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How a Concordia grad found his footing in Irish dance

Lucas Lawton taps his way to the main stage in Taiwan
July 7, 2021
By Marco Buttice, BA 21

Lucas Lawton dancing Lucas Lawton, BA 17, has danced in competitions and productions around the world.

It can take many years to discover one’s true calling. Yet Lucas Lawton, BA 17, was just seven years old when the allure of Irish dance stepped into his life through a family friend.

“Before that moment, my parents had tried to put me in a lot of different sports, like hockey and soccer,” he says. “To be honest, I hated all of them.”

His interest transformed into his life’s passion at the Bernadette Short School of Irish Dance in Kirkland, Que. “Once I entered my teens, I competed locally and internationally,” Lawton says. “I eventually ventured into the professional sector, where I now perform in stage productions to entertain audiences around the world,” he says.

WATCH: Lucas Lawton was part of Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance tour in Taiwan.

Lord of the Dance

Even as most live performances halted during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawton managed to find his way back to the stage, performing in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, the pinnacle stage production for Irish dancers.

“They were having online auditions over Zoom for a show in Taiwan, which has not really been affected by COVID,” he explains. “I got accepted and flew out there.”

After a quarantine period, the troupe performed eight shows to arena-sized audiences, the largest being more than 15,000 people.

“It was mind-blowing to see that many people in one space. It was a dream to even make it into that show, let alone during a global crisis,” says Lawton.

With limited live performance opportunities during COVID, he moved to the virtual stage. In 2020, Lawton created the joint Instagram account @idanceduo with partner Natasha Woytiuk, where he produces, edits and posts dance content.

Lucas Lawton (right) with dance partner Natasha Woytiuk Lawton and dance partner Natasha Woytiuk started their joint Instagram account, @idanceduo, in June 2020.

Two worlds collide

A communication studies graduate, Lawton credits his Concordia education for enriching his dance career and vice versa.

“The eye for media I gained during my studies came in handy throughout the past year. It was definitely a huge asset when documenting my experiences online,” he says.

The Department of Communication Studies attracted Lawton because of its practical and technical approaches to media. He also completed a minor in Irish Studies, where he learned more about his own distinct culture and history from a Canadian perspective.

“As a dancer, I love engaging with the creative process. I was able to bring my dance background into some of my projects. That was how those two worlds collided,” says Lawton.

“I’ve learned to go with the flow a little more — and try not to plan everything,” he says after a long pandemic year.  “As long as you’re doing what you love or what you’re passionate about, you’ll find yourself on the right path.”

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