 3 day long show.[1]

The show consists of a number of Irish people banging their feet in some kind of time to 'traditional' music being played by U2 at the side, while Asian tourists blind the dancers with the incessant flashing of digital cameras until the star of the show (an epileptic pyromaniac) has a seizure and goes on a fire-starting rampage. All this happens while the Asians clap their hands in unison, an event which seismologists predict is slowly destroying the planet.[2]

For those without comedic tastes, the self-proclaimed experts at Wikipedia have an article about Riverdance.

Despite this, ticket sales are still high and, despite the unlikeliness of getting out of a performance alive, Asians still flock to the show, eager to try out their new digital cameras.[3]

Historical precedents[edit]

Early hominids are aroused by a strange object.

Time travelers have reported that a species of early hominid in the genus Austalopithecus were visited from outer space by a large black object. Rather than the slab-like monolith presented in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, it was roughly pitted as it had suffered burning from reentry, much like a meteorite. When found by these primitive humans, their curiosity was aroused. Upon touching the object, they received an electrical shock due to damage from the internal circuitry. While not deadly, it did cause them to jump in surprise after being shocked. Further, the black object began vibrating. One by one, the entire group touched the black object, with each one receiving a strong jolt and being mesmerised by the vibrating noise.[4]

Meanwhile a troop of passing chimpanzees saw this and watched the humans intently. Amused, one by one, the chimps began dancing in time to the sound of the vibrations, also imitating the hominids continuing to touch the object and getting shocked. They were soon dancing in a line and doing formations. The chimps were finally noticed and the hominids grew angry at being mocked. A couple of thrown rocks and pig jaws broke up the group of dancing chimps.[5] Remarkably, this rock throwing is still done today in theatres in Ireland showing Riverdance. Pig jaw throwing is now confined mainly to Eastern European countries.

Dance Like Like a Spider[edit]

One guy looks like he's got the Riverdance idea but it looks more like the hornpipe.

In 1491, in a trial run for his trip to the East Indies, Christopher Columbus visited Ireland. As he would later do in the Americas, he enslaved the natives he found, carefully separating out the manual labor slaves from the sex slaves from the useless layabouts. This was done to maximize his profits and for the glory of Spain, of course. Some of his Italian crew members brought their music and dances with them including the tarantella. The tarantella was a lively dance either intended to cure bites from poisonous spiders or to attract them. This was taught to the more useless Irish elements who adopted the dance readily, as it seemed to help them cope with the traditional Irish diet known as starvation, by fainting afterwards and going into a coma. Columbus took notice of the dancers and the effect they had on people watching, and so reclassified the dancers into the sex slave category. As the English and French were and still are lovers of kink, sweaty and comatose Irish were a huge attraction. Columbus used his ships to ferry sex tourists to Ireland with a stop thrown in at the Isle of Man to see tailless cats.[6]

Columbus left Ireland to go on to make his mark in history as the one who brought the clap to Europe. His businesses were sold to the English, as were all his Irish slaves. The new English masters still required dancing as their slaves brought in buckets of potatoes from the field. This is why today, all Irish people can swivel their ankles nearly 240 degrees in any direction and have arms that can only hang at their sides.

After the Troubles in Northern Ireland, stepdancers are careful to avoid British soldiers, whether just resting or placed as boobytraps.

Thus, the Irish stepdance form was created, consisting of quickly executed footwork that was originally intended to extend the trip from field to kitchen door in order to allow potatoes to shed moisture and ripen. This had the additional benefit of keeping the help from eating any potatoes. Still, stepdancing would often bore English overseers to sleep at which time the workers would just stop in their tracks and take a break. Some inattentive overseers would wake up to find themselves floating on a raft made up of wooden potato buckets in the middle of the Irish Sea. The workers would then flee for the hills, with the potatoes. However, they were often easily recaptured by estate owners on horseback. As it turned out, stepdancing, particularly when loaded down with potatoes, was not an efficient means of escape. This is why today in performance, dancers do not carry buckets of potatoes but just pretend to do so.[7]

Nonetheless, performing stepdancers always attract a crowd wherever they go. Unfortunately for them, it is often due to the wrong reason. The clomping of hard-shoe style dancing attracts crowds of Irish bettors thinking a horserace is in progress. The sound also attracts mobs of pedophile priests hoping for dancing children to give them a little fan service. Further, after the advent of Riverdance and its many sequels and offshoots, stepdancers had to become adept at blocking thrown objects. Arms at the sides prevent their use in defense, so Football (association football) moves are taught to modern stepdancers to deflect rocks and bottles. The world was shocked when in 1986 Argentinian stepdancer Diego Maradona was able to use his hand to block an object and since then, no dancer has dared repeat this grievous error.

