Pot of Gold might have never existed...
I choreographed Pot Of Gold in my bedroom on a cold and gloomy November night in 1998 at the young age of 16.
Michael Flatley's Feet Of Flames had been released on VHS video and I'd recorded a piece of music from it on to my CASSETTE recorder.
It didn't take long to put the steps together for PoG and I showed the finished dance to my mum, Jackie (who I always showed my choreography to). The first thing she said was "that's going to be a hit!"
She wasn't wrong...!
First of all, I had to wait for the soundtrack CD to be released to see if they had put that piece of music on to it. Luckily they had (it was called Dance Above The Rainbow) so my mum coined the name "Pot Of Gold", I released the dance sheet on my website and on the LDUK mailing list and the rest is history...
If the music had never been released, PoG would have never been born.
The dance spread by word of mouth like wildfire on the Internet! If it wasn't for all those teachers spreading the word, it would never have travelled the world as quickly as it did.
I think the "hook" of the dance is when the music changes and those stomp-clap-stomp-claps come in! I don't remember any other dances at the time having single claps on the & counts of the music. It made the dance unique and sounded great in a dance hall!
The year after it was released was exciting. I taught PoG locally to a number of classes where I was given the opportunity and after the dance became so popular, people wanted to meet and learn new ones from me so I travelled up and down the country and abroad to the USA a number of times teaching to packed dance halls. Teaching was more of a love for me than writing them. I loved injecting fun and laughter into my workshops and it really changed me from the shy teenager I had been growing up.
The biggest honour was, of course, the Crystal Boot for Dance Of The Year 1999 in February 2000 at Lindancer's Crystal Boot Awards. Thanks to all those who voted and forced a nervous young 17 year old kid up on stage to dance in front of 100s. Thanks to Betty and the team for hosting a wonderful event and for everything else they've done over the years to promote line dancing.
Rob Fowler has been a friend of mine for a long time now. I attended his classes weekly in Kirkby and Harrogate and designed/maintained the early Masters In Line website for a number of years. We haven't really seen much of each other over the past 10 years or so, however, when he approached me and told me that he was going to award Pot Of Gold a "Dance Of Legend" award, I was thrilled and honoured again. Probably the biggest name on the line dance circuit in the UK, if not the world, saying that he felt my dance was the biggest staple on the line dance floor.... Wow!
Yes Rob :-)
It's weird to think that 16 years ago (half my life!) I threw some steps together that would become a major worldwide line dance classic.... And it might not have been if the music hadn't been released. I wonder if Ronan Hardiman knows why so many people have bought "Dance Above The Rainbow"?
I don't really dance at all anymore since taking up my career in the casino industry. I'm now a Casino Manager for a Manchester city centre casino and have been in the industry for 10 years. The part I miss most about dancing is simply the people (and the exercise!). True friends who you see again and continue where you left off last, even if it's been months or years!
However, I'm so pleased to have left my own mark on the line dance world and given enjoyment to so many people across the world with my creation.
I'd like to thank Rob for putting this idea together. I'd like to thank all the PoG fans for dancing this every week at their classes and for all the DJs for keeping it alive at dance events every weekend. All those who voted it for the CBAs in 2000. Thanks to my mum for the name and my family for the support. Last but not least, thanks to my wife Mod, who has learnt all about my dance story as we pursue our own.