Our teachers are qualified and registered with the Royal Academy of Dancing, London and with the Imperial Society of Dance, London. Teachers hold a dipolma in anatomy, child physiology, child protection and are all Garda vetted.
Suzanne O’ Leary
RAD, DIP, DEG, AISTD
Suzanne has choreographed, produced or directed over 200 shows to date. A lover of Musical Theatre and Ballets, she is most at home when working on the stage or behind the scenes. This is why she chose a career that leads her from one amazing project to another. Suzanne’s dance training began at the age of three with the Wexford School of Ballet and Modern Dance; by age ten she had started RAD major training in Dublin and at fifteen had moved to England where she completed her RAD Ballet, ISTD Modern and National Dance majors. While there she gained invaluable stage and TV experience performing with many well known celebrities. Suzanne has received a RAD Ballet teaching certificate, an anatomy degree, a degree in the history of dance and an ISTD associate diploma. On qualifying Suzanne was asked to train Intermediate and Advanced RAD and ISTD in Italy and England. She did so in England for some time and then on her return to Wexford in 1988 continued this training in Wexford, with her students receiving the highest results in Ireland. Suzanne’s students also won many awards and scholarships, 3 of them travelling to the Kirov Ballet School in Russia. Suzanne’s past students have been accepted into English National Ballet School, English National Ballet Company, Laine Theatre Arts, Doreen Bird, Performers, Art Ed, PPA, Elmhurst and many more prestigious colleges in London. At this time 3 of Suzanne’s students are studying Musical Theatre in London. Many of Suzanne’s students have written their own success stories, dancing professionally abroad and opening their own dance schools.
Suzanne has a passion for hard work and achieving only the best in the individual. A firm believer in discipline and preparation, but also a true believer in the love of stage and all the fabulous attributes it brings to a young performer. Suzanne runs the Wexford School of Ballet and Performing Arts in Wexford, Enniscorthy and New Ross.
Suzanne has been resident choreographer with Wexford Pantomime Society since 1989, and has received an honorary award for years dedicated to the Society. She is also an honorary and founding member of the Oyster Lane Theatre Group, with whom she has been resident choreographer since its inception.
Suzanne has worked with numerous musical societies over the years and has been commissioned to choreograph many original scores such as the Children of Lir, The Armed Man, The Dancing Master, Peter and The Wolf, White is the Moon and Dido and Aeneas.
Suzanne has also been nominated for Best Choreographer by the National AIMS Society, and won the award for her choreography on OLTG’s production of Hairspray.
Ann O’ Leary
Teacher/ Child Liaison Officer
This year, Ann O’Leary will celebrate over five decades of tutoring aspiring young dancers with many of them going on to successful dance careers. Ann trained in Dublin and at The Hammond School London and then returning bringing ballet to Wexford for the first time. In 1965, there were just a dozen or so pupils and one teacher – Ann. In 1986, Ann was joined by her daughter, Suzanne, who had completed training in England. By 2005, the school had expanded to three centres, Wexford, Enniscorthy and New Ross. They have worked side by side ever since and not only have they a firm working relationship, but are also best friends.
“After all these years, my mother’s vast experience is overshadowed by her obvious love towards the children, the younger end of the scale being her forte,” Suzanne says. “One class after another grace her door weekly and all is rosy in the garden as long as Mrs. O’Leary is there.”
Emma is a fully qualified Royal Academy of Dance ballet teacher and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance modern dance teacher. She has been dancing since age four. Her dancing started with Wexford School of Ballet and Performing Arts. Emma did Ballet, Modern and Tap passing every exam with top marks. Any show from ballet school to Tops of the Town to Pantomime to the Opera Emma was part of it. In Loreto Secondary School Emma was taking major dance exams and still passing with high results, and so decided to pursue her dream and take up dancing as her profession. Emma auditioned for dance colleges in London and was accepted for her first choice, Bird College of Performing Arts. She was one of thirty girls chosen from hundreds of applicants. Emma completed three years gaining a Diploma as well as many more examinations and plenty of performing experiences. When Emma left college she danced abroad with a dance troupe in Japan and Greece for many years. On her return to London she gained her teaching certificate at the Royal Academy of Dance. From there Emma was teaching in London at well established schools. The age range she has taught is from 3 to 20 years. On returning to Wexford Emma has been a teacher with the WSBPA and also freelances.