Development of Riverdance[edit]

After his Riverdance career, Michael Flatley has returned to live on the park bench where his career started.


In 1993, Michael Flatley sat on a park bench in Killarney. Little did he know, a group of stray cats were under the bench and were full of fleas. At the first flea bite, Flatley stood straight up, lost his lit cigarette in his trouser cuff and tried to shake it out. As more fleas bit, he danced furiously up and down, with a few leaps and fancy moves thrown in for good measure. After a good ten minutes of frantic flailing, a totally exhausted Flatley collapsed to the ground. Looking at the hat he dropped, he found it was filled with coins and notes from an appreciative audience who thought he was busking.

Seeing this, two Irish oligarchs, Aoife O’Leningrad and Sean Lavrenti McBeria, thought a show based around his dancing would be just the ticket. They had Flatley kidnapped and equipped him with a mind-control headband and an electrical buzzer device implanted in his behind to make him dance even faster. The Electricity Supply Board (ESB) was consulted so that sufficient electrical power would always be available for performances. Dancer Jean Butler was hired as his foil, the only female who could keep up with Flatley and who was the only one not embarrassed to make overly theatrical moves required by the show choreographer. This speed and ability was attributed to her extreme sensitivity to caffeine; 'She always tried to order decaf but we'd just slip her two regulars. After that, she was just a blur'. Life-size puppets would be used for background dancers, allowing an entire group to be manipulated by one person.[8] These were out-of-work puppeteers who had worked on Thunderbirds episodes as well as rejects and wanna-bes obsessed with the Muppets.


A traditional ceilidh band was the original choice for providing music for Riverdance.

When pressed, O’Leningrad and McBeria admitted there was really no plot to Riverdance. Written by 8-year-olds with ADHD to keep costs down, Riverdance and all its derivative sequels are basically long dances that are all the same interspersed with extremely thin barely-acted spots purporting to be about something. While the original score was to be played by a traditional acoustic ceilidh band, the producers were dismayed to find their first choice, a band called Garlic Storm, had perished when RMS Titanic was sunk. It was found after many trial shows that a small band could not be heard over the raucous Irish theater crowds. So more 8-year-olds were sought out to write and steal Irish-sounding music for an orchestra. Luckily, McBeria found an orchestra that would play for beer instead of cash.[9]

1994 Eurovision appearance[edit]

With a tenner slipped to the security guard at the back door of the Eurovision Song Contest, the cast and orchestra muscled their way onto the Dublin Point Theatre stage between the Bordurian and Pottsylvanian song performances. Their short performance received a standing ovation, with the audience seen dancing in the aisles. This was later determined to actually be due to those in distress waiting in long lines for the bathrooms. Nonetheless, the huge television share attributed to people leaving their TVs on to entertain pets and small children while they went out to dinner convinced theaters to run the full Riverdance production.

Riverdance across the world[edit]

Jean Butler showing her quick footwork. After being given the traditional American break a leg greeting before a show, she did just that.

Riverdance was shown over and over in Ireland until every Irish human and animal could do all the steps by memory, many in their sleep. Producers O’ Leningrad and McBeria then decided to unleash Riverdance on the world after first investing heavily in orthopedic clinics and flooring as well as electrical power companies. The show caught on most everywhere it appeared. This left the producers amazed as the large quantities of LSD they expected to spray into theaters proved to be unnecessary.

Interest was fed by various charity performances, like ones for the Special Olympics whose participants wept bitterly as they could never hope to Riverdance except in parody YouTube videos. The benefit for and Rwandan refugees garnered many donations of dancing shoes and costumes for them. The Benefit for Overfed Irish Oligarchs also drew much public attention, but for the wrong reasons.

In 1995, a performance was held for Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family. Spurred by a typical off-handed Prince Philip insult about them earlier, a line of 50 Riverdancers danced in review in front of the royal couple, with each dancer in turn giving Prince Philip a sharp kick to the crotch. It was reported that the Queen was highly amused. The line was unable to catch up with Prince Charles who had already fled, leaving his children behind, chained to the ground as decoys.[10]

Riverdancers require rigourous training before becoming part of the supporting cast.

