Judith Sibley: Principal


Dublin born Judith Sibley is one of Ireland’s most prestigious ballet artists. She studied at the acclaimed Elmhurst Ballet School and the Ballet Rambert School, London. She has performed with Vienna Festival Ballet, Rubato Ballet, New Balance Dance Company, Ballet Ireland, Spirit of the Dance, Phantom of the Opera in both Belgium and Germany, Cork City Ballet, Irish National Youth Ballet, Youth Ballet West, The Great Waltz, and Coisceim ( for the Ryder Cup). Judith has toured internationally, performing principal and soloist roles in all the major classical ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker.

She has choreographed for Cork City Ballet, Baboro Festival, Macnas, Cuirt Festival, and Catastrophe Theatre Company. Her work has been invited to The Galway Arts Festival, The Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Absolute Fringe Festival, Flights of Fancy Festival, Feile na Bealtaine, and Louisburgh Arts Festival.

Having gained the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma with Distinction, Judith teaches at Shannon and Corrib Dance Academies. She has tutored internationally for the RAD, and has taught ballet as far afield as Singapore and Italy. She spent six years as Chairperson of the RAD’s Regional Advisory Committee in Ireland and is currently a Director of Irish Ballet Forum.

Judith is Artistic Director of Chrysalis Dance, Ireland’s only neo-classical dance company, and has choreographed Strings, Wishes and Waves, Love and Other Disguises, Soul/S, Ways You Wander, Connect For and Thought Once Was, for the company. She is also Artistic Director and lead choreographer of Youth Ballet West.


Mary Walsh

BA (Hons) Ballet Education LRAD ARAD RTS

Mary studied at the Royal Academy of Dance headquarters in London and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Ballet Education. While there she also completed the Licentiate of the RAD course and, on successfully passing her Advanced 2 exam, was awarded LRAD status as well as being invited to become an Associate of the RAD.

Mary started dancing with Corrib Dance Academy in Galway at a young age where she completed many ballet and modern exams as well as gaining performance experience. She was a founding member of Youth Ballet West and was invited to perform as an apprentice dancer with professional company Chrysalis Dance with whom she toured Ireland.

Since graduating she has taught in schools in Ireland, Germany, Australia, Scotland and Hong Kong preparing students for performances and RAD ballet exams. She has also toured Western Australia working with Perth City Ballet, performing for children in under privileged schools to introduce them to dance. After two years teaching in Hong Kong Mary has returned to Ireland and is looking forward to meeting her new students at Shannon Dance Academy


Sheelagh Hayes

School Administrator and Teaching Assistant

Born in the UK Sheelagh commenced her dance training in London. Having moved to Dublin at the age of 7 she continued her dance studies at the Harcourt School of Ballet and the Abbey School of Ballet (started by Dame Ninette de Valois) and successfully gained all the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) grade examinations.

Sheelagh danced and choreographed for many musical societies and clubs in Dublin where she also taught teenage jazz and ladies keep fit classes for many years. She moved to Galway in 2001.
Sheeelagh is administrator for Shannon Dance Academy, and teaching assistant when required. She is the costume co-ordinator for the school, a role she fulfills for Galway’s Corrib Dance Academy also. In addition she works as administrator and costume co-ordinator for Youth Ballet West, Chrysalis Dance and Catastrophe Theatre Company.



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