Learn, Train and Join in

Professional Class with Mia DiChiaro. Photo by Maurice Gunning
Professional Class with Mia DiChiaro
Book : Wed 24 Mar '21 to Wed 14 Apr '21

This class draws on practices such as somatic researching, energizing self-massage, guided writing, yoga, contemporary dance vocabulary, and solo contact improvisation, to explore the wisdom within. Participants will playfully experiment in our spaces using what’s immediately available to us (such as potted plants, walls, and furniture) to (re)connect with the embodied joy of moving collectively.

About Mia DiChiaro

Mia DiChiaro (she/her) is a contemporary dancer and artivist whose ideas often circulate around joyful embodiment, climate justice, and participatory art. Originally from New York, she trained at The Ailey School and developed an interdisciplinary B.A. in 'Performance and Arts Activism’ from New York University while also becoming a RYS 200hr certified yoga teacher. After relocating to Ireland, she danced with DYDC and received a First-class Honours M.A. in ‘Contemporary Dance Performance’ from University of Limerick (2019) under the direction of Dr. Jenny Roche. She has performed choreography by Liz Roche, Jack Webb, Ursula Robb, Paul White, Dina Abu Hamdan, Theo Clinkard, Marie L’Enfant, and her own choreography.

Female dancer in a black dress standing on one leg
Book : Wed 21 Apr '21 to Wed 12 May '21

Limerick dance artist Angie Smalis joins us to lead the next series on Professional Morning Classes online.

Angie says about her class: 

I will invite participants to join me in my ongoing exploration of the narrative potential of dance. My personal interest in memories, stories, people and places lies in the ethical imagination that every story asks for, within which the limitations of “persona” can be explored and provoked. Through improv tasks, I will guide participants to develop and create a series of movement studies, generated by their own idiosyncrasies.

About Angie Smalis

Angie trained and worked  professionally as a dance artist in Greece before moving to Vienna, Austria in 2001 to join the Viennese Opera (VolksOper Wien). She relocated to Limerick in 2003 to join Daghdha Dance Company. She is an independent contemporary dance artist, Artistic Director of Limerick Youth Theatre, and Founder and Director of Patterns Dance Collective, a group of dance artists with intellectual disabilities under the auspices of The Daughters of Charity Service, Limerick.

Angie’s work focuses on developing a methodology to express contemporary and universal concerns, through a character/place-based dance vocabulary, in collaboration with American Performing Artist, Colin Gee.

Angie proposes a new use of narrative in character-based dance and an opportunity to engage with novelistic storytelling technique, through movement.  Her interest in the narrative potential of dance is to explore how the limitations of “persona” can be shown and to provoke the kind of ethical imagination a story addresses. Recent research into “performed persona” and place-based narrative has explored public and private morality, and beauty as an expression of the sublime.

Step Up Dance Project 2021. Photo by Lucy Dawson.
Step Up 2021 Open Call
Fri 30 Apr '21

Step Up Dance Project 2021 continues to bridge the gap between dance education and professional contemporary dance practice in Ireland. Step Up is curated by Irish born, Marguerite Donlon, International choreographer. She is the Dance Director of the Dance Company at Theater Osnabrück, Germany. She is also the founder and director of Donlon Dance Collective, a project company based in Berlin.

Step Up aims to enhance young dancers’ professional networks, by connecting them to the Irish and international contemporary dance community, thereby improving professional opportunities for young dancers in Ireland and abroad. The eight-week programme is open to dancers who have completed their professional training within the last three years and who hold an EU passport.

This year’s eight-week programme combines:

- Creation of new works with leading choreographers
- Learning repertoire from renowned international companies
- Personal coaching
- Performances in Limerick, Cork and Longford


David Bolger, Choreographer (Ireland). Based in Dublin, David is Artistic Director and co-founder of CoisCéim Dance Theatre.  He has directed and choreographed over 25 original productions for the Company, many of which have toured both nationally and internationally – garnering international recognition and prestigious awards for their innovation, performance and choreography. More info coisceim.com.

Lucyna Zwolinska, Choreographer (Poland, Germany). Lucyna has performed with many internationally acclaimed companies including The Forsythe Company, Ballet des Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken and Company Susanne Linke. Her own choreographies have been presented by Stuttgarter Ballett, TANZtheatre INTERNATIONAL and Tanzcompagnie Gieβen among others. More info lucynazwolinska.com.


