Past Pupils & Testimonials
Living his dream Mr. Lorcan O' Neill Flashback Friday as I look at all the talent on stage today Perform Ireland im reminded they all have a dream I just hope they have as much passion and commitment as this man does to go out into the world and get it.
So proud of this man Lorcan O' Neill he achieved so much in his career and has explored so many creative avenues. Check out his story! https://www.lorcanjoneill.com/
HOW LONG WAS I A MEMBER OF ULTRA FLEX?
CAN YOU REMEMBER WHAT YOU FELT LIKE ON YOUR FIRST DAY?
This was a funny one. Because being a young 13-year-old boy I had an ego too obtain but also an obligation to go because my friend Amy Foley asked that I try it out and I knew I couldn't let her down. Of course, I told no one that I was going and I was extremely nervous. Especially seeing all the girls who I know and liked at the time. So I felt within myself and excited at the same time. I knew I wanted to dance but making the first step was the hardest part. I joined because I saw a boy (Micheal Foley) in their school show and it blew my mind to see another boy dancing with girls. He was doing all sorts of tricks and being a keen breakdance loved this. I went to the performance to make no but I came out inspired and that night changed the rest of my life. So that very first day was nervous, scary and daunting but once Kim started to teach with that massive smile and very inviting asking me to come to the front I started to relax and the support I got from everyone was my new home.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY?
Uff so many. God so sooooo much happened you can imagine in 6 years. I could say my first trophy which was in Tralee in the Brandon hotel coming 3rd I the freestyle competition. Which is funny cause I wasn't really of that style or watching the FIRST TOY STORY in Tralee. Or the wonderful trip to toboggan with Macroom and Ballincollig ultra flex in 2002. (Beyonce was huge back then lol) but in all honesty. My favorite moment was 'Class'. We always had such good fun I class making new routines and having many laughs and of course tears and sometimes rage. But that's what it was always about. Passion in the end and that built community. Kim creates an environment where we all got to truly express ourselves and thrive. So it is always in the classroom that was my favorite moment.
HOW IMPORTANT WAS DANCE IN YOUR LIFE GROWING UP?
Simply it was the most important lesson in life. It teaches you manners, it teaches you the confidence to be comfortable with people men and women. It gives you support. It gives you community. As a man, it's not a bad thing either with the ladies or men whichever you prefer to be able to dance. It's a universal language. Dance brought passion and smiles too my life. It has brought me all over the world. I got to dance in Hong Kong, Spain, Germany, England, France, Luxembourg Russia, etc... It has been so kind to me and the joy you can bring to others by doing what you love makes up for all the blood sweat and tears it takes to be a dancer. The friends you meet in dance are your friends for life.
HAS DANCE IMPACTED YOUR LIFE CHOICE IN ADULTHOOD?
Indeed it has. After my wonderful time with ultra flex with Kim of 6 years, i went on to study dance in colaiste stiophain naoife for two years and continued my training at LCDS (London Contemporary School of Dance) and worked as a professional Contemporary and ballet dancer/ actor to this very day. Because on that first day in 1999 joining ultra flex I have never looked back. I caught the bug and now work as a dancer/actor. The road to being a dancer is a tough one because of the effort that is required but if you listen enough and practice a lot. See do come true. So I am still living the dream.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF WOULD BE THE BEST PART OF ULTRA FLEX?
Getting to dance with your best friends every week.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ANYONE OUT THERE THINKING OF JOINING DANCE?
Do it and make your life bigger. It will make you larger than life and command respect amongst others. The gift of learning how to dance makes for a richer future. People will be inspired and curious about you. Which is always a nice thing.
WHERE AM I CURRENTLY BASED?
Currently living in Dublin Pursuing an acting career but also still involved in dance and theatre. No matter how much I retire from dance it never leaves you. As an actor dance has benefited my life greatly and given me a great advantage skills-wise in terms of memory and repetitive movement. The skill of having dance benefits all the life skills I have found. People always want to learn how to move.
WHAT AM I CURRENTLY UP TO?
At the moment I am involved in a music video for an emerging Dublin female artist named ELKAE and have been cast as the lead dancer. After that, I will be shooting two films one short film in cork and a feature sci film in Dublin. So keep your eyes peeled for the new music video coming too a YouTube near you pretty soon
Ms. Kayla Mc Carthy - Ballincollig Co, Cork.
