Staff

Alan Foley

Principal

Alan Foley, Founder and Principal of the Alan Foley Academy of Dance began his training with the renowned Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance and the Cork Ballet Company. Further training included the Harrison College of Dance and Drama in London, the Vaganova Ballet Academy Summer School in Russia in 1989, the Broadway Dance Centre in New York, and classes with many distinguished teachers and dancers in Pineapple Dance Studios in London

He is also the Artistic Director of Cork City Ballet and has choreographed and produced all the company’s productions since 1992, including the hugely successful ‘Ballet Spectacular’ seasons, which have toured to all the major venues in Ireland. During that time, he has worked alongside some of the most illustrious dancers of our generation including Prima Ballerina Lucia Lacarra, Veronika Ivanova, Sofia Gumerova and Nikita Shcheglov from the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg, Erina Takahashi and Elena Glurdjidze from English National Ballet, Ekaterina Bortyakova and Akzhol Mussakhanov from Moscow State Ballet, Marie Lindqvist and Jan-Erik Wikstrom from the Royal Swedish Ballet and Andrei Bolotin from the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow.

Alan’s energy and stage presence were consistently noted by the critics in many major classical ballets such as ‘Swan Lake’, ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Don Quixote’, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Le Corsaire’ and ‘La Bayadere’ among others. His versatility was also evident in the many contemporary and jazz-ballets in which he performed, including Patricia Crosbie’s ‘Bodyguard’, and in his own ballet ‘Gira Con Me’.

Television work includes “The Late Late Show”, “The Arts Show”, the RTE/BBC joint production of “Go for It”, “Opening Nights” the BBC mini-series “The Aristocrats”, RTE’s “Ballet Chancers”, and the operas “Aida” and “La Traviata” at the Point Theatre in Dublin.

In 1998, he was the first person in Ireland to be awarded the prestigious Fellowship Diploma in Classical Ballet (with distinction), from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in London.
In November 2005, he produced and starred in the DVD “The Magic of Ballet – with Alan and Monica”, and November 2006 saw the launch of his book “Ballet Through the Lens – Foley and Loughman: A Portrait” with Irish ballerina Monica Loughman.

Alan retired from the professional stage in May 2007 but continues his work as Artistic Director of Cork City Ballet and Principal of the Alan Foley Academy of Dance.

His latest book “Cork City Ballet – the story so far” was launched at the Millennium Hall in Cork’s City Hall on 16th September 2008. In March 2012, he directed the Joan Denise Moriarty Centenary Gala at the Firkin Crane, which included an adaptation of her most famous ballet The Playboy of the Western World choreographed by Patricia Crosbie (with additional choreography by Alan Foley).

Recent work for Cork City Ballet includes a new production of ‘Swan Lake’, ‘Giselle’, The Nutcracker’ and ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ with Yury Demakov from the Bolshoi Ballet.

September 2018 saw the premiere of his movie/documentary ‘Breaking Pointe’ at Cork Opera House, and in January 2019 it had its US premiere at Scandinavia House on Park Avenue in New York, followed by the London premiere in September 2019 at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith.

Rebekka Simon

Head Teacher

Rebekka Simon studied dance at the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden, Germany for 6 years. Subjects included ballet and point-work, modern and contemporary dance, jazz and improvisation. During this time she worked with choreographers such as John Neumeier, Birgit Scherzer and Hanne Wantke. She also performed in ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at Semper Opera House in Dresden.

After seven years working as dancer in Germany, she performed in various theatrical musicals and dance shows such as “Fame”, “Kiss me Kate”, “Hair”, and “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. She moved to Cork in 2018, where she completed the full time dance course at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa. She also joined the Cork Youth Ballet Company during her studies at CSN Dance.

Rebekka is always curious about learning new dance skills and improving her techniques, and exploring new movements. Over the last two years she has participated in dance master-classes with Inma Pavon, Mathilde Gilhet and the James Wilton Dance Company. In 2019, she attended an Intensive Teacher Training Workshop at the Martha Graham School in New York, hosted by Virginie Mecene. She is a member of the Circus Factory Cork, where she practices Acrobatics and teaches a Contemporary Floor Work dance class for adults.

Rebekka is delighted to be joining the teaching faculty at the Alan Foley Academy of Dance and is looking forward to giving all our students the opportunity and encouragement to explore themselves through dance and to be at one with space, music and their own body.

Ciara Fitzgerald

Ciara Fitzgerald

Guest Teacher

Ciara Fitzgerald has been teaching at the Alan Foley Academy of Dance for the past seven years. She trained under the direction of Alan Foley at the full-time dance course at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa for three years and was lucky enough to work with some of Ireland’s fines dance teachers including Patricia Crosbie and Jane Kellaghan during her time there. She has completed her teacher training with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and enjoys teaching dance to children of all ages at the Academy. She is now a guest teacher in the school since September 2021.

“Working at the AFAD has been a dream come true for me and I feel that all the children and parents have become a part of my extended family.”

Guest Artistes

Ekaterina Bortyakova
Akzhol Mussakhanov
Leigh Alderson
Anthony (White) Austin
Jane Redmond
Amelia Hancock
Yulia Prokhorova
Kevin Hayes
Fenella Cook
Monica Loughman

Guest Teachers

Chika Temma
Monica Loughman
Leigh Alderson
Yury Demakov
Guzel Atymtayeva
Patricia Crosbie