Marguerite Donlon, Choreographer (Ireland, Germany). Based in Berlin and Hagen, Marguerite has created choreographies for dance companies worldwide. Her work has been performed most recently by prima ballerina Svetlana Zacharova and the Bolshoi Ballet.  She has also created for companies such as the Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (NDT), the Stuttgart Ballet, Berlin Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago, Rambert Dance in London, the Companhia Nacional de Bailado (CNB) Portugal, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz Munich, Musiktheater im Revier (MiR) Gelsenkirchen and The One Grand Show, Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin. Most recently she has created works for Visceral dance Chicago, BalletX Philadelphia, Theater Basel and Staatsballet Karlsruhe. Her own project company Donlon Dance Collective has performed extensively in Dublin, Longford, Siegen, Neuss, Leverkusen, Houston and Berlin. More info donlon.de.

Roy Assaf Dance, (Israel). Roy began formal training at the age of sixteen, when he joined a dance group led by Regba Gilboa at the community center in Kiryat Gat.  In 2003 he met the internationally recognized choreographer Emanuel Gat and made his mark touring worldwide with Gat as both performer and choreographic assistant from 2004-2009. Since 2010, he has created work independently. His work has been performed renowned venues and festivals including the Théâtre National de Chaillot, Jacob’s Pillow, Bolzano Danza, Pavillon Noir, Biennale di Venezia and the 17th Biennale de la Danse in Lyon. More info royassafdance.com.


Eoin Mac Donncha, Ballet master / Co-Rehearsal Director (Ireland). Eoin trained at The Rambert School of Ballet in London before working at various state theatres in Germany including Stadtheater Giessen and Staatstheter Saarbrucken. He has worked with the Cathy Sharp Dance Company, Switzerland, the Expressions Dance Company, Australia, and has danced for Ballet Hagen under the direction of renown choreographers including Wayne McGreggor. Currently, he works as a soloist in Budapest with choreographer Pál Frenák.  Eoin has taught at the Hong Kong academy of performing arts in Hong Kong, and has set a piece for the students of the graduating year there.

Eoin will teach morning class and will assist the choreographers and rehearse the new works. He will be in the studio at all times, to assist with artistic matters.

Laura Macken, Co-Rehearsal Director (Ireland). Laura Macken trained at The Irish National College of Dance and joined Dublin City Ballet as a student member at the age of 15. Dancing with the company for several years Laura danced corps de ballet and solo roles in ballets such as Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Pas de Quatre, and Gisele. Laura teaches company classes and has worked as rehearsal director for John Scott Dance for several projects. Laura has taught on past Step Up programmes in 2013 and 2018, and in 2020 and 2021 took on the role of Rehearsal Director. More info lauramackendance.com.

In addition, participants will have opportunity to do class with the Choreographers leading the individual programme elements and with a number of guest teachers based in Ireland.


Independent dance artists are required to initiate their own opportunities, to manage their career paths and often their own projects. The Personal Development aspect of the Step Up programme aims to give participants a broad toolkit or road map for taking the next steps in their career path.  Activities will include

- Personal Coaching with Rivca Rubin (England). Rivca encourages artists to ascertain their vision, locate the essence and refine their practice, grow purpose, align practice to values, and create working cultures people engage with, flourish and enjoy working in. More info rivcarubin.com.
- Connecting with key personnel within the dance field in Ireland
- Connecting with Step Up Alumni to hear their experiences since participating in Step Up


The full training / rehearsal / performance period runs from Monday 5 July  – Friday 28 August 2021, using state of the art studios and facilities at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at UL initially, and then at Dance Limerick, before performing in Limerick and touring to three-four venues including Backstage Longford and Project Arts Centre, Dublin.


Covid Protocols | All participants will be required to provide a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours of joining the programme. Participants will be accommodated together so as to form a bubble or working pod and will be required to maintain contact only within the pod for the duration of the programme.

Rehearsals will take place 10.00 – 6.00pm Monday to Saturday for the duration of the rehearsal period. Some additional hours in the evening or on Sunday will be required, at the discretion of the choreographers.

6 Selected dancers will receive a full Step Up 2021 Scholarship which includes:

- Free access to the full programme.
- Accommodation Sunday 4 July – Friday 28 August inclusive.
- A weekly stipend toward day to day living costs.
- Travel expenses during the tour.

