Summer may be just around the corner, but a student at a dance academy in Clonmel can’t wait for September to arrive.
It was then that Toni O’Shea began a three-year course in the performing arts with a teaching diploma at the Morea Performing Arts College in Cheltenham, England.
“I’m very excited about it,” said the 17-year-old from Piltown, a student of the Alison Cronin Dance Academy.
“I would like to pursue a career in dance.”
Toni won her scholarship last October after auditions held in Dublin.
She still travels to Dublin once a month for classes, in addition to her classes in Clonmel.
The course at Cheltenham will include ballet as well as contemporary dance. Although she only started it a few years ago, contemporary dance is said to be her forte.
The daughter of Joan and John O’Shea, Toni started dancing at Alison Cronin’s studio in Carrick-on-Suir when she was four years old. Showing potential from an early age, she soon began taking more classes at Clonmel.
“Just for the encouragement from Alison and her daughter Jessica Stokes, Toni wouldn’t be here today and she wouldn’t be going to England on a scholarship,” says her mother Joan.
Toni is dyslexic, which Joan says was the biggest hurdle she had to overcome. Her mother says her achievements are an example “for all the girls who think they can’t do it”.
Alison Cronin, meanwhile, paid tribute to Toni’s passion and talent for dancing, and to Joan and Joan for all their encouragement and support for their daughter.
In Clonmel last month, Toni performed in Prism, a new concept of temporary outdoor performance experiences created by award-winning street performance company Spraoi and with performance designed in and around the Prism by the Dance Academy Alison Cronin, which was her first performance. in two years.
Just before confinement, she participated in Perform, a dance convention in Dublin.
Confirming her all-rounder status, Toni is also a member of Kathleen Byrnes’ Piltown Karate Club and recently earned a black belt in the sport, with the added distinction of having the most technical points in the country.
She also competes in Irish dancing and last year finished a very creditable third in her reel at the world championships.
The O’Shea family would be very grateful for any sponsorship or support for Toni’s course at Cheltenham.
The course costs £8,000 per year for each of the three years. In addition to this, his accommodation and private health insurance must also be paid for.
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