“If coming to a ballet class provides a space of familiarity and comfort to even one family then this invitation has been a significant step.”
A ballet school in North Dublin is offering free dance classes to any displaced person fleeing conflict.
Emma Mahony, the principal of The Odette School of Ballet in Bayside, extended the invitation last night.
The announcement came amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, but Emma shared that all displaced people are welcome to attend free of charge.
What’s more, this isn’t the first time Emma has offered free lessons. She previously invited Syrian refugees to attend a few years ago.
“For me, ballet is very much about celebration, support and coming together,” Emma tells Her. “It is a place where people of all ages can find joy and an element of freedom. Ballet is a celebration of movement, of bodies coming together, a place to tell stories and a place to find connection.”
Emma hopes that her classes will be a place of safety and support for those who have been forced to flee their homes.
She said: “Ukrainian people arriving in Ireland have lost so much. It can often feel like there is nothing we can do in times of such immense suffering and loss; however, there is always something to be done, no matter how small. If coming to a ballet class provides a space of familiarity and comfort to even one family then this invitation has been a significant step.”
In the past, the Odette School of Ballet has shown their support for displaced people living in Ireland.
In 2021, the school organised a fundraiser which saw them raise over €500 to buy presents for children living in Direct Provision in Ireland.
Emma has also volunteered her time and skills to teach ballet at summer camps for children seeking refuge in Ireland.
“Not everyone has money to donate, or a room to offer, but we all have something to give,” she said. “We can all extend a welcome hand to those in need.”
For more information, head to The Odette School of Ballet’s website right here.