Teachers

Nicole McDonald | MA, Grad. Dip BATD (AF) IDTA (AF) ISTD
Nicole began her professional training at Laine Theatre Arts where she received a full scholarship. Nicole has trained in Dance, Singing, Drama and all aspects of Musical Theatre. She has over 17yrs teaching experience specialising in Jazz and Tap, and has worked extensively as a Professional Dancer, Creative Director, Tutor and Choreographer both on stage and for television. Nicole holds a masters in Dance from the University of Limerick as well as two teaching associate qualifications from BATD and IDTA.

Her professional career has taken her around the UK, America and Europe. TV and Film Credits include: A Royal Variety Performance – Live from the London Palladium working alongside River Dance, Celine Dion, Michael Barrymore and Vanessa Mae. The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen ‘Undercover agents’, Channel 4’s pop show – The White Room with Babylon Zoo, Robert Palmer, Blur and Little Richard and ITV’s’Barrymore – my kind of people’. She has danced for Nike, Addidas, Reebok and L’Oreal Hair at the Royal Albert Hall and has also performed at the “Stuntman’s Ball” (Grosvener Hotel – London) for a number of consecutive years for many stars including Mel Gibson, Michael Caine and Peter O’Toole. Nicole has also performed in several CSE tours, numerous pantomimes and summer seasons throughout the UK, working with Bobby Davro, Joe Pasqualie and Michael Barrymore.

Nicole has worked extensively as a Jazz Teacher and Choreographer for many stage schools and colleges throughout Ireland since 2000 and her dream from a young girl turned into a reality when she opened Steptacular Performing Arts in 2006. Nicole is also guest choreography judge for many of the competitions around Ireland including: The All Ireland Variety Show, Showbizkidz, Dundrum’s Got Talent and Dance Supreme Freestyle and Lyrical Competitions. She is currently head of dance for Bull Alley Theatre Training College, on the faculty as Jazz Teacher for Sallynoggin College of further Education, regular Jazz Teacher for Coisceims’s Broadreach dance programme and regular Jazz teacher with Monica Loughman Ballet Company. Nicole’s most recent project ‘Dance in Education’ successfully implemented a 6 week dance programme which rolled out to 6 National Schools throughout Ireland. Working alongside Monica Loughman Ballet, Nicole designed the programme funded by The Minister of Arts. Choreography credits include: Steptacular’s yearly productions since 2006, Ragtime, Follies, Steel Pier, Parade, Tommy, Company, Titanic, Evita, Sweeney Todd, Ozmopolitan, Blondalot, Freaked, Hot Mikado, Pippin, Calamity Jane, Oaklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, Oliver, Babes in the Wood, Westside Story, Me & My Girl, Grease, Eircom’s Ireland’s got Talent, The BelleBottoms (Vodafone comedy festival), A man of no importance, The Witches of Eastwick, Sister Act, Hairspray, Spamalot and Anything Goes where Nicole was nominated for best choreography and was runner up at the AIMS 2015 awards.


Sarah Carpenter | Singing & Musical Theatre
Sarah always showed a great interest in the performing arts. Upon leaving school she studied dance at Sallynoggin College of further education and then went on to complete a diploma in musical theatre performance from the London College of music while attending Westside stage school. During this time she was invited to attend a week’s training on scholarship at the North London dance studios.

She has performed in theatres such as the Gaiety, the Olympia and Cork Opera house and performed in the Irish premiere of “Whiskey in the Jar”. She has just recently finished a successful summer season as leading vocalist in “Wilde Nights” on the Oscar Wilde with the Irish Ferries. She was delighted to be a part of the cast of The Promise the musical which premiered in September in the Helix. She is currently teaching in various venues in Dublin and is choreographing this year’s pantomime with Dundalk musical society. She is also studying to complete her ABRSM singing exams.


Laura McDonagh | Dance
Laura was a student of Westside stage school for over ten years, over those years she knew she would develop this hobby into an exciting career. After finishing her studies in Dublin, Laura attended North London Dance Studio where she trained for two years in musical theatre and performance. Continuing on to a teacher training course for a further year. She graduated with an FDI in Modern dance and has recently achieved an associate with the BATD. Laura then travelled to New York, where she took part in a nine month internship programme at the prestigious Broadway Dance Centre.

Laura has choreographed works performed in London, New York and Dublin, including the Noise Dance Festival, as well as choreographing a movement piece for an animated television advert (Road Safety Authority). As a performer she has worked on music videos, television specials and stage productions as well as part of a dance troupe that performed all over London. Back home she has performed many times in The helix, the civic and the Olympia theatre. Laura is now working as a teacher and choreographer in Dublin, including Ballet and modern exams classes.


Aisling O’Mara | Drama
Upon graduating from the LIR (National academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College with an Acting bachelors honors degree in in July 2015) I have played:

Fierce Notions by Fionn Foley directed by Sarah Bradly in Fringe Festival 2017 ( Smock Alley) Monster? By Emily directed by Karl Sheils ( theatre Upstairs) Wall by Catroina Daly directed by Stefanie Preissner 24hour plays (Abbey theatre 2017) Murder o f Crows by Lee Coffey directed by Karl Sheils (Theartre Upstairs 2016)hostel 16 directed by Raymond Keane(Fringe festival 2016) Beyond Barricades (ANU 2016) , Hornet’s Nest directed by Louise Lowe (ANU 2016) “Into The Sun” by Louise Lowe (ANU 2016)

Helena in Rebel Rebel devised by Aisling, Robbie and Louise toured Ireland/UK/New York directed by Louise Lowe(Show In A Bag fringe festival 2015), Rebel Rebel, Lady Play, directed by Davey Kelleher (Smock Alley Theatre 2016), Jack Duggan’s War by Colin Murphy (Colin’s barracks, 2015+2016) Contractions by Mike Bartlett directed by Annabelle Comyn (Bewleys Cafe Theatre 2015) Angels in America directed by Alan Kinsella for the Civic Theatre (2011) and a touring produc tion of Fireworks (Theatre in Education). (2011) Film and Television credits include: Tinderface directed by Paul Dua ne and Full Circle directed by Vincent Snel.


