Shane started training in acrobatic gymnastics at the tender age of 25. From there he became heavily involved in Gymnastics for All (GFA) as a coach education tutor and went on to become the first National Development Officer with Gymnastics Ireland. He was GFA National Squad Director for two years, choreographing group displays, combining gymnastics, costume, music and lighting. Just last year Shane was an International Evaluator at the FIG World Gym for Life Challenge in South Africa.
Shane moved across into the World of Aerial about five years ago. In 2013/14, he attended the Ecole Nationale de Cirque in Montreal where he took their High Performance Teacher Training Programme, specialising in Hand to Hand, Doubles Trapeze, Russian Bar, Banquine and Aerials. In the past year he started his company, TAKING FLIGHT aerial & acrobatics, specialising in the teaching of aerial and acrobatics in his own studio in Dublin city centre. He also teaches with APPA-NI, Belfast and facilitates workshops nationwide and internationally. In recent years, Shane led a Secondary Schools Aerial Project, bringing schools and aerial artists together. He has been a teacher at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival for the past five years.
Aisling Ní Cheallaigh is an Irish aerialist home grown and hand reared by a conglomerate of companies and coaches including Fidget Feet Aerial Dance, Ether Productions and Taking Flight. She delights in flight and movement and while she specialises in aerial hoop she is also an expert dabbler in Rope, Fabric, Doubles Trapeze and Cyr. She has travelled far and wide performing with various companies and has often landed in Montreal for further training. She is free range, organic and corn fed.
Jenny has been training her circus skills in the various cities her work has brought her to. Starting with the wonderful trio of girls in Sorcaluba in Cork, Jenny’s love affair with aerial began. While completing her MA in Human Rights, Jenny then trained trapeze and silks in Circus Space and Gravity in London. Over the years she has done workshops with Fidget Feet and various other visiting artists. Following this she trained in wonderfully diplomatic Geneva, at Théâtre-Cirqule. Since moving back to Dublin, Jenny has been training with Emily Aoibheann and Taking Flight, all the while fighting for the Irish people’s right... to circus.
Emmen is a multidisciplinary performance artist! Having grown up in a competitive sporting family and enjoying activities such as distance running and rhythmic gymnastics, he has gained a wealth of experience when it comes to discipline and endurance within circus and physical performance art! His work is an expression of dualities.... balancing poise and elegance with a distorted sense of exploration and wonder. Focused mainly on aerial acrobatics, dance, hand-balance and contortion, his work pushes the boundaries of what is expected of the body and solidifies a faith in the unknown, both physically and creatively!
As a tutor Emmen focuses heavily on form! Given most participants come to learning as adults, he believes that there are positive and negative body patterns in practise. It’s best to keep oneself safe whilst pushing the body to new and unfamiliar limits. With time and with the help of understanding apparatus and its demands, any participant can get to a level where they will be able to break down their findings (or their 'basics') and create their own path to achieve higher degrees of dynamic body patterns!
It helps he's a big odd ball too!!Emmen Donnelly on Youtube
Deirdre Casey got her start in aerial at the 2012 Irish Aerial Dance Festival as a beginner and has been training with Taking Flight since Sept 2014. Since catching the aerial bug Deirdre has performed at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival (2015), Mabos, The Chocolate Factory as well as the Irish Aerial Creation Centre. In 2015 she was the recipient of a bursary from the Arts Council to participate in a three week Intensive Creative program working with professionals from NECCA, Fidget Feet & IACC.
Deirdre's background is in Holistic Therapies and when not teaching and training she can be found running a successful corporate massage business - Zest at work.
What can we say about this guy? He grew up picking spuds, footing turf and running away from his nettle-wielding granny every time he cursed! That was quite often, and that woman could move! Ronan is an Engineering teacher on career break (I know, weird). He used to craft and manipulate metal into objects and gadgets. Makes sense, sort of, because now he manipulates large metal wheels into dances and performances.
He is currently owner and founder of Anomaly Personal Training and based in Athlone. Ronan was an inter county footballer with Roscommon up until 2011, with his most notable achievement a Connacht medal in 2010. Knocks and injuries forced him down a new path. He discovered aerial and acrobatics thanks to Taking Flight founder Shane Holohan. Through Aerial he found Cyr Wheel, acrobatics and handstands. His current focus is on Cyr wheel and partner acro while dipping his toe in some Crossfit style training. Having spent time in Montreal and Quebec Cities the past two summers, Ronan has worked his socks off at improving himself physically and technically.
Check him out on
Benny has been training in aerial for over two years now, specialising in Verticals and Doubles.
Jenn has been training in aerial for over 4 years now, specialising in Verticals, Supports and Cocoon.
Shane has been training in aerial for about 2 years now, specialising in Verticals.
Ashling has been training in aerial with us for about 1.5 years now, specialising in Verticals and Supports.