Directors encompass a wide variety of key skills in artistic programming, choreography, dance, legal affairs, marketing and project management.
Dance Ireland Board of Directors:
Marion Ryan, Chairperson
Laura Macken Posavitz, Secretary
Directors are elected from the membership at AGM and also co-opted. All co-opted positions are endorsed at AGM. Directors are appointed to serve an initial 2-year term (renewable), up to a maximum of 6 years. The board meets quarterly, in addition to AGM and other meetings as required.
The board is mindful of its responsibilities to ensure that the correct skill set is in place, and is committed to recruiting as follows: four places will be filled through co-option and five places filled through membership election. The board maintains its commitment to ensuring gender, geographical spread and genre representation at all times.
The board is committed to regular reviews, and has developed the Dance Ireland Governance Framework, a suite of documents, setting out the policies and procedures, systems and procedures and policies informing how it conducts its business, and how we comply with the standards set out in the Principles of Good Governance. The responsibility for Dance Ireland is vested in the board of directors, with management delegated to the Chief Executive and executive team.
Marion Ryan, Chairperson
Marion Ryan is the General Manager for Intel Shannon and also leads a global Program Management Office for one of the Networking business groups in Intel.
Over her 15-year career in Intel, she has established and grown a strong Program Management organizations which have become recognized for providing significant business value to the groups which its support. Throughout her thirty years of Industry experience in the Healthcare, Finance & Telecommunications sectors, Marion has placed a strong focus on developing her people, managerial & leadership skills through various Management roles she has held. She is a strong advocate for Diversity & Inclusion and for Leadership Development and she plays an active role across Intel in driving key initiatives and programs that enable people to achieve their next level of potential.
Outside of work, Marion has a keen interest in Irish Music & Irish Dance. Prior to pursuing her Computer Science career path, she achieved a B.Mus. in Classical music followed by a Masters in Irish traditional Music from UCC. She also holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors.
Marion was co-opted to the board in Sep 2022.
Laura Macken, Secretary
Laura trained at The Irish National College of Dance and joined Dublin City Ballet as a student member at the age of 15. Throughout several years Laura danced corps de ballet and solo roles in many of their ballets, contemporary and jazz works and DGOS productions.
Following DCB’s closure, Laura became a founder member of Irish Modern Dance Theatre. She worked with Dance Theatre of Ireland, CoisCéim Dance Theatre (touring Ireland and the UK), Co-Motion Theatre, and many musical theatre productions in the Gaiety, Tivoli, and Olympia Theatres. Further theatre credits include The Secret Fall of Constant Wilde, at The Abbey Theatre, The Barbican Centre in London, and the Melbourne Theatre Festival, and The Dead, also at the Abbey Theatre. Laura danced in many film and television productions, performed on several cruise lines and has worked extensively in America as a dancer and choreographer. Currently, Laura teaches for Dance Ireland’s professional programme, College of Dance, and is a teacher and rehearsal director for Irish Modern Dance Theatre and CoisCéim Dance Theatre. Laura was Assistant Choreographer for RTE’s Centenary at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre.
She has choreographed for Pan Pan Theatre and performed in Laochra at Croke Park. In January 2017 Laura graduated from the University of Limerick, completing her MA in Dance, receiving first class honours on her thesis examining the versatile dancer.
Laura was elected to the board at AGM in April 2017.
Head of Corporate Immigration and Employment Law with KPMG Ireland, Aoife is a graduate of UCD and prior to joining KPMG, she trained and worked in William Fry Solicitors and the employers’ representative body Ibec. Aoife has a particular interest in employment equality and is leading Gender Pay Gap Legal Services in KPMG Ireland. Aoife is involved in the 30% Club in Ireland and other diversity initiatives.
Aoife has been involved in dance since she was six years old and hopes to blend her professional experience with her love of dance to enhance the work of Dance Ireland.
Aoife was co-opted on to the board in June 2019.
Non profit sector, arts management
Emma Morgan has worked in the non-profit sector for 13 years. She has a background specialising in fundraising development and organisational strategy. She is business analyst for Pobal, formerly the vice-chair and development board member for Helium Arts, and currently board member with the National Youth Orchestra, career mentor with For Purpose and private consultant and public speaker for strategic development in the non-profit sector.
She holds an MA from University College Dublin in Cultural Policy and Arts Management, the focus of which was how charitable organisations use arts-based programmes and products as part of their fundraising mix. In her spare time, she is a painter and, in the past, has participated in community art projects and had illustrations published for a small not profit publication entitled “what not to say”. She has a passion for dance and has participated in a range of classes and genres over the years including swing, ballroom, Irish and ballet amongst other styles.
Emma was co-opted to the board at the AGM in Sep 2022.
Favour Odusola (Proud African King) is a Nigerian Irish multidisciplinary artist based in Dublin Ireland. He has worked across several contexts from traditional dance & percussion to commercial work and contemporary theatre for over 15 years in Europe, Africa, and UAE. Favour is a theatre art (Dance Major) and a Business Administration Masters graduate.
