About Us 

Scroll down for . . .    what we do,   who we are,   our heritage/roots   . . .

What we do ...

CDA /  BDA Dancers

Our main/senior classes are based in Blarney.
​Our founding teacher Michele is the only
qualified & registered practicing teacher resident in Blarney.
Also of course we love to travel and
'Blarney' is known worldwide and 
strikes a chord as being distinctly Irish.


Established in 1995, we now have dancers coming through as teachers so have expanded our area of classes in Cork :)
To expand our classes beyond Blarney we
have widened our name to Cork Dance Academy/CDA and expanded outside Irish to include Ballet

Dancers range in age from 4 years to 40+ !
As diverse in interests and experience as the years between us!!

We do
:
Display (including international travel) Gradings (exams) &
Feiseanna (competitions)
We provide private classes as well as
teach in schools as part of their curriculum

Since our re-launch as CDA/BDA
we have performed in/for:

St. Patrick's Festival Displays
in The Hague, The Netherlands

UCC Summer Workshop, Cork, Ireland
Celtic Ball (Black Tie) in Rome, Italy
The ​Irish College in Rome, Italy
Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, France
Basilica de Sacré-Coeur in Paris, France
County Mayor in Cork County Hall
The Lord Mayor in Cork City Hall
St. Patricks Day Parades in Blarney
Numerous school concerts...

As the Scannell-Ryan school
​we performed for/in: 

Disneyland Celtic Parade in Paris, France
Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland
The Lord Mayor in Cork
St. Patricks Day Parades in Cork & Blarney
The Actively Retired in Tower
Tourists in Blarney, Cork
Numerous weddings, school concerts,
Paddy's day functions in pubs/hotels....
....to name but a few.


We are currently fundraising
for our next international....
to help with fares/expenses of dancers to reduce costs on parents.  
All dancers are offered the chance to take part in trips/events - whether young or old, beginner or champion -
there is always a part just perfect for each dancer in our displays.  

We normally run (now not due to Covid!) bag packing, bowling nights, raffles etc to help us attend future events.
Invited to many events but can't make them all.  
Yet our feet are mad to get off the ground for our next tour!
 If you have any ideas to help feel free to offer your expertise
- it would be much appreciated.


Our adventures: 
The Hague (2019)
Rome (2017)
Paris (2015) 
Paris (2000)
Edinburgh / Glasgow (1998)

Our next venture is ...
watch this space!

Who we are ...

Founder/Principal Teacher:
Michele Scannell-Ryan BBus, BA, TCRG, MIITD, MTOPRA.

Mom of 4. 
Qualified Registered Experienced Member of: 
IITD Irish Institute of Training & Development
CLRG An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha 
MRCE 
Múinteoirí Rince Chúigí na hÉireann
MDTA 
Munster Dance Teachers Association
TOPRA The  Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs

Also qualified in:
BA (Hons) in HRM from MTU 
with First Class Honours 
BBus in Management from MTU with Distinction
PPC in Training & Development from IITD
Lean Six Sigma with MTU
IT from TUS 
(Technological University of the Shannon)
Occupational & Paediatric First Aid, CPR

Holistic Therapies: 
Reflexology, Anatomy & Physiology (NHII), Aromatherapy, Holistic Massage, Anatomy & Physiology (ITEC), Thermo Auricular Therapy (Ear Candling), Hot Stone Therapy & Reiki.  Post grads in Reflexology 
in Palliative Care & Infertility

Senior dancers currently working their way through the Irish Dance Exams...

Sinéad Helen (neé Walsh) 
is qualified and experienced in childcare and is a Supervisor in a hotel crèche. Sinead was a pupil of Aileen Harrington too back in the day and was one of our fist dancers to start with our school over twenty years ago and was on our tour to Edinburgh in 1998. Also competed and won in numerous competitions including Regionals (An Comhdháil).   
Having returned as an adult dancer, in 2015
she is the first of our dancers to complete all 12 grades, and with honours, also completing the prep course for the céilí TMRF exams.
Also got married in recent years
and became a mom to of 2.



Hannah Dennehy
is a qualified, registered and experienced music (piano) & secondary school teacher. Hannah performed in Rome 2017 & Paris 2015 and has completed all 12 grades.  
Summer 2015 Hannah also competed in the
Cork Selection for the Rose of Tralee,
sponsored by BDA.  
She was absolutely fab of course and had lots of fun while representing us so well.

 
Gina Cullen
is a qualified primary teacher
and development coach.
She has completed all 12 grades with prep completed for the TMRF
in just 4 years since joining us!
She is absolutely flying through the grades
and developing in style and technique to her talent and commitment to practice.
Gina performed in our ladies senior céilí team in the Munsters and was also part of our display team in our 2019 tour to The Hague.


Clare O'Connor 
is
 already on grade 9 and had completed the TMRF teacher prep classes
in just 3 years of joining us!
She too is absolutely flying through the grades and developing in style and technique due to her talent and commitment to practice.  
Clare got wed in recent years and is now a mom of 3 bambinos, so a busy house!

Clare was also in our display team for our
2019 tour to The Hague.


Taisce Ryan
is currently on grade 8.
She performed in all our recent tours to date -
The Hague 2019, Rome 2017 & Paris 2015
and was on our senior ladies céilí team
for the Munsters.
She qualified in animal care and is currently studying human healthcare in college and continues to work her way up the dance grades ladder.