Michael Flatley was finally able to remove the mind-control equipment and left the show, leaving the usual run of lawsuits in his wake. Horrified, the producers quickly recharged the mind-control headband and grabbed a street person to replace Flatley.[11] It would later be revealed that Flatley suffered from complete exhaustion after the fifth or sixth show, so computer-operated shoes had been developed to compensate. While the producers complained about the cost of the 10-year-old needed to program the shoes, their worth proved to be invaluable at this time. Principle Jean Butler asked for computer-assisted shoes for herself, but was told by the producers that it was too expensive. Then they had both her legs broken, as an incentive to 'just try harder'. Butler then left the show, on crutches.

Worldwide legacy[edit]

"We're getting paid for this shite Mickey?"

The success of Riverdance was followed by a new production created by Michael Flatley called Lord of the Dance. This was a more elaborate but still-cheap production, as 9-year-olds did the writing and orchestration. Then the ill-advised Lord of the Rings was released, which minimized dancing but nevertheless acquired a cult following due to its celebration of short angsty folks. This was followed in turn by Traci Lords of the Dance, which similarly failed as audiences found Roseanne Barr to be an unacceptable substitute for the real deal despite her credible Riverdancing and 6-foot (1.8 meter) leaps. Old Man Riverdance, featuring an all-black cast with Michael Flatley in minstrel show makeup, ended the series.[12]

Ridiculous curly hair extensions (RCHE) have gone into high demand around the world despite their lack of use in Riverdance. Still, girls are universally expected to wear them while dancing despite having plenty of hair already. Several US states have placed protections on endangered birds nesting in the wigs as well as maximum height limits for them.

There is no question that Riverdance and its sequels has convinced millions around the world to adopt Riverdance-style stepdancing. Advocates include or have included the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Richard Simmons, Osama bin Laden, David Attenborough, Robert Mugabe; the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, this popularity has resulted in large numbers of foot and ankle injuries making orthopoedic surgeons wealthier than ever. At the same time, ruined floors and floor coverings needed to be replaced, bolstering the carpentry and floor laying trades. As a further offshoot, Asian children have become champions at Dance Dance Revolution in arcades and bowling alleys around the world. Their countries' average IQs have dropped a full ten points on average as a result.[13][14]

Chimps continue to mock humans after millions of years.

Riverdancing was offered as an elective at Trump University, to be taught personally by Donald Trump. Students figured that anyone who could dance so well around written contracts must be able to dance well generally. However, classes were often found cancelled due to Trump’s busy schedule. Many students were disappointed in not being able to 'dance off' against or be personally abused by the master. The no refunds policy made for much unhappiness although students were allowed to recycle aluminium cans in exchange for class credits.[15]

Riverdancing is taught in North Korea and various other countries to have its happy citizens involved in public works projects like compacting earthen dams and making flour. It is reported that Koreans like Riverdancing so much that few need to be shot on the spot for not dancing. A North Korean official proudly added, 'Do not also forget roadbuilding and the crushing of pinot noir grapes for wine for our glorious leader, Kim Jong-un'.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. Barnum, P.T. "Didn't I tell you?" ElephantsElephants.com, retrieved 20 September 2018.
  2. Banner, Bruce. "If not stop, Hulk smash.", Salon magazine, April 2016.
  3. Steichen, Alfred. "Do extra-long telephoto lenses make it too easy for Riverdancers to kick them?", Photography Annual, 2012.
  4. Obvious, Capt. V. "Giant black dildos in space are a sign of end times", Deseret Journal, December 21, 2017.
  5. Goodall, Jane. "Standard human/chimp interaction", Scientific Armenian, July 2011.
  6. Columbus, Christoforo. Report to shareholders (1491)
  7. Byrne, Brendan. "Do the Irish have natural rhythm, too?", Encyclopedia of Irish history (1933).
  8. Baum, L. Frank, The Wizard of Oz (1900).
  9. Savanarola. "Deus ex machina", Writings, 1495.
  10. God Save the Queen, by the Sex Pistols, Virgin Records (1977).
  11. "Flatnuts Flatley gets a flat", Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  12. A Bridge Too Far, United Artists (1977)
  13. Don't ask me what I think of you/I might not give the answer that you want me to
  14. Oh, well
  15. such cans were difficult to find in America
  16. Duk, Kim. Infrastructure of the People’s Republic of North Korea, Kim Publishing (1999)