\"Bridget

Bridget Flynn. Photo by: Handout

In Focus: Bridget Flynn of the Bronx's Flynn School of Irish Dance

\"Bridget

Bridget Flynn. Photo by: Handout

A Bronx native, Flynn runs the Flynn School of Irish Dance with her brother Sean. She is among the honorees being recognized by the Aisling Irish Community Center next month at the group's 10th annual dinner dance.

Tell us about your Irish heritage.

"My dad was born in New York and his parents were from Arigna and Drumboylan, Co. Roscommon and my mom was also born here. Her parents were from Grange, Co. Sligo and Killimor, Co. Galway.

"I am one of eight children and we grew up with Irish music playing in the house at all times.  My parents had six of us enrolled in Irish dance with the Jerry Mulvihill School and then the McLaughlin School.  I played the piano, accordion and then the tin whistle with Martin Mulvihill.  We spent our weekends at dance and music classes and travelled around to feis. 

"I started travelling to Ireland at the age of 11 to dance at the world's in Dublin during Easter breaks, and the to fleadhs every August for the music. 

"The Irish culture was a very important part of our upbringing.  The best part of it all are the friends I've met along the way. They are all still a very big part of my life and we all still share the same passion for Irish music and dance. 

"I took a long hiatus from the dancing world, but eventually I ended up back in it and I really love teaching.  I am once again travelling every weekend to various parts of the globe to watch and encourage my own students."

Tell us about the Flynn School of Dance which you run with your brother Sean.

"Sean and I started the school about nine years ago.  Sean, an ADCRG, has been an Irish dance adjudicator for many years and travels every weekend around the world to judge the competitions.  He inspired me to start teaching and we have been at it ever since. 

"Originally I thought an hour or two a week would suffice, but classes are on six days a week and there are never enough hours!  We absolutely love it and we enjoy seeing the accomplishments of the dancers.

"Irish dance is an extremely difficult and disciplined sport, therefore commitment is necessary.  The dancers make us very proud on a regular basis!  We teach at the Aisling Irish Community Center, which is a great, central location for all and the staff there is fabulous.  We are very lucky to be connected with them."
 
You also worked in the past as an MRI technician. Do you miss working in the medical industry?

"I trained to be an ultrasound tech first, then went on to study MRI.  I did love the field at the time, but after 10 years of it I decided to go back to my real passion, Irish dance."

Why do you think Irish stepdancing remains such a popular hobby?

"Riverdance put Irish dance out there for the world to see.  I do believe that is a major part of its popularity.  However, Irish dance has progressed so much over the years.  The dance itself has become so much more intricate and difficult.  A great dancer spends years training and practicing, and any audience will enjoy the results."
 
What does it mean to be honored by the Aisling Irish Center?

"It is an absolute honor for me! The Aisling Center does, and has done, so much for this community, as well as other communities and neighborhoods in need.  They offer so much to all age groups in the neighborhood with the various programs and workshops.  I am so proud to be associated with them, and I am so humbled that they have chosen me as an honoree this year. "
 

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