Irvin, a member of TGTSNBN, has been ballroom dancing since he was six years old. After several months with TGTSNBN, people began begging him to impart his knowledge. So he decided to attempt to teach these Harry Potter fans how to dance, in the hopes of performing at Evil Day 2 (a huge party TGTSNBN was throwing inDecember 2009. At his suggestion, he received an incredible response, with seventeen people deciding to perform with him. Irvin became the leader, known as the Dark Lord of the Dance, of this dance troupe - which was called (in keeping with the Evil Day theme) the Dancing Death Eaters.
Irvin taught the Dancing Death Eaters how to dance in five lessons starting in mid-November 2009, with their debut performance being at Evil Day 2. There, they performed two numbers. The first was a tango to "Death Eater Tango" by The Butterbeer Experience. The second was a salsa to "Like a Death Eater" by Swish and Flick (who was a member of the Dancing Death Eaters and performed with them). The whole evening was complicated by a huge blizzard, but in the end the performance was a success with sixteen DDEs and Irvin performing. Their performance was featured on Wizrocklopedia to general acclaim.
The Dancing Death Eaters performed again at TGTSNBN's 200th Meetup Celebration in February 2010, with slightly reduced numbers, but with the assistance of house-elves who robed them when neccessary. They performed the two dances again, and debuted a new dance as well: a samba set to "99 Death Eaters" by Draco and the Malfoys. It went really well, and the crowd was cheering the whole time (usually with very inappropriate comments on the hotness of the Dancing Death Eaters).
The group was then further diminished to five core members: Irvin; his right-hand woman Mary; Saribel; Emma of the wrock band Bella and le Strangers; and Pam, the leader of NYDA. Their next performance was in June atIncendio! 2010 in Pennsylvania. This performance served to make them known to the public outside of TGTSNBN, and earned them many fangirls. They also debuted a fourth new (and very popular) routine set to Oliver Boyd's "Spells and Scars." This was also the event at which they started selling merchandise, selling quite a few t-shirts, and selling out of Chocolate Frogs with "Famous Death Eater Cards" (made by Irvin personally, and since then copied by a few wizard rock merchandisers). It was a fantastic experience, with so many of the wizard rockers the DDEs fanboyed fangirling them right back. Hawthorn and Holly even invited him on stage with them for a few numbers, which is wrock VIP treatment in most cases (they liked the DDEs so much, they requested a personalized number several months later, which is a work in progress).
A mere two weeks later, they performed at an event Irvin threw together called "Hogwarts '80s Prom." This served as a replacement for Irvin's actual high school prom, and featured wizard rockers, McClaggens contests, and much more. The DDEs reprised all their numbers, and for the first time performed "Like a Death Eater" with Swish and Flick singing live.
The following week, they gave another performance at NYDA's First Birthday Party. They performed their four dances again ("Like a Death Eater" once again with live Swish and Flick), and sold new merchandise: buttons with their logo and faces on them. To keep things interesting, this performance was given a twist: Irvin performed two of the numbers shirtless! He did look really good (though prompting a few calls of "please eat a sandwich!"), and it was all anyone was talking about that evening.
The DDEs then focused on making a music video for "Spells and Scars," with costumes and a storyline and everything. This was shot in June and July, along with extras for a DVD they were working on. Meanwhile, at another huge wizard rock event, the New York Wizard Rock Explosion, they once again sold out of Chocolate Frogs despite not even performing - they had made something of a name for themselves. Also in July, Irvin and Mary came up with a new dance and filmed it for Celestial Warmbottom's "Hey Dark Wizard." Celestial is a part of TGTSNBN, and is a very good friend of theirs, so this was to be a surprise for her. The routine was kept under wraps for over two months, as the DDEs prepared the DVD.
Now, after a year of dancing together, the first set of Dancing Death Eaters retired, to be replaced by the next generation under Irvin's continued leadership. The only member to stay was Mary, who now became the eldest in the group.
The release party of the DVD was September 19, in honor of Hermione's birthday. Celestial Warmbottom was amazed at the dance for her song, and asked the DDEs to perform during her set at the NYC Wizard Rock Festical on November 21, 2010 - which was also when the DDEs started selling their DVD. So that's exactly what they did - the DDEs performed on a side balcony under a spotlight as Celestial Warmbottom sang. Irvin and Mary performed "Hey Dark Wizard" to huge acclaim. The DDEs also debuted the newest addition to their group, Julia. So Irvin and Julia debuted another new routine set to "Dear Aunt Celestial." As their first non-Death Eater routine, it was done in costume as Lupin and Tonks (Irvin was Lupin, Julia was Tonks). There was a slight snag when Julia's wig fell off, but other than that the routine went very well, crazy lifts and all. It exceeded everyone's expectations, since the DDEs had always performed as a group and never had only a solo couple performing, but it went well and garnered a lot of new interest in the group.
