Shannon Dance Academy based in St Mary’s National School, Athlone, re-opens its doors on September 6.
The school runs children’s ballet and modern dance classes on Mondays and Wednesday and has students from four 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 The Dean Crowe Theatre, and have performed with visiting ballet company, European Ballet.
Shannon Dance Academy is directed by one of Ireland’s leading ballerinas 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 has tutored internationally for the RAD and has taught ballet as far afield as Italy and Singapore. For six years she was chairperson of the RAD’s Irish Region and now she is a board member of Irish Ballet Forum. Judith is also artistic director of the hugely successful Youth Ballet West, based in Galway.
To register for a place at Shannon Dance Academy, call Sheelagh on (091 ) 797947.