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Welcome to Dwan Academy

Dwan Academy: Welcome
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Performing Arts Academy

Thurles, Co. Tipperary

An innovative, independent performing arts school offering equal opportunities to the complete beginner right through to the avid performer.

Whether performing is a pastime or a passion we encourage students to develop at their own pace and we offer performance opportunities for students every year.

Taking great pride in the social development of our students, we bring people together in a vibrant and exciting community to explore the magical world of theatre and performing arts. No matter how large or small the goal, we will encourage students to surpass even their own expectations.

Dwan Academy: About

Theatre School

A combination of classes in drama, singing and dance for children aged 4 - 18 to get together in a supportive, fun and creative environment.

We take children on a journey from learning techniques, through rehearsals, to a final end of year performance and while performing is our main focus, we aim to build confidence as well as develop skills in the art of theatre.



Through role-play and improvisation young children get to stretch their imagination, experimenting with words and feelings. By interacting with others they learn vital social skills and can help improve their vocabulary and communication skills.


We introduce pupils to different rhythms and tempos in music allowing them to challenge themselves with a wide range of songs while improving technique and vocal ability. Working in groups pupils learn harmonies while solo singing will equip the young performers with the confidence and skill to find the meaning of the song and portray characters with ease.


Working in groups the children learn fun and contemporary routines. We show them how to warm up their bodies to avoid injury and teach them routines in many different styles of dance.

Dwan Academy: News


Classes run on a Saturday morning and are divided by school year.

Term 4: 13th Mar - 28th May

10:00 - 11:00 Bluebells - Junior & Senior Infants - €90 per term 

11:15 - 12:30 Juniors - 1st to 3rd class - €95 per term​

12:30 - 14:30 Inters - 4th to 5th class - €95 per term

12:30 - 14:30 Transitions - 6th class & 1st year - €100 per term

12:30 - 14:30 Seniors - Secondary school - €100 per term


Fees are payable in advance of each term, with 4 terms per school year. We offer discounts for siblings.

We only take online payments. Parents will be invoiced after booking a class. Fees must be paid before term commences.


Our uniform is a black t-shirt and hoodie with our logo available from Bourke Sports. We also require a pair of black jazz shoes, available from any dance shop, and a pair of plain black leggings.

Dwan Academy: Quote

Boys Musical Theatre class

No girls allowed!!

This boys only class will incorporate all three elements of musical theatre, singing, dancing and drama. It is for boys from 1st class to 3rd year who would rather not do their class with a bunch of girls!!

Term 4: 13th Mar - 28th May


Juniors (1st-3rd class) 14:45-15:45 

Intermediates (4th-6th class) 15:45-16:45 

Seniors (1st-3rd year) 16:45-17:45

Fees: €90 per term, with 4 terms in a year

Uniform: Dwan Academy hoodie and T-shirt, available from Bourke Sports, black tracksuit bottoms and trainers

Dwan Academy: About

Ballet classes

At Dwan Academy, we offer a warm and friendly atmosphere while providing quality ballet training for all levels and abilities in a fun, caring and nurturing environment.

Our classes are taught through the IDTA syllabus and include ballet technique, repertoire, and character dance.


Class Schedule

Classes run on a Wednesday afternoon and are divided by school year. 

Term 4: 13th Mar - 28th May

15:45 - 16:15 New Buds- New Jnr Infants - €55 per term

16:30 - 17:15 Daisies - Jnr & Snr Infants - €70 per term

17:15 - 18:00 Poppies - 1st to 3rd Class - €79 per term

18:00 - 19:00 Roses - 4th Class  and up - €90 per term

19:00 - 20:00 Lillies - Advanced - €90 per term

We also offer private lessons on Fridays

Class places are limited, so booking is essential. Email us through the link below to book your place!


Class information


Fees are payable per term with 4 terms per school year. We offer discounts for siblings.

