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The YBW Team

Judith Sibley



Dublin born Judith Sibley is one of Ireland's most prestigious ballet artists. She studied at the acclaimed Elmhurst Ballet School and the Ballet Rambert School, London. She has performed with Vienna Festival Ballet, Rubato Ballet, New Balance Dance Company, Ballet Ireland, Spirit of the Dance, Phantom of the Opera in both Belgium and Germany, Cork City Ballet, Irish National Youth Ballet, Youth Ballet West, The Great Waltz, and Coisceim (for the Ryder Cup). Judith has toured internationally, performing principal and soloist roles in all the major classical ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Cinderella, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker.

Judith has choreographed for Cork City Ballet, Baboro Festival, Macnas, Cuirt Festival, and Catastrophe Theatre Company. Her work has been invited to The Galway Arts Festival, The Dublin Dance Festival, Dublin Absolute Fringe Festival, Flights of Fancy Festival, Feile na Bealtaine, Louisburgh Arts Festival and Instruments of Peace.

Having gained the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma with Distinction, Judith founded Shannon Dance Academy, Athlone. She has tutored internationally for the RAD, and has taught ballet as far afield as Singapore and Italy. She spent six years as Chairperson of the RAD's Regional Advisory Committee in Ireland and is a former Director of Irish Ballet Forum.

She has choreographed Strings, Wishes and Waves, Love and Other Disguises, Soul/S, Ways You Wander, Connect For, Four Seasons of Peace, The Space Where Thought Once Was and Scatenato for her modern ballet company, Chrysalis.

Judith enjoys working with the members of YBW each year, guiding them to create beautiful dance pieces and allowing them to find the artist within.

Phyllis Hayes-Principal CDA, Director YBW

B.Phil (Hons) RAD RTS. ISTD CDE (Modern, Ballet).


Phyllis has been both owner and principal of Corrib Dance Academy (CDA) for twenty years. Previous to moving to Galway, Phyllis spent five years teaching at Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) schools in Italy, Greece and Germany where she prepared many students for graded and vocational examinations as well as staging numerous performances in venues as diverse as a converted cinema in Greece and a piazza in Southern Italy.

Phyllis is one of the most highly qualified and experienced teachers in Ireland having added to her teaching diplomas in classical ballet and modern dance by completing a B.Phil in Ballet and Contextual Studies from the University of Durham in 2002.

In 2003, Phyllis founded a vocational training programme to allow her most able students to be identified and their training streamlined over the years.

She became a mentor for the RAD in 2005, enabling her to train teachers under the auspices of the RAD. In November 2007, she was a finalist in the JCI Galway Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

In addition, in 2007, Phyllis co-founded Youth Ballet West with her sister Judith Sibley and is presently serving as Managing Director.

Ciara Beech

BA (Hons), ISTD DDE (Modern Theatre) RAD RTS.


After completing a BA in English and Psychology, Ciara trained at the Margaret Howard Theatre College in Hertfordshire, where she gained invaluable experience under the tuition of many West End and Broadway performers, professional ballet dancers and ISTD examiners studying ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary and musical theatre.

She then attended Inchicore College in Dublin where she completed her DDE in Modern Theatre to become a qualified ISTD teacher and achieved her Vocational Advanced 2 Examination (Level 4 Diploma) in Modern Theatre. During this time she also gained Advanced 1 in Tap and completed the CBTS programme to become a fully registered and qualified RAD ballet teacher.

Ciara originally studied Ballet and Modern at Corrib Dance Academy and returned to the school as a teacher in 2009. She founded her own dance school in Gort in 2014 and expanded to Portumna in 2023. She is currently administrator, producer and rehearsal assistant for Youth Ballet West.

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