Jessica Peoples, Ba (Hons), PGCert, RAD, RTS
Jessica began ballet class at the age of three in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. She was introduced to contemporary dance and choreography in high school and Pilates classes in college it was during this time that her love of dance as a means of expressive communication grew.
After high school, she continued her dance training first at Scottsdale College before transferring to the prestigious University Of The Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she studied ballet, contemporary and jazz daily. Jessica trained with phenomenal, world renowned instructors such as LaVaughn Robinson, Wayne St. Denis, Andrew Pap and Ruth Andrien. She participated in many dance projects including Cultural Connection through the Arts, American College Dance Festival and a Multi-Artist project incorporating visual and performing artists.
Jessica is a qualified dance teacher with a Degree in Dance Performance (2001), a Post Graduate Certificate in Dance Education (2010) is a registered teacher (RTS) with the Royal Academy of Dance (2010), a certified Rambert Grades instructor (2023), and holds a certificate in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) (2017). After college Jessica was a member of the professional contemporary dance company, The Moving Co. where she performed, taught dance and collaborated on original choreographic works. Jessica earned a Professional Certificate in Dance from MIAET as one of six initiate dancers with Instinct Dancecorps (2004). She is also a Certified Pilates instructor (2015), advanced yoga instructor (500 hour TT) (2017 & 2022) and in addition to her dance and movement training she has a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Food Science (2010). She completed a post graduate year in Advanced Dance Performance at Ulster University, Magee (2017) and performed in the acclaimed production DUST.
Jessica founded Zona Dance Company in 2011 and teaches dance classes both in private studios and in schools teaching may styles of dance including ballet classes in Letterkenny & Inishowen, contemporary dance class, hip-hop/jazz, musical theatre dance and first wedding dances and has is passionate about Pilates and yoga. She has over 20 years of experience working with individuals of all ages and levels. Jessica has working with secondary school Leaving Certificate PE in dance and will be working on the new Junior Certificate short course in Dance. Jessica is an Arts Council Creative Schools Associate and has produced projects with Creative Schools primary initiative since 2019.
Jessica’s dance students have had great success in pursuing careers in dance and performance and have gone on to college to study dance at third level institutes in Glasgow Scotland (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland); Dublin, Ireland (College of Dance); London, UK (Central School of Ballet Summer Program),:America (Joffrey Ballet, New York); Institute of Arts, Barcelona Spain; Phoenix Performing Arts, Dublin, Ireland; Limerick University, Ireland; Ballet Theatre UK, Leicestershire, UK; Brighton Academy of Performing Arts, Brighton, UK
Linda Bennett, ISTD, ABD
Linda is originally from London where she trained at the prestigious Laban Dance Centre at Goldsmith College, London. She has an extensive professional career both as a dancer and dance instructor at the famous Pineapple Studios in London. Linda has worked with some of the most well-known choreographers of our time on various projects: such as Arlene Phillips (West End Chorographer), Bruno Tonioli (Strictly Come Dancing Judge) and Dame Peggy Spencer. Linda is a qualified teacher with ISTD qualifications in modern theatre and freestyle she also holds British Theatre awards in modern dance. Her professional performance career includes West End production of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’; performing on TV productions in Japan and as backing dancer with touring bands.
Linda was the former choreographer and coach for Finesse Gymnastics Display team and is a gymnastic coach as well as being fitness and Zumba instructor.
Diarmaid O’Meara, Ba (Hons), MA
Diarmaid is from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary and trained at the College of Dance, Dublin and Central School of Ballet, London. After his return from the UK he has danced with Ballet Ireland for several seasons and has also performed with English National Ballet, Royal Opera, Sadlers Wells Theatre, Wide Open Opera and Ballet Theatre UK.
He has extensive professional experience working with world renowned choreographers such as: Morgann Runacre-Temple, Matthew Hart, Mikaela Polley, Kate Flatt, Lucy Burge, Liz Roche, Hubert Essakow, Jessica Kennedy, Ludovic Ondiviela and Susie Crow. Diarmaid is an experienced teacher of ballet technique and repertoire and has taught at College of Dance (Dublin), Trinity Laban, Laine Theatre Arts, Bird College, Dance Ireland and Sylvia Young Theatre School. Diarmaid is a recipient of Bank of Ireland’s Millennium Scholars bursary, Dance Ireland’s Mentorship Residency bursary and Arts Council Ireland’s Travel and Training fund. He has most recently completed his Primary Education training Masters Degree and will be teaching the children of Inishowen in Primary School in the years to come.
Caitlin Clancy, Ba (Hons), RAD, RTS
Caitlin is a certified ballet and yoga teacher, her dance training began in South Africa where she is originally from. She graduated Cornwall Hill College with Bachelor Degree before certifying as a ballet teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance, she holds a Registered Teacher Status with the RAD. Caitlin is certified yoga teacher with a 200 hour teacher training in adult yoga, mindfulness for children, and holds a 200 hour teachers training for children’s yoga. She is a movement enthusiast and filled with positive energy that shines through her teaching.
Georgia Keys, Ba (Hons), Athletic Therapy
Georgia attended her first ballet class at 2 years old and hasn’t stopped since. She was introduced to other styles such as hip hop, contemporary and jazz from a young age and has taken part in various competitions (spectrum dance events ), festivals (Noise 2017, 2018, 2019), parades (Dublin St. Patrick’s Day, Derry Halloween parade, Letterkenny St. Patricks) and performances including Zona Dance’s productions of “Alice in Wonderland”, “Dance for all Seasons”, “The Moon Princess” , “Dance is Art” and “The Lion King “. She has completed ballet exams with ISTD and Royal Academy of Dance which has given her the qualification of RAD Level 3 Certificate in Vocational Graded Examination in Dance. She began assisting with classes at Zona at the age of 15 and her passion for teaching and developing her own choreography grew.
Georgia has completed her Athletic Therapy and training in Dublin City University and alongside her studies is continued to dance competitively representing her University with the DCU Dance Society in Ballet, Contemporary and Jazz. Her hopes for the future are to incorporate her love of dance into her clinical practice. She has just been accepted in the PhD program at ATU.
Daria Semonenko, Ba (Hons), Modern Choreography
Daria started modern dance at the age of 5 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Her love for dancing grew every year and after school she entered the Kiev National University of Culture and Arts. There she studied at the department of modern choreography. For 4 years she developed in such styles as: hip-hop, modern jazz, classical dance, contemporary and many others. She has a bachelor’s degree in modern choreography. In addition, she took classes from eminent Ukrainian choreographers such as Konstantin Koval, Marina Kushcheva, Alina Lagovskaya, Vova Rakov. She also attended an intensive with foreign choreographers “Atmosphere dance camp.” In 2020 she was the leader and choreographer of her own dance group “Seven” in Ukraine. Created various productions for the reporting concert as well as for the competition program.