Is Michael Flatley Gay? Michael Flatley’s Career, Biography and Net Worth

Michael Flatley is an American dancer, popularly known for his Irish dancing skills. He is also a choreographer, actor and producer.

Michael Flatley held one Guinness World Record for tap dancing. He is one of the excellent dancers of the century. This 65-year-old dancer may have retired from his career, but his talent knows no bounds.

Although he is married, people are still curious about his sexuality. The question arises whether Michael Flatley is gay or straight. Flatley has had immense fandom in his five decades of career and these rumours surrounding his sexuality never leave his side.

If you are also curious about Michael Flatley‘s sexuality, look out for this article to know the answer to Is Michel Flatley is gay. 

We will reveal everything you need to know from Michael Flatley‘s career to relationships and net worth.

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Who is Michael Flatley?

Michael Flatley is a dancer, particularly known for creating and performing his new rendition of Irish Dance.

He performed in shows like Riverdance, Lord of Dance, Celtic Tiger Live, Feet of Flames and many more.

He performed in his show Michael Flatley’s Christmas Dance Spectacular.

Flatley may have family influence for his passion for Irish dancing but he is contrary he is credited for reinventing Irish dance.

He reinvented the traditional Irish Dance by incorporating new rhythm, upper body movements and syncopation which were never a part of the dance.

In his lifetime, Flatley did numerous live shows in his long career. He performed in more than 60 countries to 60 million people worldwide. His shows even earned more than $1 billion from his sold-out shows.

Who is Michael Flatley
Full NameMichael Ryan Flatley
Date of birth16 July 1958
Age65 years
BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States
Nationality American 
Height5 Feet 9 Inches
Weight55 kg
SpouseBeata Dziąba (m. 1986–97); Niamh O’Brien (m. 2006)
Known forRiverdance (1994–2016), Lord of the Dance (1996–2016), Feet of Flames (1998–2001), Celtic Tiger Live (2004–2007)
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Is Michael Flatley Gay?

No, Michael Flatley is not gay, he is straight. Flatley is currently married to his wife Niamh O’Brien.

Michael Flatley’s sexuality has been in the media for a long time. When he has such a big influence in the entertainment world, there will always be questions regarding the popular dancer.

Although Michael Flatley never opened up about his sexuality or directly addressed any rumour, he is believed to be a straight person. He married his first wife Beata Dziaba when he was 28. However, they are divorced.

Moreover, after the divorce, Flatley has been linked with many women. His relationships with numerous women are definitive proof that Michael Flatley is not gay.

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What Is Michael Flatley’s Sexuality?

Michael Flatley never confirmed his sexuality to be gay.

According to his dating and relationship history, Flatley is a straight man with straight partners. Flatley has been married two times.

Who Is Michael Flatley’s Dating Partner?

Michael Flatley is now married to Niamh O’Brien, his long-time dancing partner in several of his shows.

He started dating her in June 2006. 48 years old Flatley married 32 years old Niamh on October 14, 2006. They had a son together in 2007.

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Michael Flatley’s Dating History Explained

Michael Flatley’s first public relationship was with Beata Dziaba. He met her in London’s Royal Albert Hall. They got married in 1986 and divorced in 1997.

Flatley was in a relationship with Lisa Murphy in the early 2000s. He was also engaged to her.

In 2006, Flatley started dating Nimah O’Brien, a dancer from his several shows. They got married in October 2006.

The couple are still together sharing household and child responsibilities between Monte Carlo and Castlehyde House in Ireland.

Is Michael Flatley Married?

Yes, Michael Flatley is married to his long-time girlfriend Nimah O’Brien. They married in 2006 and have a son. The two of them allegedly crossed paths when Niamh worked as a dancer in one of his performances. He has been married two times– first in 1986 and last one in 2006.

Is Michael Flatley Married

How did Michael Flatley start His Career?

Michael Flatley was born to two Irish emigrants. His mother Elisabeth “Eilish” Flatley (née Ryan) was a popular step dancer. Her mother Hanna Ryan was a champion dancer. Flatley’s parents moved to Chicago from Detroit.

From Chicago, his dancing journey began at the age of 11. He took dancing lessons at the Dennehy School of Irish Dance from Dennis G. Dennehy.

Flatley was the first American to win a World Irish Dance at Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne at the age of 17.

In 1975 and 1976, he won twice in the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil concert flute competitions. In his early life, Flatley was also a boxing champion.

However, he decided to continue pursuing his dancing career as a professional.

In his early career, many big media houses recognized him and named him by various artists. The Hollywood Reporter described him as “the White Michael Jackson ”.

After high school, he did various jobs to sustain his life such as Stockbroker, flautist and blackjack gambler. In his initial career, he toured with many dance groups like Green Fields of America and The Chieftains.

After the 1994 Eurovision performance of “Riverdance”, Flatley caught the attention of a large audience. From this point, his dancing career started booming.

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Why is Michael Flatley very famous?

Michael Flatley is one of the most popular American dancers in the area of Irish Dance for many decades. Flatley created his own form of Irish Dance which was completely different from the traditional Irish Dance.

He brilliantly incorporated rhythms, syncopation and upper-body movements to give birth to a new form of Irish Dancing. 

Flatley precisely holds the Guinness World Record for tap dancing 35 times per second. His feet were once even insured for $57.6 million.

Flatley, after earning recognition in the 1994 Eurovision performance, created the full-length show Riverdance. Later, he created and performed many of his famous shows like Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, Celtic Tigers and many more.

Flatley also performed in the famous Television show Dancing with the Stars and guest starred in the show many times.

Michael Flatley Career

Flatley was invited to perform in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in the intermission of the show, held in Ireland. He did a seven-minute performance titled “Riverdance”.

