Lady of the Dance: The newest leading lady in Michael Flatley's 'Lord of the Dance'
Maggie Revis, native to Putnam Valley, New York, took to the stage in Belgium this past winter for her debut as the female lead dancer in Michael Flatley’s "The Lord of the Dance."
Born into a family of competitve dancers, Maggie began her dance career at the age of three and secured her first win at the Mid-Atlantic American Oireachtas (Regional) Dance Competition in Philadelphia by the age of six. She continued to compete until 2004 when she traveled to England fresh out of college to begin rehearsals as a dancer in Flatley’s "Celtic Tiger."
Now five years into her professional career, Maggie shines as the star in "Lord of the Dance," which since its premiere performance in 1996 has enjoyed the highest success rate of any professional Irish dance touring company.
The thrillingly dramatic show filled with Irish dance and music, based on a folklore story of good and evil, was created by Michael Flatley to follow up the "Riverdance" phenomenon. The initial inspiration for the show was an a cappella dance Flatley envisioned during his time with "Riverdance" which would later become the new show’s finale, “Planet Ireland.”
The Revis family Irish step-dancing legacy
Irish America magazine sat down with Maggie in her hometown in Putnam County, after just wrapping up her European tour.
In a house complete with an array of Celtic music and a practice stage in the basement, courtesy of Maggie’s father, Fred, of German descent, the Revis’ Irish step-dancing roots are undeniable. Maggie’s mother, Cathy, started her own dance school at a young age, which would be Maggie’s second home and her introduction into the world of step-dancing.
“My mother growing up was an incredible Irish dancer, and when she became a dancing teacher and judge it was only natural for her kids to follow in her footsteps. … People who have watched me dance say I have her same style and stage presence,” Maggie said.
Growing up in her mother’s dance school, Maggie, her sister Katie, and brother Freddy (though he may deny it now) embraced step-dancing immediately. “My sister and I were always very active and loved Irish music, so we would just come to class and dance about with the other kids.”
When Cathy sold her school to focus on a nursing career, Maggie’s training fell into the hands of Kevin Broesler, who took over the school. “That was when I started to compete. It became my after-school sport. Some people played soccer, I danced every day.”
Kevin Broesler described Maggie as “an inspiration” in his Irish dance classes. “She was a great competitor and an enjoyable student. All the dancers in my class looked up to her.” Maggie danced for Kevin’s school throughout her competitive career.
Maggie's Irish roots
Tracing her Irish roots back to County Galway, the second-generation Irish American made her first trip to Ireland at the age of twelve when she competed for the first of many times in the All-Ireland and World Championships.