RAD, ISTD, PBT
Sinead started dancing at the age of 5 with Wexford School of Ballet and Modern Dance. During her training her she studied Ballet, Modern and Tap, taking her exams in RAD Ballet and ISTD Modern with the school. On completing secondary school in Loreto, Wexford, she embarked on a Law Degree with Waterford Institute of Technology, finishing with honours. Sinead continued to dance throughout her studies, and finally decided to further her dance studies and successfully auditioned for Inchicore College of Further Education. She also received a scholarship from the Leonardo Da Vinci Trust to attend an intensive dance programme in Vienna in the summer of 2011. Before this Sinead successfully passed her Diploma in Dance Instruction from the ISTD. She has continued her studies in Inchicore to obtain her Diploma in Dance Education also with the ISTD. During her studies, Sinead continued to assist with the school, while also performing with Wexford Pantomime Society, Wexford Light Opera Society and Oyster Lane Theatre Group, she has also acted as Dance Captain for these and Assistant Choreographer for Wexford Pantomime Society. Sinéad has recently received a Certificate in Dance Education from the Royal Academy of Dance, London. Sinead is also a freelance teacher for adults (specializing in First Dances for Weddings) and kids.
Chris Holland Chris most recently appeared as Murdoch in Titanic at the Princess of Wales theatre, Toronto after performing for two years in the Olivier award winning Les Miserables at The Queens Theatre where he alternated the role of Jean Valjean. He was also invited to be a part of the Miss Saigon 25 celebrations at The Prince Edward Theatre. He played Davy Harrison in a workshop of a brand new musical The Last Ship (Live Theatre Newcastle) directed by Joe Mantello and music written by Sting. He created the role of Rags Ryan in a new musical Burlesque (Jermyn Street), the show winning the 2012 Ofﬁe for Best New Musical. He appeared in The Phantom Of The Opera (Her Majesty’s) playing Firmin on many occasions. He understudied and played Harvey in All The Fun of the fair (Garrick), was Billy Kostecki in the original cast of Dirty Dancing (Aldwych), Snake Preacher and The Man in Whistle Down the Wind (Palace and UK Tour), Big Macca and played Britney and Khashoggi in We Will Rock You (Dominion), original cast of The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Vince Fontaine/Teen Angel in Grease (UK Tour), Heathcliff (UK Tour), Pharoah in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (UK Tour), Elwood Blues in The Ofﬁcial Tribute to the Blues Brothers (UK and European Tour), Out of the Blue (Shaftesbury), understudied and played Chris in Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal,Drury Lane). Workshops: George in Marguerite, Cloudkeeper in Sleeping Beauty and Ninoy in Calling manila for the Royal Opera House. Concerts Include: The Phantom Of The Opera 25th Anniversary Concert at The Royal Albert Hall. Hojja in Moonshadow with Yusuf Islam on his Guess I’ll Take My Time tour, Judas in Jesus Chris Superstar (Porchester Castle), Enjolras in Les Miserables (BIC), Freddie in Chess (BIC), West End Rocks (Hexagon), Showstoppers (UK Tour), Live and Let Die, Christmas Crackers and Queen Symphonia all with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Chris was a resident singer on the hit series Showstoppers for BBC1 starring Gary Wilmot watched by 10 million viewers every Sunday evening. He appears on the cast albums of Dirty Dancing, All The Fun of the Fair, The Witches of Eastwick, Moonshadow, and Heathcliff. His debut solo album Finally! was released in 2009. He is also a regular jingle singer for Talksport Radio winning the 2011 Vox Award and Sony Music Award with the team for Best Use of Music in a commercial. In 2013 Chris was awarded Fellowship of The London College of Music, the highest qualiﬁcation given. He is now a hugely sought after vocal coach with former students now appearing on Broadway and in the West End. Chris has an excellent track record entering students for prestigious LCM Music Theatre Singing exams with enormous success. www.chrisholland.info
Maria first joined the Wexford School of Ballet and Modern Dance at the age of three and has over 25 years of dance training in RAD Ballet, ISTD Modern and Tap Dancing. Having completed many grades and assisted with many classes the school became her second home.
