Our Teachers


Phyllis Hayes - Principal 

B.Phil (Hons) RAD RTS. AISTD(MB) Dip.

Phyllis has been both owner and principal of Corrib Dance Academy (CDA) for almost ten years. Just over two years ago, she decided that the Academy needed a permanent home in Galway and the resultant Corrib Dance Academy Studios were built in Briarhill Business Park. This move to a permanent home was a momentous time for the Academy allowing the school to fully realise it's potential in many ways.
With two purpose built dance studios operational it was possible to expand the programme of classes on offer to include a full programme of dance classes from children through to adults and at the same time offer unrivalled facilities for more serious students With these very talented Galway girls in mind, Phyllis founded the Vocational training programme in 2003 to allow the most able students to be identified, and their training streamlined and tailor made to prepare them for a career in dance. With thirty students now enrolled in the Vocational Programme, CDA now has the highest number of students in Ireland training at this level. Phyllis and her team at CDA will launch a new youth dance company, Youth Ballet West, in December to coincide with the Academy's tenth anniversary.
Previous to moving to Galway, Phyllis spent five years teaching at Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) schools in Italy, Greece and Germany where she prepared many students for graded and vocational examinations as well as staging numerous performances in venues as diverse as a converted cinema in Greece and a piazza in Southern Italy. Phyllis is one of the most highly qualified and experienced teachers in Ireland having added to her existing diplomas in classical ballet and modern dance by gaining a BA in Ballet and Contextual Studies from the University of Durham in 2002. She was appointed a mentor for the RAD in 2005, enabling her to train teachers under the auspices of the RAD.


Ciara Kavanagh - RAD Ballet & ISTD Modern DanceTeacherBA(Hons), ISTD DDI (Modern Theatre)

After completing a BA in English and Psychology, Ciara trained at the Margaret Howard Theatre College in Hertfordshire, where she gained invaluable experience under the tuition of many West End and Broadway performers, professional ballet dancers and ISTD examiners studying ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary and musical theatre.

She then attended Inchicore College in Dublin to become a qualified ISTD Modern teacher and achieved her Vocational Advanced 2 Examination (Level 4 Diploma) in Modern Theatre. During this time she also gained Advanced 1 in Tap. She is currently studying to become a registered RAD ballet teacher and ISTD tap teacher.

Ciara originally studied Ballet and Modern at Corrib Dance Academy and returned to the school as a teacher in 2009. She also teaches as Shannon Dance Academy, Athlone, and runs DanceFit Galway – dance classes for adults.


Judith Sibley - Ballet Teacher


Dublin born Judith Sibley is one of Ireland's most prestigious ballet artists. She studied at the acclaimed Elmhurst Ballet School and the Ballet Rambert School, London. She has performed with Vienna Festival Ballet, Rubato Ballet, New Balance Dance Company, Ballet Ireland, Spirit of the Dance, Phantom of the Opera in both Belgium and Germany, Cork City Ballet, Irish National Youth Ballet, Youth Ballet West, The Great Waltz, and Coisceim (for the Ryder Cup). Judith has toured internationally, performing principal and soloist roles in all the major classical ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, Coppelia, andThe Nutcracker.

Judith has choreographed for Cork City Ballet, Baboro Festival, Macnas, Cuirt Festival, and Catastrophe Theatre Company. Her work has been invited to The Galway Arts Festival, The Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Absolute Fringe Festival, Flights of Fancy Festival, Feile na Bealtaine, Louisburgh Arts Festival and Instruments of Peace.

Having gained the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma with Distinction, Judith teaches at Shannon and Corrib Dance Academies. She has tutored internationally for the RAD, and has taught ballet as far afield as Singapore and Italy. She spent six years as Chairperson of the RAD's Regional Advisory Committee in Ireland and is currently a Director of Irish Ballet Forum.

She has choreographed Strings, Wishes and Waves, Love and Other Disguises, Soul/S, Ways You Wander, Connect For, Four Seasons of Peace, The Space Where Thought Once Was and Scatenato for the company. She is also Artistic Director and lead choreographer of Youth Ballet West. Both companies are supported by The Arts Council.



Sorcha Barry - Junior Teacher

BMus, DipLCM, ALCM and ADPA.

Sorcha graduated with an honours degree in Music, majoring in performance with NUIM in 2011 and has gone on to receive a diploma and an associate diploma with the London College of Music. She runs her own music school in Galway.

Sorcha was recently accepted onto the RAD’s CBTS teaching training programme after being awarded her Intermediate Vocational exam and all her Higher Graded exams with distinction.She is now working towards achieving her Advanced Vocational exams in Ballet. Sorcha began teaching at Corrib Dance Academy in 2012 and now teaches many of the junior ballet classes and is teaching and assisting at a variety of levels and grades as part of her teaching placement under the auspices of the RAD.

She was a member of Youth Ballet West for the 2012 -2013 season. Tonight, she will dance 2 major roles; ‘Big swans’ in Swan Lake and Eva in Children of Lir.

Claire Lillis - Prop and Costume Designer

Claire Lillis has been both dancing and working with The Corrib Dance Academy since its inception in 1997. By trade she is a mechanical design engineer and has also recently founded a prop design company called 'Eyelash Design'.
She has most recently worked with Youth Ballet West and previously with Chrysalis Dance. Some of her most motable designs for these companies include the head dresses for 'Ballet Egyptien', the Wolf's head piece for 'Once Upon a Time' a and the 'Ruby Slippers' in 'Over The Rainbow'.Tuam Academy of Dance and dance coach at Stagecoach, Galway. She is currently completing her ISTD qualifications.


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