On December 19, the one-year anniversary of the DDEs' debut performance, the group gave a special performance for members of the NY Badassilisks. It was the debut of the new set of Death Eaters, Leeza and Annie, who along with Julia and Irvin performed the DDEs' very first number, "Like a Death Eater." Irvin and Julia also performed "Dear Aunt Celestial" again.
With expanding membership, the DDEs kicked off 2011 wth work on a new dance, set to "If You Didn't Come to Party" by Swish and Flick. After almost a month of hard work, they premiered the new dance at Irvin's nineteenth birthday party, on February 13. As an added bonus, they were all dressed as Broadway musical characters, leading to rather confusing and often hilarious performance. It was also the debut performance of Rebekah as a Dancing Death Eater. They performed it again at a talent show hosted by NYU on Feburary 25th, this time dressed as the appropriate characters. They then shot a music video for the dance in March, which will be released on the second DVD.
A very hectic April saw the departure of Annie, and after a mid-year "Death Eater Orientation," the Death Eaters were joined by newcomer Sheila. They then began work on their most difficult, most technical, most gravity-defying, and arguably most spectacular number yet: as requested by Hawthorn and Holly, the DDEs started making a number to their song "Art of Parseltongue." Moreover, this number was to be an Argentine Tango, which involved all kinds of lifts, tricks, and drops - and Irvin demanded that all couples do them! Mary opted to sit this one out, and Julia was given the rather taxing task of being the guy, and lifting instead of beign lifted for a change.
The Death Eaters worked on "Art of Parseltongue" for two solid months, which is longer than any other routine took them. They decided to debut this routine in June at Incendio! 2011, returning to the epic wizard rock concert that had welcomed them the previous year and would do so again. This year, Incendio! was a two-day affair, and the DDEs got a half-hour set all to themselves. And despite the exceedingly cramped space, they delivered their best performance ever. The roster consisted of Irvin, Mary, Julia, Rebekah, and Sheila making her debut.
They opened with "Come to Party," which drew wild applause and laughter from the crowd, then they kept the momentum going with "Hey Dark Wizard" and "Dear Aunt Celestial," and ended on a highnote with the debut of "Art of Parseltongue." The crowd cheered and applauded, and the entire rest of the weekend the Death Eaters were receiving compliments, stuff to the effect of, "I'm amazed at how enthralled I was by your performance." As the cherry on top, this was officially the first paid performance the Death Eaters ever did, since they received $6 like all the other performers at Incendio!
Having seen what a number the DDEs can pull off on request, several other wrockers were soon requesting numbers for their songs. The DDEs obliged one of them, Lily and James, and made a 40-second mini-dance for their video for "Sorcerer's Stone." With the year winding down, they began work on their next number, "Stronger Than Imperio" by Malfoy Manor (which is officially the most obscure song in all of wizard rock), which would be for next fall.
The DDEs closed their second year with a final performance at V-V Day, a huge party in July 2011 thrown by TGTSNBN to celebrate the release of the last movie. Swish and Flick gave an incredible one-hour set, and the Dancing Death Eaters performed both of their numbers to her songs with her. Irvin, Mary, Leeza, and Julia (in her final performance) danced that night dressed in fancy '40s wizard garb... perhaps the most peculiar was Irvin as a soaking wet Reg Cattermole. First they danced "Like a Death Eater" (which Leeza and Julia had to receive a ten-minute crash course in, having completely forgotten it), then they danced "Come to Party" with Swish and Flick for the first time.
The Death Eaters had a better retention rate after their second year; though Julia and Rebekah left, Mary, Leeza, and Sheila all stuck around.
Throughout the fall of 2011, work continued on "Stronger Than Imperio." For some reason, this dance proved the most difficult the Death Eaters had ever done. Combined with some scheduling issues, the dance was not completed until December - having taken a record half year to finish. On October 28, the Death Eaters had their first ever Halloween lesson - everyone came dressed in costume to film videos for the dances. Irvin dressed as Trelawney, and Sheila as Bellatrix, and they shot some fantastic video. So dedicated were they to the craft, that Irvin actually chipped his tooth while dancing... and kept dancing.
Having finished "Stronger Than Imperio," the DDEs then moved on to a dance that had been planned for over a year: a Quickstep to "Dark Mark Calling" by the Blibbering Humdingers. To provide a contrast, Irvin choreographed this dance to be entirely side-by-side and partner-free, like "Spells and Scars." This decision was met with a lot of enthusiasm, and the dance was completed in less than a month, by January 2012.
However, Irvin then left for a semester in London in mid-January, so for the first time in the DDEs' history, a substitute had to lead in his stead. His regent was Leeza, who kept the Death Eaters reviewing their numbers, and even revisited "Death Eater Tango," until Irvin returns in mid-May. On January 13, there was a ceremony where Leeza will be formerly anointed the Dark Lady of the Dance, a title she maintained as Irvin's second-in-command even after his return.
In a departure from the usual schedule, the DDEs' continued working sporadically through the summer, and even recruited two new Death Eaters: Rosie and David, both from the NY Badassilisks. They then launched into their most ambitious routine yet: a Quidditch-themed dance to "Oliver Wood" by Witherwings. The dance was performed on brooms, included Bludgers and a Snitch, and had Leeza doing the most gravity-defying lifts Irvin knows. Such a number needed a spectacular occasion to be performed at...
