Irish Ballet Teachers Assosciation

Irish Ballet Teachers Association

Welcoming All Ballet Teaching Organisations

Who Are We?

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.

Formation of IBTA

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.

About Us
About Us 2

Current Context - 2022

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.

Continuous Professional Development

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.

Junior Certificate Short Course in Dance & Movement

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.

The Path Ahead – the next five years

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
  • Two CPD face-to-face events each year as a minimum: example topics include Pointe work, pedagogy, ballet conditioning, etc
  • Two Virtual CPD lectures each year
Our Profession: Lobbying and Media
  • Scanning the environment to ensure that we have a voice in Arts and Education policy in Ireland
  • Finding and taking opportunities to put IBTA and its members in the media – focusing on the benefits of dance education for all
Our Students: Education & Pedagogy
  • Implementation of the JC Short Course
  • Ongoing support of dance in education: primary and secondary level
  • Continuing to promote dance education for all: supporting physical, cognitive, social and emotional well-being

Background

Background

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:

  • Zoe Ashe-Browne – Royal Ballet of Flanders, trained by Debbie Allen, Debbie Allen Dance School
  • Aisling Brangan - Scottish Ballet, trained by Mairead Langan, Metropolitan School of Dance
  • Melissa Hamilton - Royal Ballet, trained by Jennifer Bullick, Jennifer Bullick School of Ballet
  • Niamh O’Flannagain - Ballet Ireland, trained by Rachel Goode, Goode School of Dance
  • Gearoid Solan - Zurich Ballet, trained by Grainne MacArdle, Celbridge School of Ballet

Committee Members


Phyllis Hayes

Chair Person

B. Phil. Hons
RADTC
AISTD
Principal Corrib Dance Academy
MD Youth Ballet West

Sinead Murphy

Vice Chair Person

FISTD
Examiner
RADTC
Artistic Director CYBC
Principal Cork School of Dance

Caitríona Sheridan

Treasurer

BA
MAcc
ARAD, RADRTS
ISTD DDE, NCEF
Prin. Brocklebank Academy of Dance

Dr. Trish Melton

Education Officer

ISTD DDE
RAD RTS, BBO RT, AIDTA, MA (DIST)
Principal Cantarina Music & Dance School Director Kerry Tap Ensemble & IDO Team Ireland

Clarissa Michaux

Secretary

MA
LIDTA
ISTD RT, FUKA, RAD, PBT
HNC, HND, Nat Dip
Principal The Academy of Dance

Rebecca Flynn

Assistant Secretary

AIDTA
Teacher Associate ARBTA
PBT
Level 2 Gymnastics Ireland Coach
Principal Daisy School Of Dance

Lindsay Ashe-Browne

Committee Member

BA. Hons
LRAD, ARAD, RAD RTS
AISTD
PBT, Pilates Level 3
Artistic Director INYB

Clare Farrell

Committee Member

RAD RTS
ISTD DDE
Teacher Corrib Dance Accademy
Teacher Shannon Dance Accademy

Lucy French

Committee Member

NBS TTC (Dip)
RAD RTS
ISTD CDE
Principal Lucy French School of Dance

Rachel Goode

Committee Member

RAD TC
AISTD
Dip Ballet Rombert
Principal The Goode School Of Dance

Diarmaid O'Meara

Committee Member

BA Hons Pro Dance & Performance
Masters In Education
Principal Destination Dance
Teacher Zona Dance Company


60,000 Ballet Students In Ireland

60,000

Ballet Students In Ireland

240 Ballet Teachers In Ireland

240

Ballet Teachers In Ireland

€20,000,000 Revenue Generated Each Year

€20,000,000

Revenue Generated Each Year

Approximate Figures Based On On research And Survey