Trip down memory lane with Emma O'Flynn, professional Irish dancer. Emma is a former World Champion Dances . Emma is part of a group Dúltamán- Voice of the Celts that made it through to the final of Germany's Got Talent. Best of Luck in the final Emma
1) During what period did you attend Sacred Heart Secondary School?
I attended S.H.S.S. 2003-2009
2) What did you do for work experience in 4th year? Did the work experience benefit you and help you choose your job preference?
-One week in Clonakilty Library
-One week in Knockskeagh Primary School
~Growing up I used to love burying my head in a good book and becoming absorbed in the reading. I found it very soothing and I loved that feeling of getting lost in the book; thus my reason for choosing the library as my placement.
~ I thoroughly enjoyed working in the classroom with the young children. During my time on placement I assisted the boys and girls with their reading and writing. As it was approaching Easter I was very much involved in making up cards, designing Easter eggs as such. My week in Knockskeagh was split between the three classrooms and I liked the feel for the different classes and watching how the teachers delivered the lessons.
~ Getting out into the workplace was very beneficial for me. It was great to see firsthand experience of the teacher communicating with the children in a firm manner and really thinking outside the box to introduce the ‘fun’ element when the delivering the lessons. I found it very rewarding when the children listened to instructions, made an attempt, and through trial and error were able to figure out the solution for themselves.
~Certainly my week spent in Knockskeagh was a big learning curve for me. It taught me that you have to be very patient, organised, understanding and show compassion. I loved watching the kids learn, and how inquisitive they could be. For me, I enjoyed every minute of working with these kids, and in some shape or form I knew that my preferred job would be working alongside children.
3) What did you do after leaving school?
After leaving school I went on to study a Bachelor of Arts degree in Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. I auditioned during the February of my L.C. year and worked to get the points to be offered a position on the course. I am delighted to say that after 4 years of learning and growing as a performer at the Irish World Academy, with the very best of tuition, I graduated with a First Class Honours Degree. The fabulous Miss Jean Butler was my external examiner for my Final Year Performance.
4) Are you working / studying now? And if so where?
I am currently travelling the world as a professional Irish dancer. After years of competing on the big stage, I always hoped that one day I might perform in a professional capacity. Since 2014, I have performed to audiences in France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Cyprus, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Russia, South America, Canada, and Morocco.
5) What was your favourite memory of Sacred Heart?
I loved my time at Sacred Heart, especially the friends I made during my time there. We still hold onto those strong friendships. The lunch breaks were never long enough for us with all the laughs and chit chats we used have.
The highlights for me throughout the six years:
· School retreats
· Choral verse speaking- lamda exams
· 4th year Mime- which we performed at the ‘Briary Gap’ in Macroom
· Being a part of Mini-Company & creating something we believed in
· Visiting the Co-op patients and taking them swimming etc.
· Being able to speak openly about any issues or struggles we were dealing with in Religion class- Ms. Holland
· School Sport’s Days and representing the school in Cross-Country running
· School Orchestra for all of my 6 years, under the direction of Mrs. Murphy
· Cooking classes with Mrs. O’ Neill- always looked forward to taking home fresh baking
· Fourth Year Mass, displaying our team-building skills & what projects we took on throughout the year- ‘Folder of Achievements’
· L.C. Graduation Mass- reflecting on a fantastic journey at S.H.S.S
TO NAME BUT A FEW!
6) What advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Be open to whatever challenges may come your way! It’s ok to make wrong decisions and take a leap of faith. Not everything works out first time round, and sometimes it requires failure so that we can then learn from it and move on. None of us are perfect, and so I would tell my 16 year old self to always try new things, not to be hard on one-self, and to just embrace life to its fullest!
7) If you could change something in your time in Sacred Heart, would you? ... and if so, what would it be?
In hindsight, I was always good for listening in class and taking notes, but I was not a lover of speaking out. If I could change anything, it would be to challenge myself to ask more questions and not to shy away when delivering answers in the classroom.
8) If you could go back for 1 day, what would be the first thing you would do?
If I could go back for 1 day, I’d spend some time in the prayer room- I used to love entering this room & just relax. I’d take a walk around the library, take a seat in the music room & I would most definitely spend time in the most pinnacle point of the school for me- the Assembly hall. I have so many great memories to cherish from here during my time at S.H.S.S.
Emma O’ Flynn
Class of 2009