- 2018. What a year. So, after winning Ireland’s Got Talent, tell us what has the year been like?
A: Well, in a nutshell it has been an absolute whirlwind. From the moment we entered the competition we were catapulted into a world full of busy but exciting times. There was a lot of hard work and dedication from the word go and when the winner of IGT was announced that night back in March 2018, I knew then it was the beginning of one heck of a journey ahead. Owning the title of the first winners of Ireland’s Got Talent is a feeling which none of the team will ever forget. They worked extremely hard to get through each of the Judges’ rounds, and to take home the winners title was just unbelievable for them. Since winning, so many doors have opened up for us in the industry, as a dance team and also for each individual on the team and in the school. We have some fantastic opportunities coming up for RDC and the school as a whole.
- So, we will be seeing RDC on our TV screens in 2019. Can you give us any teasers on what we can expect to see?
- It’s a winners special, based on the journey it took from way back then to get to the present day, and getting to the Ireland’s Got Talent stage. The team had so much fun filming for it. We can promise you it is a very entertaining production. We are so excited to finally get to show Ireland the new performances we have been working on since we won.
- Sounds like ye have been keeping extra busy. I can imagine this takes untold dedication from you and the team? How do you keep the positive vibe going for the 30 plus kids and your team?
- Yes, the rehearsals can be exhausting don’t get me wrong, but it’s the very same as sport. The passion and the drive you get from wanting to get out there and give it your best performance overrides any tiredness or negativity. We all love what we do.
- Would you say the experience has taught the kids much more about themselves?
- Without a doubt. Every one of them learned that if you work hard enough, and dedicate yourself to seeing it through, you can achieve anything. They had to learn to endure endless rehearsals, bus trips at dawn, and it was tough going at times but so worth it. We have built true lifelong friendships with each other.
- No doubt RDC dance school is one of the most sought after schools to be in now, but I know you take kids off all ages and standards. Have you anything you would like to say to someone who is interested in joining?
- We have a fantastic schedule of Musical Theatre and Dance classes ahead for the next term in Market Green Shopping Centres Midleton and Cork City, and in September 2019 we will be starting new classes. We teach beginners from age 3yrs to Senior. I built the school up from 8 students to where it is now and for a long time, I have taught every one of those students how to work hard and achieve their goals. I am very proud of that. Since the mid 90’s the kids who came through the doors all had a great start with my school, and I am so excited to watch them succeed in everything they do in the future. They love to dance, they love to sing and act and I am so thrilled that I can help them to work on that talent, and train them from beginners to professionals.
- So, Billie Jean, we know all about RDC and the year that was, but tell us about you, as a mum. How do you deal with this new life of fame?
- It is all a bit surreal for myself and the team, and everywhere we go as a team people recognise us. It was so funny the first few days after we won when we were out as a family. People were asking us for pictures etc., and we were looking behind us thinking they were talking to someone else! We get asked into shops for selfies and we were just knotted laughing at the thought of it at the beginning but it’s so nice to see the faces of the kids when they meet the team. They loved watching the crew on the telly, and to see that they are inspired by something that I produced is a dream come true for any teacher.
Q: What did you learn about yourself?
A: Anything is possible if you work hard enough at it. I learned that if you have a dream, then you can make it happen. My dream wasn’t to win Ireland’s Got Talent - my dream has always been to teach dance. To create RDC style edits and choreography and teach them to my students. Watching RDC perform on stage at the Helix was something else. I am so proud of each and every one of them.
Watch out for the winner’s special coming to your screens in January!
We wish RDC Dance School the very best of luck in the future, and will have further updates closer to the time on what we can expect to see on television in 2019.