Participants must be available on an exclusive basis for the full programme.

What’s Not Covered: 

- Travel Expenses to and from Ireland / Limerick
- Accommodation outside of the dates above
- Health Insurance
- Covid Testing in advance of joining the programme


We are seeking applications from exceptional young dancers who will graduate prior to Summer 2021 or who have graduated from professional level dance training within the past three years.  

Please send your CV and a personal statement outlining your motivation to be involved in Step Up along with web links of recent live dance footage, on stage or in studio, made at home or outdoors to include:  

- An excerpt of a dance solo  
- An excerpt of improv

Applicants should submit one pdf, as an email attachment, to include cv, personal statement and web links. Please note individual video files and documents linked to Google drive cannot be accepted.


The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 30 April to stepupdanceproject@gmail.com with Step Up Application in the subject line. 


A shortlist of applicants will be invited to audition in in mid-May and letters of offer will be sent in the week immediately following the audition.

Queries on the application / process can be addressed to Jenny Traynor, Programme Director at stepupdanceproject@gmail.com.

Step Up Dance Programme is a partnership between the Arts Council, Dance Ireland, Dance Limerick and the Irish World Academy for Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. 

Mon 28 Jun '21 to Sat 03 Jul '21

Studio Light Moves is an initiative of the Light Moves Festival of Screendance, aimed at investing in and nurturing creative process and inquiry in dance, technology and screen-based dance practices. In partnership with Dance Limerick, The Digital Media and Arts Research Centre UL, Studio Light Moves is delighted to announce its 2021 development programme, Open Futures.

Open Futures 2021 is a test ground and critical exchange residency-based platform for dance artists and media artists interested in collaborating to explore the intersection of dance with media and screen-based practices. The project will enable 8 artists, consisting of 4 collaborating pairs, from the fields of dance and the digital arts, to investigate and explore the potential for interdisciplinary exchange that encompasses practices for the stage, gallery, installation, and outdoor settings. With an emphasis on creative process, the project will facilitate experimentation and exploration of methods and approaches. This process will occur within a mentored and technically supported environment.

Applications are welcomed from individuals or proposed duo partnerships between a dance artist and a media artist at any career stage. Successful individual applications will be matched with corresponding partners.

Open Futures 2021 is designed around a two-week creative process residency for 4 dance and media artist pairs, peer exchange and facilitated discussions with practitioners working in dance and technology and a €5K continuity bursary awarded to one selected artist pair to continue beyond the residency period.

Open Futures 2021 supports dance artists and media artist’s time, space, and equipment to work in collaboration over 2 weeks. Applicants may either propose their own collaborator or request to be partnered with one working in their area(s) of interest. (In this instance Light Moves and consultants will match collaborators in relationship to interest and experience.)

Open Futures 2021 aims to focus on collaborations in between dance and digital media practices including: video mapping, real-time image capture and/or generation, motion sensors, cinematography, coding, immersive video, game engines, real-time/interactive sound, generative audio and moving image installation methods. Applicants will be asked to describe the area(s) they wish to explore, what access to the related technologies and software they already have to hand and to specify what may be additionally required for this research process. It is anticipated media artists will have access to their own laptop and related software. All dance genres are welcomed.

Open Futures 2021 residency artists are encouraged to build a relationship with Light Moves Festival and residency artists will participate in sharing their experiences arising from their exploration at the Festival event hosted in September 2021. Following this event, a €5,000 continuity bursary will be awarded to one artist or artist pair to act as a spring-board towards further developing their work and to aid in acquiring funding.

Closing Friday 5 March. 

For Full Open Call info and Application Details see lightmoves.ie.



Light Moves 2021 Film Open Call
Dance Limerick Connects Curator Announced
Dance Classes March 2021
News & Opportunities

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Dance Limerick exists to support the development of professional dance artists within the Limerick region and beyond.

Through a combination of performance platforms, residency opportunities, master classes, talks and lectures, Dance Limerick will advocate for artistic dialogue and exchange. In collaboration with dance artists across a range of practices, Dance Limerick will promote the creation of new and innovative work and will devise programmes of access, engagement and participation for the wider public.

Based at the premises of the former Daghdha Dance Company, Dance Limerick houses offices and a fully equipped studio space along with a separate performance venue known as the Daghda Space

Further information about facilities and opportunities for professional dance artists available from Jenny Traynor at