We only take online payments. Parents will be invoiced after booking a class. Fees must be paid before term commences.


Our uniform is a blue leotard and skirt with pink tights and pink ballet shoes. A blue cardigan can also be purchased. You can order these through Helen's Kidswear, or online through Studio Dancewear

Dwan Academy: Admissions

Drama Classes

Group Drama classes exploring character, voice projection and ensemble acting through games and script work

Term 4: 13th Mar - 28th May


Junior Drama 17:30 - 18:30 1st-3rd class

Intermediate Drama 18:30 - 19:30 4th-6th class

Fees: €90 per term, with 4 terms in a year

Discount available for siblings. Fees must be paid before the start of term.

Uniform: Dwan Academy hoodie and T-shirt, available from Bourke Sports, black tracksuit bottoms and trainers

Dwan Academy: Opening Hours

Hip Hop Classes

High energy lessons based on fun, fitness and attitude.

Hip hop dancing combines an impressive footwork and unique movement to the beat of the music. From freezes to locking and popping, hip hop dancing will release your inner rhythm. The best part is learning how to express your individuality once you learn the basics.

Dwan Academy: Apply Now

Class schedule

Classes run on a Thursday afternoon and are divided by school year. 

Term 4: 13th Mar - 28th May

16:30 - 17:20 Tigers ~ 1st to  3rd class ~ €70 per term

17:30 - 18:30 Jaguars ~ 4th to 6th class ~ €90 per term

18:30 - 19:30 Panthers ~ Secondary school ~ €90 per term

Class places are limited due to the current situation. Booking is essential. Email us on the link below to book your place!

Class information


Fees are payable per term with 4 terms per school year. We offer discounts for siblings.

We only take online payments. Parents will be invoiced after booking a class. Fees must be paid before term commences.


Our uniform is a black t-shirt and hoodie with our logo available through Bourke Sports. We also require a pair of trainers, and a pair of plain black leggings or tracksuit bottoms.

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Creative Play

A drama and play class for children with additional needs


Primary School - 16:00 - 17:30


€95 per term
4 terms in a year
Term 4 starts 13th March

What we do

Song & Dance


None! Come in whatever makes you as comfortable as possible!

Dwan Academy: Admissions

Singing Lessons

Monday, Thursday & Saturday afternoons

Private Lessons

Build technique, repertoire and confidence with private lessons


Choose from RIAM, ABRSM, Trinity or Irish Board of Speech and Drama Syllabi. Or you can choose not to enter exams and work towards a recital


Lessons are €150 per term and there are 4 terms in the year.
Term 4 starts 13th March

Learn for fun!

If the thought of an exam or recital scares you then come and learn for fun. Build your confidence in your singing voice and learn a wide repertoire of songs

Dwan Academy: Admissions

Speech & Drama

Wednesday & Thursday evenings

Private Lessons

Build confidence in communication skills with private lessons for all ages and abilities.


We use the very flexible Irish Board of Speech and Drama syllabus as a basis for the lessons. Exams can be entered twice a year.


Lessons are €150 per term and there are 4 terms in the year.
Term 4 starts 13th March

Dwan Academy: Programs


Come and be a rock star!

We offer drum lessons for all ages and stages.

Learn to rock out to all your favourite songs, how to read drum score, and how to create a different rhythm with each hand and foot.

Friday afternoons

€150 per term

Term 4 starts 13th March

Dwan Academy: Student Life

Beginner Guitar & Ukelele Lessons

Mondays and Tuesdays

Learn chord patterns and strumming technique to your favourite songs


Max of 4 per lesson


€75 per term. 4 terms in the year


Half hour slots
Term 4 starts 13th March

Dwan Academy: Courses

Piano Lessons

"Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination…"

Music lessons with skilled teachers can increase confidence and furnish you with a life interest, as well as giving an appreciation of one of education’s most rich and rewarding disciplines. 

