The IBTA represents Irish ballet teachers registered with highly respected worldwide organisations: Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), and International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA), British Ballet Organization (BBO), Association of Russian Ballet & Theatre Arts (ARBTA) and others. We undergo extensive years of training and subsequent examinations to be qualified to teach and train ballet students from recreational up to pre professional level in a safe and disciplined environment. IBTA also includes representatives from Ballet Ireland, Ireland’s national ballet company which is funded by the Arts Council and Irish National Youth Ballet (INYB), Cork Youth Ballet Company and Youth Ballet West (YBW). All ballet schools in Ireland are privately run education establishments, and teachers are both self employed and employers, paying significant tax, local charges and rents etc. They are important contributors to the economy. Our members are dance educators.
During the COVID19 Pandemic, we formed the IBTA as a support mechanism for ballet teachers across Ireland. It became the focal point for the representation of those ballet teachers and demonstrated the need for collaboration and communication as one body.
The practice of classical ballet education was not recognised formally in the road map for reopening Ireland during the pandemic. However, the IBTA had a more powerful, united voice through being together. The IBTA were able to lobby the Government for recognition as a sector and respond to the media to ensure that good quality information was available to our customers – our students and their families. Collectively, we were able to respond as a sector to develop safety protocols for teaching ballet in the context of Covid 19, and to support our members through this difficult time.
As the pandemic loosens its grip on our society, we continue to provide appropriate COVID-19 support to our members. However, the current focus has been on other types of support.
In August 2022, we held our first face-to-face CPD event in Dublin. We had lecturers in physiotherapy (focus on hyperextension in knees), Osteopathy (focus on our pelvis and hips), and the educational benefits of dance (focus on its use in schools). It was fantastic to see teachers from all over Ireland converging on Dublin and this event to engage in their development.
In March 2022, we formed a small project team to investigate what a short course would comprise, and by April, we had a Scoping Document approved by the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment). We spent the summer developing a detailed specification that we shared with our members at the first CPD event.
As we look forward to the next five years, we have developed a strategy to continue the great work which we started during the pandemic. The immense value of being together to discuss our needs and hopes as educators in Ireland must continue. To do this we have a three-pronged approach to further support our members:Our Members: Continuous Professional Development
Ballet is defined as a form of dance developed initially in Italy in the late 16th century. Ballet has been part of this country’s cultural landscape since the first commercial theatre was built in Dublin around 1636. In 1927, a significant development took place when William Butler Yeats invited Ninette de Valois to help him establish the Abbey Theatre School of Ballet at the National Theatre. This school has immense importance in the history of Irish ballet and much of Ireland’s subsequent ballet history has stemmed from it.
Ballet activity in Ireland has grown enormously since then and ballet classes are hugely popular with many students progressing on to professional training in schools in the U.K. and further afield. Classes offer not only the opportunity to train and progress towards becoming a professional dancer, but also provide both health and fitness and are a form of creative expression; an important asset to the educational & social lives of Irish people.
Irish ballet teachers have trained professional dancers who feature in some of the finest companies around the world. Current examples include:
B. Phil. Hons
Principal Corrib Dance Academy
MD Youth Ballet West
Artistic Director CYBC
Principal Cork School of Dance
ISTD DDE, NCEF
Prin. Brocklebank Academy of Dance
RAD RTS, BBO RT, AIDTA, MA (DIST)
Principal Cantarina Music & Dance School Director Kerry Tap Ensemble & IDO Team Ireland
ISTD RT, FUKA, RAD, PBT
HNC, HND, Nat Dip
Principal The Academy of Dance
Teacher Associate ARBTA
Level 2 Gymnastics Ireland Coach
Principal Daisy School Of Dance
LRAD, ARAD, RAD RTS
PBT, Pilates Level 3
Artistic Director INYB
Teacher Corrib Dance Accademy
Teacher Shannon Dance Accademy
NBS TTC (Dip)
Principal Lucy French School of Dance
Dip Ballet Rombert
Principal The Goode School Of Dance
BA Hons Pro Dance & Performance
Masters In Education
Principal Destination Dance
Teacher Zona Dance Company
Approximate Figures Based On On research And Survey