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Meet the Teacher: Kate O’Leary

Kate is our Irish Dance teacher, running basic classes for absolute beginners (7:15pm – 8:15pm) and intermediate classes for those with more experience (8:30pm – 9:30pm) on Tuesday evenings.

Tell us about your dance journey: Where did you train? Who were/are your mentors or influencers? What are the significant moments in your career so far?

I have been doing Irish dancing since I was 6 years old…my sister, Cara, used to come home with handfuls of medals and trophies from competitions…I wanted the same!

I started dancing with the O’Sullivan School of Irish Dancing in West London and soon started to take part in Feis (Irish dancing competitions) and went from a beginner to an open champion in under three years.

By the time I was 11, I had won over 300 medals and 150 trophies in competitions, including the World Championships in Dublin and by 18, I had performed in competitions and shows all over the world. I adored dancing!

I have been teaching since my late teens for the Janet Durham School of Irish Dancing, where I teach the Advanced class and children’s’ classes, and more recently with Pavilion Dance South West, I teach the Basic and Intermediate classes.

What would it surprise your class to learn about you?
At 19, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. I toured Scandinavia for two months with professional dance troupe, Rhythm of the Dance. I had to leave my university for this period, but the experience was incredible!

Do you have a class/teaching catchphrase or motto?

I will always teach Irish dancing as long as I can dance!


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