Young Rural Retreat: Recipient

DanceEast and Dance Ireland are delighted to work together to provide one funded place for a young Irish dance artist to attend Young Rural Retreats in 2019.

We are plesed to announce the place has been awarded to Dance Ireland Performer / Choreographer member, Niamh Ó Flannagáin, who will attend the programme taking place Thursday 29 August – Sunday 01 September 2019 in Jerwood DanceHouse, DanceEast.

This is a key opportunity to explore what skills will be required to lead dance into the future in an uncertain economic climate.

Niamh Ó Flannagáin on her being part of the YRR, 'I am very excited to be attending the Young Rural Retreat hosted by DanceEast. It will be a great opportunity to network and form friendships with other young artists while learning from leading industry professionals. I’m looking forward to sharing ideas, discussing issues and solutions, and learning skills that will help in our careers and as future dance leaders. I’m so grateful to Dance Ireland for enabling me to be a participant on the retreat and look forward to sharing what I learn.'


Niamh began dancing locally in Dublin with the Dunbar School of Dance before moving to the Goode School of Dance. Following this, she was accepted into Tring Park School for the Performing Arts where she completed her professional training.
While at Tring, Niamh completed two UK tours with Encore Dance Company, performed three seasons with The National Youth Ballet of Great Britain and appeared in a gala performance in Sweden with the Royal Swedish Ballet School.

She danced works including Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s ‘Elite Syncopations’ and ‘Concerto’, Cathy Marston’s ‘Traces’, and Drew McOnie’s ‘Be Mine’.

After graduating Niamh joined Ballet Ireland. She has completed two seasons with the company, touring Ireland with ‘The Nutcracker’ and more recently performing in Ohad Naharin’s ‘Minus 16’. She has also worked with Chrysalis London in their recent UK production of ‘Candy’.

ABOUT Young Rural Retreat 

Young Rural Retreat 2019, is an intensive experience aimed at young leaders who want to make a difference and who want to learn more about themselves, leadership and, where and how they may contribute.

The Retreat will be led by two facilitators: Christopher Hampson, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet and Catherine Cassidy, Director of Engagement at Scottish Ballet
Christopher has participated in previous Rural Retreats for both aspiring and existing dance leaders and as a speaker, and Catherine, as well as being a leading dance educator is a specialist in career development. 

Each day will start with a short class or warm-up. Participantswill hear from leaders in and beyond dance, explore what leaders do, the skills they need, the challenges they face and ways of dealing with difficult situations. There will be time to listen and reflect, to discuss and discover different ideas, to work with people who share your passion, and to formulate an international network of ambitious young leaders.

DanceEast has been providing Rural Retreats for existing and aspiring dance leaders since 2003.  They have brought together Artistic Directors of the world’s leading dance companies, leaders of professional training schools, and those looking to take their first step into leadership.

They are committed to nurturing young dancers to enable a diverse range of voices that are creative, bold and ready to find solutions to lead dance through times of stability and during times of uncertainty. Young people entering leadership roles will now be responsible for engineering growth for the future.

ABOUT DanceEast

DanceEast is one of the UK’s leading dance organisations. It is based at the Jerwood DanceHouse in Ipswich, the home of dance in the East of England.
DanceEast’s programme embraces the artistic, educational, social and recreational roles that dance plays in the local and national arts ecology. It places artists at the heart of the organisation, presenting high-quality, high-profile dance work in the Jerwood DanceHouse and offering artists support, development and stimulation via programmes such as the Associate Artist Scheme, Rural Retreats, Professional Development workshops, advanced level classes and the Choreographic Development Fund. DanceEast has been running a range of innovative community projects for over thirty years, working closely with partners on local, national and international projects. For more information visit