Sionnaine Irish Dance Academy
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Paula Swidzinski
Assistant Teacher (Maple Ridge Location)

Paula started dancing at the age of 3 with the art of Jazz, Tap and Musical Theatre and later adding Ballet, Lyrical Jazz, Modern and Hip Hop. With these forms of dance, she competed locally and nationally, won numerous awards and scholarships, participated in various workshops within North America and performed at many events like Expo 86, the annual Councilor’s Ball and The Wedding Fair (Vancouver). Her talents have also landed her some roles as a Special Skills Extra in some TV series and movies such as Breaker High, Police Academy the TV Series, Drive She Said, The Greg Louganis Story and Edison Force to name a few. Paula started assistant teaching in Jazz and Tap when she was just 13 years old. She was then offered to teach her own classes a few years later and has been instructing since. 

In 1999, Paula saw the movie "Riverdance" and later went to see Michael Flatley perform in Lord of the Dance (Vancouver). She has never heard of or seen irish dance before this and was inspired to start taking a recreational irish dance class with Michelle Kilby (now Bond) as her instructor. June of 2000 was her first competition and to her amazement, placed in all of her dances. Michelle then encouraged Paula to start taking more classes a week to better her technique and help her achieve her goals in Irish dancing. Since then, she had been to numerous local competitions, the Western Canadian Oireachtas' & North American nationals. She had achieved all her goals upon retiring in 2009 as an Open Championship level dancer that has been the World Championships twice. 

Paula has been instructing Irish dance under the supervision of Michelle Bond, TCRG since 2003. She feels that with her knowledge of injury prevention, pedagogy, techniques of other forms of dance and personal experience with former injuries and her road to rehabilitation, she can offer students a healthy, safe and positive atmosphere in Irish dance. Paula now only teaches the Friday classes with Michelle and Emily as she works full time as a Dental Administrative Assistant and is a Mother to her beautiful son, Lucas. Her passion for Irish dance remains strong and she looks forward to Fridays. Not because its the weekend, but for the fact that she gets to see her students/Irish dance family and help them achieve their goals and dreams. 

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'. - Dan Rather
Paula's passion for Irish dance remains strong and always looks forward to seeing her students/Irish dance family, helping them achieve their goals and dreams.