Sionnaine Irish Dance Academy
About Sionnaine Irish Dance Academy
The Sionnaine (pronounced Shannon) Irish Dance Academy dancers have been a part of the proud tradition of Irish dance since 2001. The Irish dancers range from ages 3 to adult, male and female, beginner to championship, and recreational to competitive. They work hard and train weekly in both traditional and modern Irish dance, including hardshoe and softshoe, as well as ceili (group) dancing and choreographies.
SIDA has recreational and competitive dancers. We encourage and support both sides of dance, as dancing and becoming the best you can be is the main goal! Both recreational and competitive dancers in the SIDA are given the opportunity to perform several times through-out the year, including the year end 'Call to Dance' show.
Competitive dancers attend anywhere from 4 to 15 competitions/championships per year . Their top level dancers compete in the Western Canadian Oireachtas (World Qualifying Rounds) every year. Some have qualified to compete in the World Championships, and many have qualified to compete in the North American Championships every year.
Another opportunity for students at SIDA, is to move into a teaching position. SIDA has 5 lead teachers, 3 substitute teachers, and 10 student teachers, all of whom have a passion as deep as Michelle’s in passing on the love of Irish dance. With their own unique qualities and methods, all of the teachers are true mentors for the dancers of SIDA. Without them, SIDA dancers would not be as successful as they are today.
SIDA students make take grade exams at local feisanna (competitions). The purpose of the Grade Exam Scheme is to provide a structured framework within which dancers can progress towards an achievable goal. The syllabus has been designed to provide a strong foundation in Irish Dance by developing a candidate's physical skills, stamina, expression, musicality and an appreciation and knowledge of the traditional dances and culture. It provides a worth while sense of achievement for individuals whether they dance solely for health, recreation or competitive reasons OR hope to pursue a career in Irish dancing. All of SIDA classes are geared towards training each student in becoming a certified Irish Dance teacher one day. Each requirement for each grade are taught at the respective class level. All twelve grades must be passed by An Coimisiun in order to be come a certified teacher.
Here are some of the many events the SIDA dancers and families are involved with throughout the year:
- St.Patrick Day Events/ Parades
- Ceili’s (family parties with food, dancing, fun)
- Year End show - The Call to Dance
- Fun Days (a chance for dancers/families to be together outside of dancing)
- Awards Day (all dancers receive recognition)
- Workshops and Special training
- Local and Out of town competitions
Michelle Bond, TCRG
Michelle is dedicated to creating a fun but disciplined learning environment.