Many fans were devastated to learn that Michael Flatley, an Irish American dancer known more widely as the "Lord of the Dance," has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
People want to know more about Michael's diagnosis and get a better understanding of what treatments he's currently undergoing. Here's what we know.
Michael Flatley recently underwent surgery.
According to a post on the dancer's Instagram account, Michael is now recovering from surgery.
“Michael Flatley has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He has undergone surgery and is in the care of an excellent team of doctors. No further comments will be made at this time,” the statement read.
Because the statement didn't offer any additional details, it's difficult to say with much certainty what the surgery was for.
Michael had previously been diagnosed with melanoma in 2003, although it isn't clear whether that diagnosis is in any way connected to the cancer he has now. It's certainly possible to speculate on Michael's condition, but without knowing any additional details, it's difficult to come to any definitive conclusions. For now, it seems the right approach might be to simply wait for more updates.
Michael Flatley rose to prominence in the 1990s.
Michael first gained international attention after performing during an intermission at the 1994 Eurovision song contest, which was being held in Ireland. The show was titled "Riverdance," and while it was only seven minutes long, it was met with widespread acclaim at the time. That acclaim ultimately led Michael to produce a full-length version of Riverdance, which eventually toured all over the world, albeit without Michael's cooperation.
Michael was fired from the full-length Riverdance in 1995, and eventually began touring his Lord of the Dance show instead. That show would ultimately eclipse the popularity of Riverdance, and Michael would continue touring various versions of it through 2016, when he retired following a series of injuries. Michael also performed on Dancing with the Stars in 2007, and returned to the show as a guest judge in 2008.
Most recently, Michael starred in, wrote, and directed the 2018 spy thriller Blackbird, which was only released recently after a long delay.
Michael discussed his previous cancer diagnosis in his autobiography Lord of the Dance: My Story, which was released in 2006. "A scare like that makes you even more aware you need to live every moment while you can," he wrote at the time.
Michael has been married twice, the first time from 1986 until 1987 to Beata Dziaba, and again from 2006 until the present to Niamh O'Brien, who was a dancer in several of his shows. The two have a son, Michael St. James, who was born in 2007.
Following his diagnosis, it seems like Michael is interested in maintaining some privacy as he goes through treatment. Thankfully, he has a family around him to offer support, and the best thing that his many fans can likely do is offer their encouragement without getting too nosy about his specific condition.