The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Tom MacSharry hosted a reception at County hall to honour the successes of the Lisa Cooper Dance Academy at the World Championships in August.
In his address the Cathaoirleach said
‘It is a special privilege to welcome each and every one of you here today to formally acknowledge the wonderful achievement of the young champions in the Lisa Cooper Dance Academy. It is an indication of the ongoing success of the Academy that you been honoured in this Chamber previously, and we welcome the opportunity to acknowledge and applaud your latest success.
Any day you can welcome Champions into this chamber is a cause for celebration, and our Council and our community applaud your achievements. What better setting could you have to make history than in the famous Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. This world renowned theatre has seen countless memorable occasions across all the performing arts, and recently the stage was graced by the brave young dancers from Sligo.
It is heartening to see local children prepared to make the effort, week in, week out, to practice, dance, and perform to reach the high level required for national and international competition. While we take this opportunity to pay a public tribute to the Academy as a whole, this evening our focus is on the 29 dancers who participated in the World Championships in August.
To emerge from that prestigious event with four world titles is an incredible success story: Under 10 Jazz solo, Two first places in Under 14 Lyrical Squad, Under 12 Jazz Squad
The Academy also had dancers who tied for first place in separate Solo sections of the Under 18 Lyrical Final. When you consider the extent of the international competition you faced, you get some sense of the scale of this achievement, with performers travelling from as far away as South Africa to compete.
Ranging in age from 8 to 17, the young dancers work hard to reach their individual potential, while working equally hard to support and encourage each other, and this spirit lies at the heart of the Academy. While the foundation of the success was the skill and determination of the dancers, and the professionalism and expertise of their coaches, others made a valuable contribution also
Stephen Mullen of Sligo Haulage and Distribution was a very generous sponsor, and two of the Academy parents, Claudine Harnesse and Michelle Cawley did a remarkable job in their Fundraising campaigns. This was a wonderful team effort, dancers, teachers, volunteers, Academy sponsor, parents and families, staff at the Avalon Centre, each and every one of you can be proud of what you achieved for your Academy, and for Sligo.