No stranger to the Wexford stage Maria has been involved in numerous shows with Oyster Lane Theatre Group such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Wedding Singer, Annie, Beauty and the Best to name but a few and is also a committee member for the group holding various officer roles. Maria has also been involved in many shows with The Wexford Pantomime Society playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Maria came back to the school for it’s 50th Anniversary Show “Reprise” in December 2015 to choreograph “Jai Ho” and went on to choreograph the St. Patricks Dance in March 2016 winning “Best Overall Performance”. She has since choreographed other pieces for the school. Maria holds an Honours Degree in Business for Institute of Technology Carlow, along with various Business, Marketing and Public Relations qualifications from DIT and CM. She has completed her Intermediate exam and most recently received a Distinction for Promotion of Health and Safety in Dance Instruction for her Teaching Diploma under the renowned ISTD teacher and examiner Linda Sweetzer.
Jonny started dancing at the age of 12 with the Wexford School of Ballet and Performing Arts. Here he studied Modern, Ballet and Tap, successfully achieving ISTD Modern exams and RAD Ballet exams. On completing his Leaving Cert in St. Peter’s College Wexford, Jonny decided to pursue his hobby as a career. He began a two year tailor-made intensive course under the main tutelage of Suzanne O’Leary where he passed his vocational dance majors with flying colours, while simultaneously studying in London under renowned examiner Linda Sweetzer. Some of Jonny’s highlights with the WSBPA include: dancing the part of ‘Peter’ in ‘Peter and the Wolf’ in the National Opera House before taking the show to Tomar, Portugal for the 10th anniversary of the Zezere Arts Festival; dancing the role of Prince Desire in the Sleeping Beauty Ballet – the 50th celebration of the WSBPA in the National Opera House and choreographing ‘Hallelujah’ for ‘Reprise’ 50th Anniversary Show , in which he had the honour of bringing back many former students to grace the Dun Mhuire stage once again. Further highlights include performing with local groups and societies including Oyster Lane Theatre Group, Wexford Light Opera Society and Wexford Pantomime Society. Jonny teaches with the WSBPA and is also a freelance teacher and choreographer working with numerous stage/dance schools, primary and secondary schools and societies around the county.
There is a bit of insanity in dancing, that does everybody a great deal of good
What WSBPA means to me…
Couldn’t be better in any way, teachers go above and beyond, Never want to leave.
WSBPA is a place where i have learned valuable life lessons. I have been taught the importance of hard work and discipline, dedication and perseverance. WSBPA is a home away from home where i have been show that family isn’t just limited to bloodline.
It has given me the confidence to do what I love and has taught me so much about performing. I have been taught things I would never learn anywhere else. I have been treated so well and always love coming to singing and dancing class. This is my favourite place to be and WSBPA means the world to me.
WSBPA was like my second family growing up. I started as a little 3 year old and I grew up here. Most of my fondest memories have happened here in WSBPA and I’m so thankful to all the teachers that helped me throughout the years to grow and mature. I know that the friends and memories I’ve made here will be my lifelong friends. Dance has bonded us in a way that’s difficult to describe. WSBPA has reared all of us Honohans and I can’t thank you all enough.
The WSBPA has been such a huge part of my childhood. In my time here I have learned so much more than ballet and modern dance. I have made life-long friends here and will never forget the great moments I have had here, both on and off the stage.
WSBPA means everything. The school and staff gave me more than just dancing lessons. It gave me life lessons that I will never forget.
My favourite memories of my childhood and teenage years are of evenings spent in the studio in John Street with some of the best people, who soon became a second family. The best years of my life I’m sure! x
The strongest of friendships and unforgettable memories. For me, dance is for life now and I have WSBPA to thank for that.
THE WORLD! A place where you can truly be yourself and also discover who you are. The people you meet will stay with you for life – there’s no bond quite like a bond made through the love of dancing. Thank you for the most wonderful memories! 🙂
To me, WSBPA is my childhood. Your classmates slowly grow into family, teachers become like second parents and the studio becomes your second home if not your first! The WSBPA will always hold a special place in my heart and mind with unforgettable memories with people that I know will be my friends for life.
The WSBPA has been my second home since I was 3. Words cannot explain how special the WSBPA is to me. So many memories and opportunities I will cherish forever. It’s a special place with wonderful friends and teachers.
The WSBPA is a place where I have made a million memories over my 14 years here and each one never fails to bring a smile to my face. From seemingly endless rehearsals, to buckets of ice for my feet and every moment of friendship in between – I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I know that the friends I have made here will always have a place in my heart. I really didn’t know when I walked in the door aged 5 for the first time that I would have tears in my eyes leaving it, 14 years later.