Irish Ballet Teachers Assosciation

Irish Ballet Teachers Association

The place of the professional ballet teacher

Who Are We?

The IBTA represents Irish ballet teachers registered with highly respected worldwide organisations: Royal Academy of Dance, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and International Dance Teachers Association . 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, Cork Youth Ballet Company and Youth Ballet West. All ballet schools in Ireland are private and teachers are both self employed and employers, paying significant tax, local charges and rents etc. They are significant contributors to the economy

Formation of IBTA

In the context of the current situation around Covid-19, the ballet teachers of Ireland have come together to form a new representative body, the IBTA, Irish Ballet Teachers Association.
The practice of classical ballet has not been recognised formally in the road map for reopening Ireland. As part of an Association, our members will have a stronger voice together, to lobby the Government for recognition as a sector. Collectively, we can respond as a sector to develop safe protocols for teaching ballet in the context of Covid 19, and to support our members.

About Us
About Us 2

Current Context

We recognise that Ireland has been facing a health threat the like of which we have not seen in 100 years. All of our daily lives have been changed dramatically. The Government together with the Irish people have worked together successfully to suppress transmission of the COVID-19 virus. As infected numbers ease and the threat reduces, we welcome the Government’s roadmap of easing restrictions on a phased basis.

The Path Ahead

As of October 22nd 2021 the guidelines covering dance and youth activities are now detailed below in the Arts Council YPCE Guidance.

Arts Council Guidelines

Social distancing in a ballet studio is the norm and students are acutely spatially aware. Never has anything been prescribed that is more perfect than the practice of classical ballet. Professionals and students alike have always needed to space themselves more than 2 metres apart to dance.

We look forward to a safe reopening of our sector. Access to daily training and conditioning is essential for professional dancers and vocational students who are recognised as elite athletes. Ballet training is primarily conducted in a properly equipped dance studio and necessitates several hours of training and conditioning each day to maintain technique and fitness.

IBTA is committed to best practice and has put in place detailed guidelines for our members. Vocational Ballet Schools have always operated to the highest best practice standards and are models of discipline.

Protocol For Resumption Of Training During Covid-19

Each studio owner should carry out a comprehensive risk assessment in order to refine and adapt these processes for maximum safety.

Dance Studio:


Stop The Spread




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
Principal Corrib Dance Academy
MD Youth Ballet West

Sinead Murphy

Vice Chair Person

Artistic Director CYBC
Principal Cork School of Dance

Caitríona Sheridan


Prin. Brocklebank Academy of Dance

Lindsay Ashe-Browne


BA. Hons
Artistic Director INYB

Lucy French

Committee Member

Principal Lucy French School of Dance

Mairead Langan

Committee Member

B.Phil. Hons
Principal Metropolitan School of Dance

Anne Maher

Committee Member

Artistic Director/CEO Ballet Ireland
Principal Anne Maher School Of Ballet

Clarissa Michaux

Committee Member

HNC, HND, Nat Dip
Principal The Academy of Dance

60,000 Ballet Students In Ireland


Ballet Students In Ireland

240 Ballet Teachers In Ireland


Ballet Teachers In Ireland

€20,000,000 Revenue Generated Each Year


Revenue Generated Each Year

Approximate Figures Based On On research And Survey