Ms Connie Jane Lovell - Macroom
Welcome to Flashback Friday check out the amazing Connie Jane Lovell this is her journey x
Let me introduce you to the amazing and beautiful Connie Jane Lovell
Read her amazing journey and with so much more to give to this profession, she has an amazing future. Congratulations we love you from all at ultraflex and are so proud to have apart of your journey.❣️
What age were you when you started ultraflex?
I was 9 years old joining Ultraflex after just moving to Cork from London
How long where you a member of ultra-flex?
I was an Ultraflex member for about 10 years when I went on to study Dance at college for a further 6 years!
Can you remember how you felt on your first day?
I remember my first day climbing the stairs up to the town hall in Macroom. A few of my school friends were already Ultraflex members so there were familiar faces to ease the nerves. I had danced since I was 3 years old but this day was the first time I would learn ‘kicks across the floor’ and the magic of a ‘cross tap cross kick’!
Are you still in touch with your dance class friend?
I am lucky enough to have made a friend for life from my days at Ultraflex. Clare Cronin and I would travel from Macroom to Ballincollig together every Thursday and Saturday for our classes. We became best friends, dance partners and still nickname ourselves ‘partners in crime’..(Don’t ask?!). We ended up in London together in the name of Dance! <3
How important was your dance in your life growing up?
More important than I can even understand I think!
Dance has always been an anchor in my life, a constant, a way of expressing myself non-verbally, of getting to know myself and my abilities. Growing up, I wasn’t the most confident or self-assured person. Dance allowed me to explore my voice and my character through being creative and performing.
With dance, your working towards something always, be it a show, a sharing, a competition but the process and preparation are just as important and fun-filled as the end goal!
Having dance practice in my life as a young person, I saw myself grow and grow as a result of dedication and passion.
For me, learning dance has been full of empowerment. There’s always the opportunity to self-interpret, even if we'd all learning the same thing. Whether it is musically/ stylistically/ dynamically etc, you make the choices when applying it to your body. This is practicing interpretation, choice-making, and exploring your unique creative voice!
Dance- Contemporary Dance
Iv experienced ‘Dance’ in many ways and forms on my journey. Firstly learning routines and making choreography to music/songs. Then training in Musical Theatre, where singing dancing and acting can happen together at once. And then onto Contemporary Dance where the movement/dance is (majority of the time) created without music, and the music/sound added afterward to add another layer to the work.
A deep interest in the body moving and why it needs to dance is what led me into Contemporary Dance and a 3 year Degree. I was fascinated with the idea of ‘authentic’ movement, why and where the movement is coming from?
Contemporary Dance sees the moving body as already dancing. By zoning into our everyday movement and how the body works we can transfer this into Dance. Even when learning group choreography, the movement strives to come from an authentic place through the practice of embodiment. So we practice finding the movement in our own body, from the inside-out!
Saying all that, dance to music is always special and fun. I still need to often take myself to the studio, put on a track and let it all out. It is how I learned to dance and is where passion can always be found!
Has dance impacted your life's choice with growing up or in adulthood?
For me, Dance has always been rooted in the connection I can have with my body. Tuning into thoughts/emotions/feelings and using the body as a vehicle to express these. Dance has shown me how to express my truest self to the fullest and ill always strive to keep doing this in my life!
I think Dance is one of the few things that bring us into the present moment. Nothing else matters when you are dancing, your exactly where you should be! Realising this as my need for Dance, I have aimed to carry this forward into my wider life, this idea of presence. Life is one big dance after all!
‘To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.’- Agnes De Mille
Dancing is empowering!
What would you say to your 8yr old self would be the best part of ultra-flex?
The chance to have fun, explore your creativity, be part of a team, show off and shine!
What would you say to anyone out there thinking of joining ultraflex?
Ultraflex is full of passion, positivity, fun, and authenticity. Kim is the queen of her talent. She is a caring, genuine, nurturing and passionate teacher. Ultraflex encourages and believes in every student individually and is like joining a family!
Where are you based now?
I am now based back in Cork after spending 5 years full of Dance in London!
What are you currently up to?
I have been teaching Yoga in various contexts, dancing as a free-lancer, and working in a café!