Celebrating dancers to be the best they can be
Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.
When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way. -
We encourage...life skills
Learning ballet is wonderful for children even if they never become dancers. It is wonderful because it teaches discipline, grace, and manners.
We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun
Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh
Teamwork can build friendships that last a lifetime
Thank you so much for all the fun, enthusiasm and beautiful dancing you are teaching my girls. Not only do they love their classes but you are all so nurturing, kind and fun that it always feels like a very special school to be a part of. I have such fabulous memories from being in the school myself from age 2-18, not only enjoying dancing so much but all the other fabulous experiences I had and friends I made that the school will always have a very special place in my heart!
I’ve been dancing in this school for about 11 years. The happiness I felt first walking in that door still remains in me to this day. Classes are hard work with great fun too. Everyone can learn at their own pace through the wonderful patients, kindness and humor from our teachers. The warmth and attention can be felt as you walk through the door.
The time I spent at the Kilkenny Academy of Dance as a student and as a teacher was a very positive one. It was a place in which I developed so much confidence both in myself and as a dancer. I made many friends and had lots of fun along the way. Without the positive and supportive atmosphere in the school I would not have pursued my dream of going to dance college to become a fully qualified dance teacher.
Kilkenny Academy of Dance is so much more than just a school of dance - it was basically a second family for me growing up! Not only did I receive a brilliant education in classical ballet and modern theatre in a supportive environment, but I gained so much confidence. Miss Gemma, Miss Jenny, Miss Dara and Miss Finn were always there to put a smile on my face after a tough day at school, and they’re truly brilliant at making each and every student feel seen and celebrated. Even now at 23 I know if I ever needed the support of K.A.D in any way I would be warmly welcomed. The amazing opportunities I had from the dance aspect were a happy aside to the fantastic family I made along the way!
“I credit my time at The Kilkenny Academy of Dance massively for my building of confidence as a teenager. There was such a sense of community and openness, it didn’t matter how technically skilled you were at dancing, everyone learned together and there was never a dull moment. Whether it was an exam or show year, some of the best memories I have from being a teenager happened in that studio or in the Watergate, and I’ll always cherish my time there.”
Kilkenny Academy of dance has always felt like a community to me. As a child I was encouraged to have fun, be passionate, teach, support and learn alongside my classmates. It gave me a focus that a lot of my friends didn't have as teens. As an adult I still find myself drawn back to adult ballet classes and I am always interested in seeing what exciting workshop or show Finn and Gemma have planned next. Every child is nurtured and celebrated under their care and there is a contagious sense of fun when you walk through that studio door. I can't wait for my little girl to take her first step into that studio, if she's anything like me she'll never look back!
I began The Forristal School of Dance in Kilkenny in 1989. Right from the start there was something special about the school. The students were so enthusiastic, friendly , not afraid of hard work and eager to learn and the parents were all very supportive of anything I was organising. Our very first show was The Toy shop in St Kieran’s College in 1990. From there the school grew from classes on one evening a week to 3 evenings. During my time in Kilkenny I formed wonderful friendships that have lasted to today. I felt a real sense of family at the school and of being part of something magical. Kilkenny is an incredible place full of amazing people and my time teaching there will always hold a special place in my heart.
Kilkenny academy of dance was a big part of my childhood and teenage years. I always found it such a release during exam years in secondary school to see familiar faces, practice something you love and to just forget about the stress of school. One of the biggest takeaways was the friendships formed I regularly meet one of the girls for a catch up who I only know through dancing,I consider them one of my closest friends. It gave me a love for fitness that I have carried with me
'I was a student with Kilkenny academy of dance from the age of 5 up to 18. The positive, supportive and encouraging environment that the teachers have created for the students here is unmatched. The school played a huge role in developing my confidence and creativity, and I am so grateful that it was such a big part of my life growing up. I look back on all my memories here fondly and would recommend for anyone to join! '
"The school, for me, is a place where I was allowed to focus on me. I was encouraged to better myself as a dancer, a performer, a student and a person. The studio, always welcoming with laughter and comfort, for many years was my safe space and my happy place. "
Kilkenny academy dance was life changing for me. I was never the sporty person and was quite self conscious growing up. I signed up when I was 7 and I never regret a day. I made so many friends and had so many opportunities. I never had too much confidence in my dancing ability but the encouragement from the teachers were just amazing. I remember when I was a senior and it was show year. It had never even crossed my mind to go for a main part and Finn said to me "don't be silly, of course you have to go for it". I ended up getting a role and it provided endless opportunities for me. I got to try different types of dance such as ballet which I had always regretted not doing from a young age. The high you get from going on stage with your best friends and performing was just amazing. Exam years were also great as they taught you the discipline of though something I loved which was dance. When I was in college I went back to do adult ballet with Gemma and it was just the best. Gemma and Finn are amazing and they gave me such great opportunities that I will always be so grateful for. What's lovely about Kilkenny academy of dance is that it's like a little family. You make friends far beyond your set classes. It provides such a positive atmosphere. If I was to go back to when I was 7 again I'd do it all over again and more.
‘My girls just adore Ms Gemma and Ms Finn and their wonderful classes, summer camps, shows in the Watergate and exam preparation. My eldest has been dancing with them for 8 years, starting when she was 2 years old and then my youngest followed suit when she was old enough. Kilkenny Academy of Dance has become a home from home (especially for my eldest) where they enjoy their classes immensely and have formed lifelong friendships with their classmates and a bond with the Senior Dancers when they help out with the younger dancers in class and in the shows. The teachers work extremely hard and exude a maternal kindness to all their students- encouraging them to fulfill their dreams and instill confidence in their performances, which has such a positive effect on their well being. I feel lucky to have such a wonderful Ballet school here in Kilkenny’
Brian started dancing when he was seven years old and in the last six years,Kilkenny Academy of Dance has been his happy place. The teachers have guided, mentored and encouraged him at every single class. Students are treated with a respect and compassion that is truly outstanding. Dance ability is developed through kindness and expert teaching, never through pressure. As a family we will always be grateful for the way Miss Gemma, Miss Finn and Miss Ciara-Peaches have nurtured and cared for Brian. Just this year our daughter Maggie joined the school at age 4. Already it has become an important and extremely enjoyable part of her week. We are excited to see where her dance journey will take her!
Such a warm atmosphere for everyone. It's lovely being a part of this academy as everyone is always welcome! So much is learnt here not only dance, but confidence too, which definitely makes for a healthy wellbeing! There is no doubt I've grown in my dancing and confidence while being a part of this academy. It has been and will continue to be a huge source of happiness!!
Being a part of this school as both a student and a teacher for more than 17 years, I can truly say my life would be totally different if I had never joined. In my time here I have made lifelong best friends, chosen a career based in dance after finding a love for it here, and gained confidence and skills that I will take with me forever. Some of my best memories have been made in the studio, and as cliche as it sounds it feels like home. Even once you leave the school you never really do as you become part of the KAD dance family forever.
Having joined the Kilkenny Academy of Dance at an older age compared to most of the others, I was worried I would struggle to fit in and make friends. I couldn't have been more wrong, as going to dance classes each week were the highlights of my week! Gemma and Finn are two of the friendliest and welcoming people I know, who pushed myself and all the others to reach our fullest potential. I am so grateful to have had such great times, from weekly classes to hectic show weeks. I wish I could come back!