FOR model Orla Sexton doing a deportment course changed her life. Not only did it help her gain confidence, it also shaped her career. Now Orla plans to share her experience with other young women.
Orla has recently formed her own business Orla Sexton Modelling as part of which she gives classes in grooming and deportment.
Deportment, says the West Clare woman, involves “walking with refinement, your posture and how you carry yourself”.
“Deportment is great for building confidence. There aren’t many places you can do deportment here in Clare. I had to go to Galway with Catwalk Model Agency when I was doing it,” she recalls.
Orla has already given a series of classes at her old secondary school St Joseph’s in Spanish Point.
“It started from Spanish Point where I did a grooming and deportment course. It lasted eight weeks and consisted of one class every week in the school. At the end of it, the pupils were awarded certificates and we had a fashion show in the school for them. It went really well from there and I decided to go out and start on my own. I set up the website, www.orlasextonmodelling.com a couple of weeks ago and now I am hoping to go out to more schools,” Orla continued.
“It went really well with the students. It is great for networking with new people and I just think it is really brilliant,” she adds.
So what are the most common deportment mistakes people make? Orla believes it is people’s posture.
“A lot of people walk a little bit hunched over. I have to get them to keep their shoulders back and it builds confidence. Students especially are very shy and when the deportment is combined with public speaking, it builds confidence,” Orla states.
According to the former Miss Ireland contestant, deportment plays a big part in the way you see yourself as well as the way others see you.
“Having your shoulders back makes a huge difference to your appearance. It makes you look more confident. You aren’t stooped forward. It is better for your self-esteem. There is a big difference too in other people’s perception of you. Whether you are doing interviews or just in normal life, you look better and are more confident,” Orla continues.
“In the classes, students are interacting and meeting new people as well so I think that helps too,” she adds.
Orla’s own career, she says, was boosted by having done a deportment course and by having someone there to give her advice.
“It is of great advantage for aspiring models. It gives them an insight into the industry and makes them aware of how competitive it is. It also gives them the basics about make-up and styling and etiquette so before approaching agencies, it is good to have the course done and know the basics
“I started off when I was 16 doing a grooming and deportment class. It was an eight-week course in Catwalks in Galway. It was of great benefit. From there, I started doing shows and different things and I met a lot of different girls. I was shy and didn’t have a lot of confidence at that age, so it helped me,” she reflected.
Grooming too is vital to aspiring models, Orla points out.
“You need to know how to apply make-up and how to keep yourself in good condition. It is important to know the basic essentials like healthy eating, getting lots of sleep, drinking plenty of water,” she says.
Orla believes there is a market out there for grooming and deportment classes, saying: “You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.”