We offer one to one piano lessons, and cater for all ages and abilities.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday evenings. €150 per term.

Term 4 starts 13th March

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Learning an instrument is far more than just a hobby; it’s a new talent that develops confidence, charisma and personal expression. As a parent, encouraging your child to learn music will open them to an entirely new world of rich, fulfilling experiences.
If you’re an adult learner, you can give yourself a new opportunity like taking up those piano lessons you’ve always wanted. It is never too late to learn and appreciate music: we provide a chance to learn a new skill and enhance your music theory knowledge or just indulge in your favourite relaxing past time.
Exams can help give focus to the lessons and a great sense of achievement, but are not mandatory.

Dwan Academy: News
Dwan Academy: Instagram


Do classes run in the summer?

Dwan Academy follows the school year. The final term finishes at the end of May.

Does my child need to bring anything to class?

For one to one lessons and drama classes students should bring a folder.

For our dance classes they need to bring their shoes in a labelled bag and a labelled bottle of water.

We ask that they do not bring any personal items with them.

Tell me about the performance opportunities

Our stage school does one big production at the end of the year, as well as a small Christmas concert, the Hallowe'en Fest and the Cathedral Carol Service.

Our Ballet, Hip hop, Drama, Tap & Boys classes will host a small concert at the end of the year, and we hope to grow this as the classes develop.

Our singing, speech and drama, and guitar students will have a recital during the year.

We write all our own shows ensuring that the content is age appropriate and everybody gets their chance to shine. We write the script around the amount of seniors we have, so they each get a part. All other classes operate on a group basis ensuring the learn the art of the chorus before they get parts.

How will my child develop?

Every student will develop their skills at a different pace. We at Dwan Academy are committed to each child getting the most they can out of their classes, and our overall aim is building confidence and having fun.

What should my child wear to class?

We have a uniform because it means we can better identify alignment & posture to be better able to ensure the safety of the children and so that our work can look clean and polished.

Each class has a uniform. Please see the relevant section of the website. Shoes are the most important part of each uniform so please ensure you have the correct shoes for each class.

You can wait a week or two to see if your child enjoys the class and wants to stay before ordering the uniform.

What will my child be doing every week?

Our group classes will begin with a warm up, learn some exercises and work on repetoire for the next performance or exam.

Our one to one lessons will follow a similar pattern but will provide individualised feed back

When will my child move up to the next class?

Students will usually spend three years in each group. Teachers may decide to move them up earlier, or choose to keep them a year longer. This is to ensure the students are getting the most they can out of the classes and that they are developing at their own pace.

What's your policy on child protection?

Dwan Academy is committed to protecting all of the young people in our care. A copy of our Child Protection Policy Guidelines is available on request to all parents. Please email us if you wish to obtain a copy.

Photographs taken within the school are done so in a controlled environment by professionals. These photographs are only used for PR purposes for our website, our facebook page and for publication in local newspapers. If you do not wish your child to feature in photographs please contact us.

Do you offer a trial class?

Unfortunately during the current climate we are unable to offer a trial class. This is to ensure the safety of all our students and staff.

Hopefully once the pandemic is over we will be able to reinstate this option.

Can you tell me more about exams?

Exams are an option for most of our classes except Hip Hop. They are not mandatory.

The stage school, and drama classes operate group exams. Speech and Drama, Music, and Ballet facilitate individual exams.

Why are you more expensive than the other groups?

At Dwan Academy all our staff are professionally trained and are constantly upskilling. We have our own studios designed with all our classes in mind. 

There are no hidden charges after fees are paid. All costumes, extra rehearsal and show costs are included. Our Christmas concerts are free. Group exam fees are included. The only extra cost is the ticket for our end of year show and individual exam fees.