Kelly Brassil
has been dancing since the age of 3 and most recently completed the BA in dance in UL
(the University of Limerick).
She made the semi-final of An Jig Gig -
which aired in November 2015.
Having started grades relatively recently
she is already on grade 7.
Kelly also competed in the Mini Munsters 2016 for her first time and as well as winning a host of medals also won a trophy for 3rd overall of Munster in the Trad Set.

She also studied ballet full time for 3 years before joining Cork City Ballet in performances of Giselle, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. She taught childrens ballet in the Firkin Crane for 2 years.
She will start teaching ballet
in Tower/Blarney over the coming months.


Steph O'Connell 
is on grade 7 from dedication to practice.
She too has performed in all our recent tours to date - The Hague 2019, Rome 2017
& Paris 2015.
She is currently studying Arts in UCC and working up the dancing gradings ladder.


Karen McDonnell
 
is already on grade 7
after only a few short years with us through dedicated practice and commitment - a very dedicated and talented dancer, driving substantial distances to make our classes.


Gillian O'Driscoll
 
is absolutely bombing through the grades having joined us recently and is already on grade 7 through dedicated practice and commitment - a very dedicated and talented dancer, driving substantial distances to make our classes as well as being a busy mom and business owner. 

And there's more!
Many more dancers who have started their journey on the grade exams and touring (watch this space - only those from 18+ years, grades 7 and higher are listed).

Our heritage / roots ...

Michele, founding teacher was a former pupil of Rose O'Sullivan, Aileen Harrington RIP & Peg McTeggart RIP

Competed and won at all levels from local feiseanna to All Irelands (An Comhdháil).

Performances at varied venues from local hotels to the Cork Opera House...
Member of the display team to represent Cork in it's twin city Rennes (France) to perform a varied display including Riverdance at the Foire Internationale de Rennes.

Graduated TCRG in Co. Down 1995
[the sole graduate from Munster
in 95 with An Comhdháil].
Transferred to Coimisiún in 1999

Officially established our own school in
1995 'the Scannell School of Dancing'

Proudly coached new dancers from figuring out their right from their left up to and including trainee teachers, Cork Champions, Munster Champions both solo & team and to All Irelands competitors with An Comhdháil

Invited to many and accepted a number of offers for our school to perform on the international level - see some old pix!

 3 Solo Munster Champions,
2 Munster Champion Teams
(with An Comhdháil)...
& competitors at all levels
from local feiseanna to
All Irelands...
Just as proud of the one little dancer who took years to eventually 'click' the threes,
see the pride on her parents faces & the joy on her own.

Relaunched as the 'Scannell-Ryan School
of Dancing' in 1998


Our First International Tour: 

Edinburgh International Festival 1998

Transferred from An Comhdháil to An Coimisiún (CLRG) in 1999
Interviewed initially by Dr. John Cullinane ADCRG re transfer to An Coimisiún.
From a child I had read the books by John and to this day regard him as a treasure for not only his many years of service to Irish dancing but to his dedication to put into words for future generations.  He is a living legend and an inspiration not only to me but so many worldwide.  Thank you so much John, Michele.

International Tour:
Celtic Parade Disneyland Paris 2000


Took a career break for family reasons.

New classes, new website, new costume ... 

we came back!

Relaunched as the 'Blarney Dance Academy'

Back teaching with new young dancers, including my own children. Delighted to welcome new faces as well as some of our former dancers and friends who have returned to our senior class.
Sad that some have emigrated but delighted to hear from you - enjoy your adventures and keep in touch. Already three tours under our belts as noted below Paris, Rome & The Hague

Next run of international tours: 
​PARIS 2015
We performed at the
'Greening of the Basilica de Sacré-Coeur'
(part of the International greening event for
St. Patrick's celebrations).
Also, the sold out ceilí at the
Centre Culturel Irelandais (CCI)
in Paris with the Dusty Feet Ceilí Band.
Guests of the Irish Embassy & Tourism Ireland in supporting Minister Richard Bruton TD.

ROME 2017
​We performed at the Celtic Ball (Black Tie) in Hotel Quirinale Rome ​to a full house including Minister Charlie Flannagan,
​Vatican Ambassador Emma Madigan & Italian Ambassador Bobby McDonagh.
​We also performed on two nights at the Irish College for their St. Patrick's Week elebrations
We experienced the 'greening' of the Colosseum

THE HAGUE 2019
We performed in the St. Patrick's Festival open air concert with two displays as well as a ceili night with the Irish Business Assosication.
Absolutely fabulous people and place with super memories.
The crowd at the festival was something to remember! Great craic.
We highly recommend anyone to enjoy this yearly festival. ​

 2021 Covid stole the show!

2023 our big trip was affected still by Covid, 

so a small group of us still experienced 

2023 BERLIN

by dancing in Berlin's largest beer hall 

on Paddy's night!

Next Tour: 
2024 DISNEY 

Watch this space :)
Practice in motion, fundraising too!

Expanded our class range so relaunched as

'Blarney Cork Dance Academy'

Delighted to Welcome to our team:
Sinéad Helen (neé Walsh)
Taisce Ryan
Steph O'Connell &
Kelly Brassil

Dancers continue honing their skills ...