After this performance and preceding worldwide recognition, Flatley decided to make a full-time show of “Riverdance”. Moya Doherty produced the show while Flatley and Jean Butler were the lead performers and choreographers. The show debuted in February 1995 at Point Theatre, Dublin.

Flatley left Riverdance shortly before the show’s second run. He had a dispute with the producers over salary and royalty fees. After the split, Flatley created his own show Lord of the Dance.

He was able to play it in arenas, and stadiums aside from traditional theatres. It premiered in Point Theatre, Dublin. Flatley became the 25th among the highest-earning entertainers in the world in the year 1997, earning a whopping £36 million.

In 1998, Flatley created an expanded version, Feet of Flames which was the final performance of the Lord of the Dance. It was performed outdoors in the Rotten Row area of Hyde Park.

However, after the 1998 show, Flatley created another version of the show Feet of Flames in 1999. He incited a tour titled Feet of Flames: The Victory World Tour.

In 2005, Flatley announced his new show Celtic Tiger Live. The show kicked in July 2005. The show was unique for its exploration of the history of Irish people and Irish emigration to the USA. The show included a wide range of dance forms, such as Jazz as well as his flute solos.

In 2007, Flatley first performed for the television show, Dancing with the Stars in the US. He performed with the troupe of his male dancers. The next year in 2008, he appeared as a guest judge. He also hosted the NBC show Superstars of Dance.

Flatley returned to the stage in December 2009 in Taiwan. It was the Hyde Park version of Feet of Flames with a limited run.

In 2010, Flatley headlined The Lord of the Dance Show with performances in European countries like the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The tour film, Lord of the Dance 3D was released worldwide in theatres in 2011.

Besides dancing Flatley was also a flute player. He released a 25-track flute album, On a Different Note in 2011.

In 2015, Flatley revealed the many injuries that disrupted his career, his damaged left knee, fractured ribs, and recurring broken bones in his foot.

In November 2015, Flatley’s show, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games premiered in a Broadway Theatre, The Lyric Theatre. Flatley only performed the final two numbers due to his injuries.

Flatley performed his final tour in the US where he performed his last in the Las Vegas show on St. Patrick’s Day in 2016.

After retiring from dance, Flatley entered the film industry. He wrote, directed and even starred in his film Blackbird in 2018. It was a Spy film, starring Michael Flatley, Eric Roberts, and Patrick Bergin.

Family Background

Michael Ryan Flatley was born on July 16, 1958, to his Irish parents, his father Michael James Flatley and his mother Elisabeth “Eilish” Flatley. Both of them emigrated to the USA in 1947. Michael Flatley’s father was a plumber from County Sligo and his mother was a step dancer from County Carlow.

Michael Flatley is the second of five children— Anne Marie, Michael, Eliza, Thomasina and Patrick.

Personal life

Flatley’s love life seemed like a dance. In 1986, Flatley got married to Beata Dziaba, a Polish hairdresser. However, the marriage ended eleven years later in 1997 when he reportedly began having affairs.

He also had an affair with dancer Lisa Murphy in the early 2000s but they were never married together. Unfortunately Lisa died in 2024.

Niamh O’Brien, one of his dancers from his shows, came into Flatley’s life in 2006.

The first ceremony was not even recognized by the Catholic Church because it was only a civil wedding of his earlier marriage. They tied the knot that year and had a son named Michael St James on 2007.

The couple divides their time between Ireland and Monaco. Flatley lives with his current wife Niamh O’Brien and his son.

Flatley was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2003. However, recently in 2023, Flatley was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer for which he underwent surgery.


Flatley married his first wife Beata Dziaba in 1986. They married in a Danish Registry Office. However, they divorced in 1997 due to the rumours of his multiple affairs with other women.

Later, in the early 2000s, Flatley was engaged to Lisa Murphy. She died recently in 2024. In 2006, Flatley started dating Nimah O’Brien.

They got married in a civil wedding but according to Canon Law, the Church denied the civil wedding as a Catholic.

In the end, the couple married on October 14, 2006, at the St. Patrick’s Church in Fermoy, County Cork. They had their reception in Flatley’s massive Cadtlehyde House in Cork, Ireland.

Nominations, Honours and Award Winnings

Michael Flatley received the highest folk-related honour award, a National Heritage Fellowship in 1988 by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Flately received an honorary doctorate from University College Dublin in 2004.

He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honour in New York in 2004.

Flatley received an Honorary Degree from the University of Limerick in 2016.

In 2011, Flatley received the Irish American Hall of Fame in Irish America magazine.

In 2013, Flatley was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Post Awards.

Coat of arms

Flatley was granted arms by Ireland’s Chief Herald in 2015.

Michael Flatley Net worth 2024

In his long career of almost five decades, Michael Flatley has earned a lot of fortune.

Not only he is a dancer but also an actor, choreographer, producer, director and writer.

From his various ventures and long career, there is no doubt that Flatley is a millionaire. Regardless of that, Flatley is a philanthropist as well.

According to various sources, Michael Flatley’s estimated net worth is $350 million. 

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FAQS about Michael Flatley

What was Michael Flatley illness?

Flatley previously battled cancer in 2003, when he was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma.

Where does Michael Flatley live now?

Counsel said Mr Flatley and his family live in Monaco and have residences in London and Italy as well.

What happened with Michael Flatley?

Flatley retired from dance in 2016 due to constant spinal, knee, foot, and rib pain.

Does Michael Flatley have a child?

Michael Flatley has a son Michael St. James.

What is Michael Flatley's net worth?

According to various sources, Michael Flatley’s estimated net worth is $350 million. 

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