He was the recipient of the Arts Council Agility Award 2021 and 2022, the AIC artist in the community scheme award 2021, and a recipient of 2021 Create Autumn school on cultural diversity and collaborative practice. He has worked and toured with: Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Dublin Youth Dance Company, Cork Midsummer Festival, Mother Tongues festival, Rob Heapslip, Rua Red theatre, Black Canvas, Top 8 several dance schools and companies all across Ireland
Favour acted, danced and worked extensively on many stage and film production sets back in Nigeria and now in Dublin with faces such as Jamie Foxx, to mention a few.
Favour recently co-founded his dance and entertainment company UMAKOKO with various dance-related services.
Favour is very adventurous, looking for new ways to use dance as a tool to be of relevance, for social integration, education, and proper implementation. He is currently on research to create a dance film/series.
Favour was elected to the Board in September 2022.
Heather’s passion for the performing, visual, and written arts has inspired her more than two-decade tenure as an arts administrator with The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the largest museum in the United States and one of the most-respected and -visited museums in the world.
A mathematician and lawyer, she presently serves as the Deputy Chief Development Officer for Campaign and Stewardship at The Met and is a key member of the Development team that raises hundreds of millions of dollars annually for the museum.
She graduated from Fordham University (B.A., with Honors, in Mathematics) and the Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., cum laude) and was admitted to the Bars of New Jersey and New York in 1997. She has pursued graduate studies with the Applied Mathematics Program at Hunter College of The City University of New York and was a participant in the 2021 Executive Development Program of Columbia Business School and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A first-generation American, she is the daughter of parents who were born and raised in Donegal, Ireland. Her mother passed onto Heather a love of the arts, particularly the recitation of poetry, and interests in cultures from around the world. An ardent balletomane since she was nine years old, Heather was a principal dancer for several years with a pre-professional ballet company in New Jersey, performing such roles as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. She has studied numerous other dance genres, including Irish dancing, raqs sharqi, and Delsarte.
Heather is excited to bring her love of dance home to Ireland to further Dance Ireland’s work and mission.
She was co-opted onto the board in August 2022
Choreographer, Director, Producer
As a choreographer/dance artist Kristyn Fontanella focuses her past knowledge of Irish step dancing and presents it in a contemporary context.
Having toured for many years with Riverdance, Lord of the Dance & as lead soloist in Gaelforce Dance, her current mission is to show another side of the complex world of Irish Step dancing to future generations.
Kristyn's duet with Sibéal Davitt, 'As We Know It' was an early success, showing in NYC, Dublin Dance Festival, Marseille New Danse Festival, & Tanzmesse Germany. Her ensemble work, IN LiMBO, which has had continued support from the Arts Council, recently completed its seven venue Irish National Tour in February 2020, and has future international touring opportunities.
For Galway 2020 Kristyn was involved in two projects; Plurabella, a solo dance film commissioned by Ríonach Ní Néill (Hope it Rains) and a site-specific dance piece with Dansnest (NL) through Galway Dance Project.
Her most recent show is a new traditional dance comedy 'The Competition... an interactive feis' which premier in 2021 to great success online and will continue to be performed as a hybrid format.
Alongside her choreography, Kristyn has developed her skills as a producer for fellow dance artists. She believes working along like-minded individuals to present and share their work will widen the market for dance in Ireland. www.kristynfontanella.com
Kristyn was elected to the board at AGM in September 2021.
Performer, Teacher, Choreographer
Laura Murphy is an award-winning choreographer, a performer and a teacher based in Ireland. Taking an expansive approach to dance, her work also includes theatre, film, video installations, and site-specific performances.
Laura Murphy Dance has been presented at Fira Tàrrega (ES), Edinburgh Fringe (UK), Judson Church (US), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (RO), Dublin Dance Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival (IRL) and most recently at Tanzmesse (DE) 2022.
As a teacher, Laura was the acting director of the MA Contemporary Dance Performance at the University of Limerick (2015) and currently teaches on the BA Drama and Theatre Studies in Trinity College, Dublin.
Laura was awarded Best Movement Director, The Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017 for Joan Sheehy 's Whitby’ featuring Colin Dunne.
Recent works include ‘Abacus’ Tanzmesse 2022; ‘The Shake’ at Dublin Dance Festival 2022; ‘It’s All Up in the Air on Bogland’, an RTE commission for Culture Night 2022, in collaboration with Rhona Byrne; And ‘What We Hold’ at Dublin Theatre Festival 2022 As Associate Director, in her first collaboration with Jean Butler.
Laura was elected to the board at AGM in April 2017.
Within his professional practice Rob Heaslip works internationally as a choreographer, dancer, movement director and teacher. He creates his own ensemble work as well as collaborative works, spanning dance theatre, live performance, installation, dance-on-screen, T.V. & Film.
Rob began his career with the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, training at both the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at The University of Limerick.
As an artist he is interested in how he can re-imagine human rituals for the viewer of today; asking how can the performing body be a vessel for intertwining dance, voice and design? His style combines movement and theatricality with mythos, neon lights, synth music and contemporary aesthetics to portray stories about people, how they think, move and act amongst each other.
Rob’s work has been presented in Ireland, U.K., U.S.A., Sweden, Spain, Germany and China, with highlights including The Made In Scotland Showcase at Edinburgh Fringe, Dublin Dance Festival, AGITART, and Dance International Glasgow.
Rob was elected to the board at AGM in September 2022.