For a while, there had been talk of having a big wizard rock concert in NYC to showcase all the local talent. Tired of waiting, Irvin decided to make it happen himself. So the Dancing Death Eaters would be hosting Avada KedavRock! 2012 that November, to showcase their new numbers and perform some old favorites. Not for nothing had Irvin been cultivating relationships with wrockers for years; he managed to assemble a spectacular lineup that included Carpe Geekdom, Gringotts Girls, Leth I Fold, Celestial Warmbottom, JFF, Madam Pince, and Swish and Flick. There would have been others, but circumstances like Hurricane Sandy got in the way. And Witherwings was championing the DDEs all the way, thrilled with the "Oliver Wood" routine.
The DDEs had another Halloween lesson in the lead-up to Avada KedavRock! This time, the costumes went beyond the HP fandom into things like Wicked, Star Trek, etc. No teeth were chipped this time around. Meanwhile, there was a Kickstarter for the concert, and the ultimate reward was a new dance by the DDEs to a song of the donor's choice. This was taken by the Gringotts Girls, so the Dark Lord and Lady came up with an eleventh-hour routine to "Oh, the Goblins and the Wizards Should Be Friends." This routine would have Leeza dressed as a goblin, and money scattering everywhere.
The concert itself was an enormous success, a grand six-hour affair heralded as one of the best wrock concerts out there. The DDEs performed no less than ten numbers - including the four new ones ("Stronger Than Imperio," "Dark Mark Calling," "Oliver Wood," and "Goblins" live with the Gringotts Girls), as well as six old favorites (all except "99 Death Eaters" and "Spells and Scars"). The numbers for Swish and Flick and Celestial Warmbottom were performed live with the artists; the non-live ones were scattered throughout the day between wrockers - this kept people from getting bored by forty minutes of dancing all at once. All the performers could not wait for the next Avada KedavRock! With this concert, the DDEs have officially arrived onto the scene and made a name for themselves in the wrock community... three years almost to the day after their first lesson.
Avada KedavRock! was an enormous triumph, but was followed by a somewhat turbulent period. The Dark Lady had devoted herself wholeheartedly to the DDEs in the fall, but could no longer maintain the commitment. It was with a heavy heart that the DDEs bid farewell to Leeza on November 30th. She was honored beyond all other Death Eaters, because no Death Eater had contributed more than she to the cause; she received a collage of evil photos from Irvin, and performed one final dance with him - the one she chose, unexpectedly, was Stronger Than Imperio. It was with a heavy heart that the Death Eaters bid her farewell, with the understanding that she would come back occasionally.
Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, that lesson was also David's last. After not showing up the next few weeks, he too left the DDEs. This happened just as the DDEs were about to shoot a new music video for their thirteenth dance: Celestial Warmbottom's "Dear J.K. Rowling." This was a highly comedic routine, set to a song about Dumbledore's sexuality, and served as an homage to the first twelve dances by having an iconic move from each of them serve as the choreography. Irvin would be Dumbledore, with Mary, Sheila, and Rosie as Madam Pomfrey, Madam Rosmerta, and McGonagall respectively. David was to be Grindelwald, but when he dropped out at the last second, Leeza returned for the video shoot to quickly learn the part and portray Grindelwald in the music video. The video is notable for being the first to feature the song's artist in a cameo appearance.
The rest of 2013 proved somewhat stagnant in terms of the DDE progress. Now, with a roster of four - Irvin, Mary, Sheila, and Rosie - the DDEs began working on a new routine, one that's very dance-heavy without gimmicks. Unfortunately, progress was halted halfway through for a hiatus that encompassed spring breaks, the Quidditch World Cup, and MISTI-Con 2013. At MISTI-Con, Irvin (as Lucius Malfoy) taught an hour-long dance class - "The Art of Wizard Dance" - where fifteen newbies learned a modified version of "Dark Mark Calling" in an hour, and then performed at the closing Masquerade Ball (Irvin dressed as Narcissa Malfoy this time). The class was certainly a success, and Irvin intends to do it at future cons again (perhaps with other dances).
But upon resuming DDE lessons in May, Rosie had already left for the summer. With Rosie vanishing without a trace, the DDEs were down to only Irvin, Mary, and Sheila. Halting progress on the new dance, Irvin spent the summer reviving an old and forgotten classic, "Spells and Scars" - one of the DDEs' best routines, and one that needed to be seen again. As usual, recruiting was done over the summer, and though a few new people joined for a few weeks, ultimately only one stuck it out - Katy. A lawyer (in case anyone thinks of suing us!) and a Hermione at heart, she has now taken Rosie's place in the roster. Ever since the recruiting period, the DDEs have been hard at work on the new dance, and it is nearing completion.
There are also murmurings of a second Avada KedavRock!... details will be made available soon.