Youth Dance Companies
Steptacular Performing Arts
Steptacular Performing Arts was established in 2006 by Director Nicole McDonald. Their aim is to provide the best performance and dance training to students, delivered by highly qualified instructors who encourage each and every student to be the best they can be. Twice a year they take to the stage for their Summer Show and the Steptacular Panto.
They have had incredible opportunities to perform in the UK, Barcelona and Disneyland Paris, as well as at home in Ireland. They have worked and performed with DYDC, the Irish National Youth Ballet and the Noise Dance Festival as well as performing for local clubs, nursing homes and hospices. The school are very proud of their award-winning students who have competed in Ireland and the UK with huge success.
For their Resilience Programme piece, they have commissioned choreographer Laura McDonagh, to choreograph a piece involving 10-15 young dancers aged 13-17. The theme of the work is ‘positivity’ around supporting our youth to adapt to the new world we find ourselves in, along with embracing new opportunities that have arisen by focusing on new beginnings, new journeys and new paths as well as addressing the challenges our young people face when they come to crossroads in their lives- going to college, making decisions, ad accepting these challenges.
New Moon Youth Dance Company
New Moon Dance Company based in Cork was founded in 2005 under the direction of Tina Horan. It caters for young students of dance ranging from 5-19 years of age. New Moon encourages the students to develop and create their own work.
Every year the company does an End of Year show to exhibit new original pieces of work. They incorporate project work that they have carried out with different choreographers, film makers, visual artists and photographers. New Moon perform locally at shows, festivals and parades. They have travelled to Dublin for many years to take part in the Irish Youth Dance Festival and have performed at the Waterford Opera House and at venues in the UK and Europe.
New Moon’s Resilience Programme piece ‘Me, The Pandemic and How It Enriched Me’, will be based around the emotional, mental and physical style changes that have come about in the students of the dance company during lockdown. It will show in a more in-depth way the impact of the pandemic on the young dancers lives and how they have changed. An original sound scape which will use the voices of the dancers and instrumentation with support from musicians.
Limerick Youth Dance Company
Limerick Youth Dance Company, established in 2019, is an ensemble of 13 members aged 11-18. Over its first year it grew from 5-14 members, both organically and through auditions. To date they have created 2 live dance works and 2 dance films, with national and international recognition. LYDC has been previously funded by Dance Limerick, Arts Council Ireland, and Limerick Arts Office. Their mission is to promote a standard of excellence in dance with and by young people of Ireland.
For the Resilience Programme, LYDC will create an original piece of dance work to music developed by Gavan Bourke. Rachel Sheil (Artistic Director) will initiate and develop the choreography in tandem with the members of LYDC. Their inspiration has come from a song by artist Aurora called “Infections of a Different Kind” exploring mental health, relationship with others and one’s own place in the world. They will also investigate the use of “flocking” as a choreographic tool, in facilitate uniformity in movement whilst still keeping a social distance.
DU Dance (NI)
*photographer: JC Photography
DU Dance (NI) is a professional dance development company based in Belfast, working in communities across Northern Ireland and Internationally. Their aim is to introduce young people to dance and related creative activities, and to advocate for dance as a tool for facilitating personal and social development. Their vision is to advance dance as an art form, build community connections and foster tolerance and respect. DU Dance offers a range of small and large scale contemporary dance performance projects, across communities which may have limited or no dance provision and with people experiencing social exclusion, challenging traditional views of the relevance and value of dance.
“Crossing the Divide”, DU Dance’s work for the Resilience Programme, focuses on cross-community work using dance with its physical, emotional and cognitive demands as a tool to provide people with a safe environment to let go of fears and prejudices and begin to have contact with each other that is based on our common humanity. Belfast Boys is a project involving boys aged 7-16 years from across greater Belfast, challenging the perception that dance is for girls and giving them a safe space for participation. They will work alongside choreographer Sean O’Neill to develop their performance piece.
Laois Youth Dance Ensemble
Laois Youth Dance Ensemble is a contemporary youth dance company funded by Arts Council Ireland and supported by Laois Arts Office and Dunamaise Arts Centre. It was founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Erica Pessanha Borges. LYDE hosts Laois Dance Platform (annual international festival) and facilitates young people to create and produce contemporary dance works to a high standard of performance, through weekly training, annual showcases and attendance at renowned national and international events.
For the Resilience Programme, LYDE have developed a piece –“Follow My Steps” with original music, inspired by the “Court Dances” aimed for the participants to achieve a deeper sense of creativity, investing feelings and allowing to be influenced as they learn and create.
Dublin Youth Circus
Dublin Circus Project is a non-profit, member-based organisation, founded in 2009 and working to bring the circus arts to life in Dublin and beyond. They do this through building awareness, increasing participation by all and by raising the skill levels of practitioners in Dublin. DCP runs a variety of youth circus training programmes for those aged 4 to 18 years old, from playschool right up through secondary school. They also work with community groups, home schools, summer schools, those who are at-risk and anyone else who would like to bring circus to the lives of young people.
DCP will be performing their piece “Disjointed” for the Resilience Programme. They will be using juggling props acrobatics and dance to investigate connection and disconnection between friends, family and foes.