Principal, ISTD FDI, CDE (MTB), ID Dance, NCEF
Kate O’Connor began dancing professionally at the age of 17 with various professional dance companies and major scale International productions. Commencing her professional career in the prestigious Jury’s Irish Cabaret, Kate has performed on Silja Line cruise ships, in the world famous "Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance" and "Feet of Flames".
Kate performed as a lead soloist both in the resident show based in Dublin, and on the 1998 American tour in Jury's Irish Cabaret performing to packed audiences night after night. While on the cast, Jury’s Cabaret was awarded “Best Variety Show” by The National Entertainment Awards which saw the cast performing live on RTE in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
Kate then joined as a principal dancer with the Irish Folk Ballet Company based out of London gaining experience in choreography and composing a number of original pieces for the company. In 2002, Kate created Rock ‘n’ Reels Dance Company, which provided top quality Irish Dance entertainment for private and corporate events with some of Ireland's finest Irish dancers from the world stage.
Kate has performed extensively touring throughout Europe and America. Kate appeared on television shows in many of these countries and appeared in several films including the fantasy film “The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns” starring Whoopi Goldberg and Randy Quaid.
In 1999, Kate became a member of Michael Flatley’s “Feet of Flames” with which she toured Europe extensively and featured in an on screen interview and a solo performance in “Michael Flatley Gold”. She later moved to the Las Vegas based “Lord of the Dance” performing the principal role of “The Spirit”
Kate has also worked in corporate hospitality and was responsible for recruiting and coordinating hospitality staff for guests of the 2002 American Academy of Achievement Awards, held in Dublin, Ireland. Guests of the prestigious summit included President Bill Clinton, Bono, Mikhail Gorbechev, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones and Quincy Jones to name a few.
Kate has choreographed for numerous Companies, Clubs and Dance Schools including-
Award winning Head Choreographer of Elevation Dance Team
Numerous Strictly Come Dancing events by local GAA clubs
Professional choreographer for Gymnastics Ireland affiliated club Cobra Gymnastics Club
Co- Director of Wicklow Youth Dance Company (performances at Festivals including DU Dance, Irish Youth Dance Festival, Taste of Wicklow, Culture Night and Children in Need)
Choreographer for Leinster Figure Champions 2012 of Scoil Rince Dunphy
Dance Studies & Qualifications:
Teaching Diploma in Modern Theatre Dance with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance- Certificate in Dance Education (Honours)
Registered member of the Associated Board of Dance
Certificate in Dance Performance (2yrs)
Acrobatic Arts certified
Aerial Arts (Hoop Theory) certified
Alixa Flexibilty Module 4 certified
Trained to the ISTD's highest vocational exams in Advanced 2 level in Modern Theatre Dance, in Classical Ballet with both the ISTD and Royal Academy of Dance, and in Contemporary Dance, Kate is a fully registered teaching member of both the ISTD and with the Associated Board of Dance. Qualified as a fitness instructor with a National Certificate in Exercise and Fitness (NCEF) in 2002, Kate is an avid learner and regularly upskills and upgrades her qualifications and is currently completing her 200hr RYT Yoga teaching qualification.
In 2006, Kate opened Elevation Dance School. Since that time, Kate has trained hundreds of students in private/community classes and in National Schools across Co. Wicklow and Dublin. Training students to vocational level both in ISTD exam preparations and for performance work has earned the school an excellent local reputation and 100% pass rate. Many of the original students who joined the school are still part of the ESPA family today, with many gaining entry on to third level dance programs along the way including-
· Bray Institute of Further Education
· Middlesex University UK
· University of Roehampton UK
· DCU, UCD and Maynooth University Dance Societies.
Many of Kate’s students have also performed in local Musical Society productions, won first place at The National Community Games Finals in dance solos, appeared on RTE television in youth dance program "Pump Up Your Dance" and have competed at international competitions achieving numerous 1st place awards.
Kate could not be more proud of her students and the bonds that have grown within the school. She believes opening students experiences up to as many different aspects of dance and performance under the careful direction of qualified expert teachers, including using guest tutors, is the only way to build truly versatile young performers and people.