Sionnaine Irish Dance Academy
Michelle began Irish dancing at the age of four with the Violet Moore School of Irish Dance. She competed at the highest level of dance since the age of eleven and qualified for the World Irish Dancing Championships every year since then placing between 1st and 4th at the qualifying Oireachtas. Michelle has participated in National and International competitions in such places as Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Fort McMurray, Boston, San Diego, Orlando, California, and Ireland. Michelle's last competition was at the National Championships in Vancouver 1997, where she placed 11th internationally and retired from competition to teach dancing.
Michelle has participated in dancing workshops in London with world wide known teachers and adjudicators. She has performed with Colin Dunn (ex-lead male dancer of Riverdance), well-known bands such as The Chieftans, The Irish Rovers, The Paperboys, The Sabir Sisters', Tiller's Folly, winner of 'Group of the Year' at the BC Country Music Awards 2000, and Natalie MacMaster.
Some of Michelle's dancing experience over the years also includes:
- Molson Canadian Beer Commercial
- Merritt Mountain Music Festival
- NHL association dinner party
- Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre
- As well as numerous performances for private/corporate functions, weddings, hospital/extended care facilities, and pubs/clubs.
- "Ready to Wear" fashion show
- Pacific National Exhibition
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- BC's Fiddling Championships
Michelle volunteered for three years teaching (along side her teacher Violet Moore) at The Kiwassa Neighborhood House in Vancouver, a center that helped get kids off the street and out of trouble.
“I loved it! I love working with all ages and passing on my passion for dance. I loved seeing a child get a step or a move and then seeing the sense of pride in the smile on their face. It was the most rewarding thing I had ever done in my life. It was also a huge eye opener for me to be teaching kids that lived on the street and had no parents. It was life changing to give them dance and something positive, instead of turning to life on the streets.”
It was then that Michelle realized how much dance had kept her out of trouble and kept her on a healthy life path. After retiring from dance in 1997 to attend college and university to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, she returned home to be offered a job teaching alongside a close friend Nora Picket TCRG (of the Nora Pickett Irish Dance Academy). Through all of this, she decided to put her passion into opening up her very own Irish Dance Academy. After University, she spent four years teaching under Violet running her own classes. She has done workshop classes in Penticton, Surrey, Port Moody, and Burnaby for hundreds of students.
In September 2001, Michelle became a certified teacher (TCRG) through the Irish Dancing Commission. She is registered with the Western Canadian Irish Dance Teachers’ Association, the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North American, and with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha (The Irish Dancing Commission in Ireland), and began Sionnaine Irish Dance Academy (SIDA) . She now has over 150 students belonging to her very own school.
Michelle’s philosophy towards Irish dancing is to ‘dance like no one is watching’. Students learn not only how to develop their natural dancing abilities, but to build self-confidence and poise. They are encouraged to enjoy and express themselves through the art of dance, while increasing their self-esteem and discipline. Michelle is extremely passionate about her dancing and instructing. Her enthusiasm show’s through the encouragement she gives each student, inspiring them to excel both at Irish dancing and as individuals. She credits her success to her long time teacher, mentor, and friend, Violet Moore ADCRG.
Michelle Bond, TCRG
Michelle is dedicated to creating a fun but disciplined learning environment.