Erica Pessanha Borges
Laois Dance Academy Principal, Owner
Contemporary and Ballet Teacher
Laois Youth Dance Ensemble Artistic Director; Laois Dance Platform Director & Coordinator; Lisbon Dance Platform Co. Director; Graduate Diploma in Dance with Honours, University of Limerick.
Brazilian born, Erica believes that dance encourages us to stay rooted in our bodies as we act, make decisions, and participate in the world; it all transpires from the personal. She has been nurturing and enabling people to become involved in dance so they can better understand and appreciate it.
Erica has worked with Cathy Coughlan (YES Scheme) , Mariam Ribon (DYDC), Iselichiodi Dance Company (Dance Residency mentored by the French choreographer Helene Chatala), Ciaran Gray and others. She had been funded for 4 consecutive years by the Laois Arts Office to teach dance in schools as part of the Artist in Schools Scheme.
In 2013 she founded Laois Youth Dance Ensemble with the support of Dunamaise Arts Centre and in the same year she launched Laois Dance Platform. The festival is funded by Arts Council Ireland and showcases national & international dance works, featuring performances by professional dancers.
Her choreographies have toured to France and Portugal (Project Dance Paris and Lisbon Dance Platform).She’s committed to bring more than dance experience to Laois Dance Academy students, but essential skills for them to develop as dancers and personal growth.
BA in Dance, University of Limerick. Amy is trained in Contemporary, Ballet, Hip-hop, Commercial, Musical Theatre and Jazz. In 2019 she travelled to USA for an intensive training at Milleninum Dance Complex, Los Angeles. Her aspiration is to continue to inspire students through her love of dance. Watch Amy’s Dance crew video here
Niamh has been trained in ballet since the age of 5, studying with the Prima School of Ballet until 2010, where she achieved distinction in Grade 7 examinations. She is currently at 2nd year of full time dance training at Inchicore College, Dublin where she aims to gain RAD and ISTD Dance Teaching Diploma.
She also has a passion for contemporary dance, receiving training through CoisCeim Dance Theatre. She is a current member the Dublin Youth Dance Company, and have performed in numerous dance festivals across Ireland. In 2019 she was selected to take part in the Emergence programme, in collaboration with the NOISE Moves dance festival, where she choreographed the piece ‘Rise’ under the direction of notable Irish artists such as Jessie Keenan, Ailish Claffey and John Scott.
“I love introducing children to the world of dance, and have previously taught classes in a variety of styles through outreach programmes overseen by Trinity College’s St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Voluntary Tuition Programme. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Laois Dance Academy and to train the newest generation of dancers. “ says Niamh