My child wants to do the stage school but but doesn't want to do singing

Studying Musical Theatre involves training to become a triple threat, being equally confident at singing, dancing and acting. Being able to adapt to all three will make you a better performer. From dancing you will get strength, poise and rhythm, from acting you will get character building, adaptability and the ability to speak in public, and from singing you will get musicality, ability to work in a group and confidence in your voice. All three disciplines are intertwined and make for a better all round performer. 

Everything in our classes is done as a group until reaching the senior class meaning that no-one is put under pressure, or singled out until they are ready.

My child is really shy

No problem! All our staff are well equipped to integrate even the most shy of children into our classes. We operate a buddy up system, either with an older student or with a fellow newbie to help our newer students be more comfortable with their new experience.

Dwan Academy: FAQ
Dwan Academy: Instagram

Get in touch

We would love to welcome you to one of our many fun classes. If you have any questions, please just ask! Complete the short form and we'll be in touch asap. Alternatively if you prefer to chat then please call Therese on 085 1654 854

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Dwan Academy: Contact


Dwan Academy: Programs

Therese Maher

Taking over from Pauline Dwan, Therese has been running the school since 2010. She holds a BA in Music, a postgrad in Stage Management, and MFA in Performance and is currently in her third year of a PhD Drama and Theatre programme at Mary Immaculate College. As well as directing and choreographing musicals around the country she works as a peripatetic music teacher. 

Her passion is working with young children and teenagers and guiding them through the process of creating a show, from the on stage performances to the back stage creative and technical aspects.

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Muireann Slattery

Muireann has been on stage and involved in musicals since the age of 4 with various different drama groups and musical societies most recent being Tipperary Musical Society and The Excel Youth Theatre Group. 

Muireann also has many years of dance experience with Brigid Whelan School of Irish Dance and On Your Toes Dance Academy. She recently graduated with a degree in Performing Arts in the University of Limerick.

Muireann currently teaches Singing in the stage school and gives private Singing lessons for Dwan Academy, and with Montforts College of Performing Arts

Robyn Nagle O'Riordan

Robyn graduated with a BA in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies from Mary Immaculate College. From a young age, she took classes in ballet. As a member of Frontline Stage School she furthered her singing and acting skills, and dance experience in tap, hip hop and musical theatre, and played roles such as Zazu in The Lion King and Wendy in Peter Pan. She has been on stage with Limerick Panto Society and was a member of MIDAS during her time in Mary I. Robyn also had the opportunity to not only perform, but to also help devise and choreograph productions with the BA CATS program.


Emma Browne

Emma began her full-time professional ballet training in the Vaganova style. At 15 she was invited to train in St. Petersburg, Russia. She continued her training with Brussels International Ballet School. Having attended English National Ballet summer intensives, she has performed many times on stage and at corporate events. Her most notable performance was as Clara from The Nutcracker with the RTE Concert Orchestra on RTE television. In 2022 she gave several performances in Swan Lake across Belgium. Emma has experience teaching advanced ballet students, teens, adults and complete beginners. She is registered with the Association of Russian Ballet and Theatre Arts (ARBTA) and is a fully Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT) Certified Teacher.  Emma is also a photographic model for Prima Chroma Photography.

Aoife Hennessey

Aoife earned a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary and Applied Theatre Studies in 2022 from Mary Immaculate College Limerick, and since then has been performing in Bunratty and Knappogue castles.

She has qualifications in Classical Singing, and Music Theory and achieved her DiplomaLCM in Musical Theatre Singing with ABRSM. Aoife also her certificates in Communication and Speaking Verse and Prose. She is experienced in teaching all ages.


Eoin Ryan

An experienced guitar player, Eoin is the front man for Seskin Lane, a Thurles based band who have played such gigs as Electric Picnic and Féile. The band hosts a yearly gig in The Source Arts Centre, encouraging other young local acts to partake, and promoting the local music scene. Eoin was previously a member of the band The Rumours, who released several singles.

