Shannon Dance Academy, based in St Mary’s National School, Athlone, re-opens its doors on September 7. The school runs children’s ballet and modern dance classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and takes students from 4 to 17 years of age.
The students are taught by professional dancers who have retrained to teach with the Royal Academy of Dance. The school’s policy is to teach dance to the highest standards with emphasis on a positive and encouraging learning environment. School principal, Judith Sibley explains, “Ballet is a wonderful way for young people to express themselves. So much of what we do here is based on interpretation and feeling. It’s an excellent way of developing a young person’s rhythm and musicality. In today’s screen-based environment it’s so important for our children to exercise and ballet has the added advantage of a strong focus on developing good posture.”
The Academy’s students take examinations with the RAD, London, perform in Athlone’s Dean Crowe Theatre, and have performed with visiting ballet company, European Ballet.
Shannon Dance Academy is directed by one of Ireland’s leading ballerina’s Judith Sibley. Judith trained at the prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School and Ballet Rambert, London. She went on to perform with Vienna Festival Ballet, Ballet Ireland, Rubato Ballet, Spirit of the Dance, Cork City Ballet, and Phantom of the Opera. She is the artistic director and choreographer of Chrysalis Dance Company; Ireland’s only neo-classical ballet company.
Ever aware of the need to be properly qualified to work with children, Judith gained her teaching qualifications with the Royal Academy of Dance. The RAD is the largest examining body for classical ballet in the world, promoting safe and correct training for young dancers. Judith is an international tutor for the RAD and has taught ballet as far afield as Italy and Singapore. She is also chairperson of the RAD’s Irish region.
To register for a place at Shannon Dance Academy, call Sheelagh on (091 ) 797947.