Genée International Ballet competition Gold medalist Joshua Green now dancing with Ballet Dortmund

Karen Ireland Dance Centre: Floods & Road to Recovery

(Image above: Genée International Ballet competition Gold medalist Joshua Green now dancing with Ballet Dortmund)

Following the devastating impacts of the recent floods in Northern NSW, this month we meet with Karen Ireland Dance Centre to hear their story. In the following Q&A we learn about their journey as a studio and the impacts of this unprecedented event, and cross our fingers the second wave of floods this week eases quickly.

Before we get started, this beautiful studio, located in Lismore NSW offers a wide variety of classes including Classical Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, R.A.D. Ballet examinations, Pilates, Technique and Pointe classes.

(Silver medalist Genee International Ballet competition Caitlin Garlick)

Classes commence for students 3 years and upwards, beginner through to professional.

Students are also coached for eisteddfod solos and group performances, some participating in national and international ballet competitions.

Karen Ireland Dance Centre has fun after school dance training and during the day the KIDC Pre Professional Program for aspiring professional dancers. 

(Prix de Lausanne candidate Kayla Van den Bogart now dancing with Queensland Ballet Company)

Dedicated to providing strong dance training for the local community they offer classes for all abilities ensuring dancers a safe, nurturing and enjoyable atmosphere.

Karen Ireland Dance Centre also stages an annual concert which is enjoyed by all.


How long has the Karen Ireland Dance Centre been running for, and how was it first established? 

Karen Ireland Dance Centre started in 2000. Karen has always had a passion for classical ballet and saw the need for a studio in Lismore that provided classes with a strong level of technique.

The Karen Ireland Dance Centre is renowned for training dancers with a strong classical technique within a caring environment. What are some key accomplishments to date? 

We have students who are now performing with the Queensland Ballet Company, Ballet Dortmund Germany and have had students dance with Royal Danish Ballet, Australian Ballet Dancers Company, Melbourne City Ballet.

Students have also been selected for Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York 2017, 2018, 2022 and as Prix de Lausanne candidates, and Genée International Ballet competition as Gold and Silver medalists.

Students have gone on to train with many of the worlds best Pre-professional schools.

What makes the school so successful?

We have created a nurturing environment working closely with our students and also Kimberley Garlick’s Northern Rivers Pilates studio, where the students really hone in on the areas that need strengthening and stretching. 

We are very aware of being careful not to push students too early.

The 2022 NSW Floods had devastating impacts on the community. How has this impacted the dance school, and what needs to be done to return to normal? 

For our studio to return to normal is a huge task. Our building needs structural work on its foundations first, then on to rebuilding walls, floors, ceilings, basically everything. 

That’s just the building, inside the studios we need sprung floors, replace our air conditioners, music systems and the list goes on.

As a business, Ballet Trove endeavours to support our community, and with this we have created the Ballet Trove Flood Recovery Bundle, to support a family that attends Karen Ireland Dance Centre with a scholarship to enable ongoing dance tuition which will also help keep the studio running.

To view the Flood Recovery Bundle and give the gift that keeps on giving CLICK HERE.

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