Monica Loughman

Monica Loughman is Ireland’s best-known and most accomplished ballerina. She is Artistic Director of Monica Loughman Ballet, Ireland’s Ballet Company, which stages main-scale ballet at The Convention Centre Dublin and throughout Ireland. She also established Ireland’s first full-time professional ballet training Academy in 2012.

Monica travelled to Russia at the age of 14 to train as a ballet dancer and was offered a job aged 16 with the Tchaikovsky Perm State Ballet where she performed for ten years as principal and prima ballerina. In 2003 she returned to Ireland and made a connection with Insurance giant Allianz about the potential to develop classical ballet in Ireland. She started with a small ballet academy in the hall of her old school and then developed a youth ballet company called Irish Youth Russian Ballet. Ten years on, this became the National main-scale classical ballet company, Monica Loughman Ballet.

Wayne Sleep

In 1961, at the age of 13, Wayne Sleep won a Leverhulme Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School. Five years later, in 1966 he joined the Royal Ballet Company. He soon became a Senior Principal Dancer and had numerous roles created for him by amongst others – Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Dame Ninette de Valois, Joe Layton, Rudolf Nureyev, and John Neumeier. Wayne was a Guest Artist with several ballet companies, including English National, London City, Scottish, Capab, and London Contemporary Dance.

In 1980 Wayne formed his own dance company DASH, which after many seasons in the West End toured the world, concluding back in London at the Coliseum. The concept for DASH was to present dance to a wider audience using a mix of styles including ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary. This innovation at the time was well received by both critics and audience.

All the dancers involved in the show thank our mentors Wayne and Monica for giving us the opportunity to fulfill our dream performing on stage and giving us the chance to be ambassadors of inclusive dance.