She was a scholarship student at the Oklahoma University School of Ballet where she graduated and received the Outstanding Student and Choreography awards. Following graduation, O'Rourke studied at the International School of Ballet in Cannes, France and completed three teachers courses with renowned Master Teacher, David Howard.
O'Rourke served as president of the Iowa Dance Council and as a consultant to the Iowa Arts Council. She has been a faculty member in the Drama Department at CLARKE COLLEGE, and an artist-in-residence for the Washington and Roosevelt Middle Schools performing arts programs. In the fall of 2008, she served as Artist-in-Residence for the Dubuque Arts Council. With students from the Academy, she annually hosted Dubuque area students during the "Flight" programs to introduce the arts.
In 2010 O'Rourke was director of the Academy and instructor. She was also the director of the DCYB and the Heartland Ballet. She staged all the most famous ballets, created numerous original ballets and in 2002, wrote the original ballet/play "The Golden Glow" performed at the FIVE FLAGS THEATER. She staged two dozen musicals with university, high and middle schools and choreographed both GET THE LEAD OUT and "Joe Sent Me" musicals dealing with Dubuque history.