Young social innovators at Scoil Mhuire gan Smal show off their moves!

The 12 members of Scoil Mhuire gan Smal Young Social Innovators (YSI) team presented their Strictly Come Dancing for Over 60s last month. After careful planning and organising the event was a huge success, bridging stereotypes between the younger and the older generations of our local community. The primary objective of the Transition Year programme, Young Social Innovators, is to identify an issue in society and solve it. In the early stages of brainstorming the focus of their project, the team was drawn to stereotypes. They sensed that specific stereotypes were being reflected on both the elderly and teenagers, one being that people over the age of 60 are not as active as they were. It could also be said that the teens of today are lazy and surgically attached to their phones. The YSI team saw this event as an opportunity to bridge the stereotypes in a fun way that engaged with their community and strategic advertising earned the girls 8 couples to participate in their competition. After four weeks of rehearsals, the Young Social Innovators developed a strong bond with the competitors. The competition began with an opening speech from one of the YSI students, who then introduced to the stage Mr. O’Donovan, the smooth-talking MC who set the mood for the night. Mr. O’Donovan presented the three judges; Edelle Notte, Sophie Williams, and Jane Duffy. A group dance was then performed by the over 60s and members of the YSI team to “Staying Alive”. There was a lively response from the audience and a vibrant atmosphere. The couples then strutted their stuff, each earning whoops and cheers for their confidence and grace. Each member of the audience had an audience vote, worth two additional points to the judges’ score, which they gave to their favourite of the four couples of the first half. The voting took place during the interval in which raffle tickets were bought. A variety of talented students also performed during the interval, those being Sarah Sweeney who sang, Saoirse O’Hanlon playing the fiddle, and Karen O’Farrell who performed some Irish dancing. The final four couples, full of spirit, wowed the audience with their slick moves, never letting the standard drop. A variety of dances were completed such as the jive, the waltz, the quickstep, and the foxtrot. Before the night came to an end, the audience again voted for their favourite couple of the second half. As voting procedures took place and final raffle tickets were bought, 3rd Year students Niall Coleman, Ryan Daly, and Luke Walsh entertained the audience with singing and electric guitars. Ultimately Mary and Jenny took third place, second place was awarded to Dan and Marie, and in first place were the wonderful Jacinta and Dan Ahern, who received trophies created with great skill by Mr. French.YSI 29216289_1862201893804352_1769176327203586048_n