As well as playing the guitar since he was fifteen, he also plays mandolin, banjo and tin whistle. Eoin has a great love of traditional music and often joins the sessions at the infamous Jim of the Mills. He has been teaching for a number years, and has a great passion for passing on his skills and encouraging musicality and the enjoyment of playing.

Emily Matthews

Emily graduated with honours with a degree in Drama from Wolverhampton in 2016. Since graduating she has been working professionally in theatre. With over 10 years teaching experience, she works with all ages and abilities.

Emily is currently the driving force behind our Creative Play Programme, which is aimed at special needs adults and children.

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Sinead Crone

Sinead is a primary school teacher graduated from St Patricks College, Dublin. Having taught in several schools across Dublin and Tipperary, she returned home and is currently teaching in Thurles. Sinead can play piano, violin, guitar and tin whistle. She is most passionate about the piano which she started learning since the age of 8. She completed her Senior Certificate in Piano in 2014, and has been teaching privately for several years.

Christoper Carew

Christopher is a freelance piano player and secondary school music teacher, having graduated with a BA in Music and Gaeilge from Maynooth University. As a self taught musician, Christopher has always been keen to share his love for music with colleagues and students. 

After gaining the adequate experience in teaching and performing roles in 2016 Christopher began work as répétiteur/accompanist and piano teacher having worked with many musical societies and secondary school across the country, with an aim of fostering an awareness and respect for all things music and arts. 

Christopher is currently doing his Master in Education through the University of Limerick.

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Danielle Martin

Danielle works as a Special Education Teacher in a Special Needs school. Prior to this she worked in Arts and Theatre as a facilitator and as a make-up artist for stage. In 2015 she qualified from NUIM as a Youth Arts Practitioner. She has previously worked with Wonderland Theatre Productions as an Education Producer and as a singing teacher for Dwan Academy.

In 2016 Danielle co founded Thurles Community Panto Society, for which she is chairperson and producer. She has also choreographed many shows for the society. Danielle has been involved in many stage productions over the years, playing roles such as Gigi in Miss Saigon, Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime, Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar and Fantine in Les Miserables. Danielle is also the lead singer of Thurles band Mister Wells.

James O'Meara Ryan

James is a crossover Irish musician from Thurles. Having originally started his musical career on the Electric Guitar, he moved to acoustic and Roots/Crossover genres. An avid traditional player he won the Bank of Ireland Student of the Year award 2013 – for services to Music in Secondary school and was also awarded the North Tipperary VEC award in Music.

James is lead guitarist and vocalist for Strings and Things, a contemporary Irish Trad / Folk/ Roots crossover band playing Irish songs, airs and traditional pieces presented in a contemporary style.

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Aine Rainford

Áine has been a part of all things musical from a young age. She is currently studying a BA in Music and English at University of Limerick. A committee member of the UL Musical Society she loves to perform in the society’s shows and events. She is a singer and performs at various events and concerts. She is currently preparing for her final Grade 8 exam in Classical and Jazz piano. Áine loves to teach and to share the experience of the joys of performance with everyone. Her favourite thing to see is when a show comes together and the excitement of performing starts to increase.

Aimee Rose Bowe

Aimee-Rose Bowe started playing the piano at four and completed her piano grades with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She holds Certificate Grades in Public Speaking, Effective Communication, and Speech and Drama with honors with The Leinster School of Speech & Drama, as well as the Proficiency Examination in Speech and Drama with the Irish Board of Speech & Drama. She been working with children and teenagers for the last four years assisting and teaching acrobatic and lyrical dance, and last year became an Alixa Flexibility Certified Instructor.

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Anthony Cogan

Anthony is a freelance drum tutor who began playing the drums over 20 years ago and has

several years of performance and teaching experience.

He holds a Grade 8 on the drum kit and a BE in Biomedical Engineering from the University

of Limerick.

Music - and in particular percussion - is a great passion of his, as well as playing the piano
and imparting his knowledge and skill set to the developing and aspiring drummers of the



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