Carl Stallwood
Originally from Berkshire in England, Carl was awarded a full scholarship to train at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London. Since graduating, Carl has played many lead roles including ‘Herb’ in Godspell, ‘Tevye’ in Fiddler on the Roof, ‘Ernst Ludwig’ in Cabaret, ‘Barnum’ in Barnum, ‘Petruchio’ in Kiss Me Kate, ‘Luis’ in Copacabana, ‘Macbeth’ in Macbeth, ‘Principal Male’ in ‘Closer Than Ever’, ‘Diesel’ in West Side Story, ‘Jud Fry’ in ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘The Sergeant’ in Woyzeck at the New York Fringe Festival.

In 2008 Carl made his Westend debut at The Novello Theatre starring in ‘Eurobeat – Winning is Everything’, then, went on to star in ‘Evita’ as Eva Peron’s brother, Amos in the West End tour of ‘Whistle Down the Wind’, Finn in the UK tour of ‘Don’t Stop Believin, a tribute to Glee’. He premiered ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ starring as ‘Captain Farrell’ in The Red Cow, ‘Danny’ in Grease (Cork Opera House and The Gaeity), a principal dancer in ‘Mrs Browns Boys D’Movie’, danced for Jane Shortall at Croke Park, played The Beast in ‘Jedward and Beauty and the Beast’ at the Olympia Theatre, performed as a soloist in ‘West End in the Gable End’, a backing vocalist for The Voice Of Ireland, performed with June Rodgers in her Christmas show and then the National Tour ‘In The Merry Month of June’. Other credits include ‘Penny Dreadful’, being a lead vocalist for ‘Children in Need’, co-presenting the Lawrence Olivier Awards with Richard Wilson and performing in a concert for the President of Israel. As well as performing, Carl also spends a lot of time teaching Musical Theatre. He is currently co-director of TAP Stage School and on the Board of Directors of the Irish Academy of Musical Theatre (IAMT).


Roisin Walsh | Dance
Roisin started performing at the age of 6 in the Billy Barry Stage school, where she gained her love of singing, dancing and acting. From here she moved on to The Hollywood Academy where she took part in several shows and musicals. Roisin began her professional training at Irelands 1st Musical Theatre College, Bull Alley Theatre Training Company where she trained in dance, singing and acting and all aspects of Musical Theatre. Leaving Bull Alley, Roisin has received distinctions in many subjects including grade 8 in drama, ATCL in speech and drama with Trinity Guildhall, London. Also, levels 5 and 6 in theatre performance.

Roisin currently teaches for many stage schools throughout Ireland. She spends most of her time in Firhouse, where she teaches for Steptacular Stage School under the direction of Nicole McDonald. Here she has helped choreographed many school shows including one in October 2011, in the Olympia Theatre and Grand Canal Theatre. Roisin also teaches for Performers Theatre School in Bray under Helen McNeive. She also co-owns her own stage school in Co. Monaghan which has been up and running for 5 years.

As a dancer, Roisin has been on many stages through-out Ireland. Some to name are The Helix, The NCH, The Grand Canal, The Gaiety, The Mermaid and The Civic Theatre. Dance credits include – The only female dancer in ” Licence to Thrill” starring Ellen McElroy and Eoin Cannon. Dancer in “Our House” the Irish premiere. Dance captain in The Who’s Tommy, Showgirl in The Producers in The Gaiety Theatre and dance captain in Dramatic Action Productions. Roisin also directed and choreographed a show for the Bray Summer fest in 2011.Roisin worked as a children’s entertainer on board the Irish ferries cruise ship “The Oscar Wilde” in the summer of 2009 and 2010.

For the past 3 years, Roisin has been touring Ireland with her co-owned Theatre Company, Buzzworx. This company specializes in educating primary and secondary schools in the dangers of cyberbullying. They have been very successful and were asked to the National Le Cheile conference in February of last year. Also, Buzzworx appeared on Tv3 with Cybil Mulcahy on Ireland AM. Last September, along with her boyfriend, Roisin set up Abstract Theatre Company, whose sell-out run of Rent, saw Roisin in the role of Mimi. In August, she starred as Valery Clarke in Sheevawn Musical Groups production of “A Chorus Line”. Roisin is currently directing Bray Musical Society’s pantomime, Sleeping Beauty, which opens the end of November.


Amy Penston
Amy graduated from the Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts (LIPA) with a B.A. Hons Acting. Amy has recently returned home having finished a 9 month Uk/Ireland tour playing “Natalie” in Roddy Doyle’s ‘The Commitments’. The tour followed her year and a half long West End run in the Palace Theatre, London, covering, and playing “Natalie” and “Bernie”. She has loved Musical Theatre from a very young age, playing the role of “Grettle” (Sound of Music) at 5 years old.

Working credits include: “Vivienne” (Big Shot The Musical, Off-Broadway), “Yellow Girl” (SHOUT! The Mod Musical, Dublin), “Girl 1/Vocal Captain” (Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Productions), “Rubella De Zees” (Cinderella, Rock and Roll Panto UK), “Wednesday Addams” (The Addams Family, Irish Premiere), “Dorothy” (The Wizard of Oz, AIMS RUNNER-UP BEST ACTRESS 2012),”Woman 1″ ( Songs for a New World), “Holly” (The Wedding Singer, AIMS WINNER BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 2011), “Silly Girl” (Beauty and the Beast, National Concert Hall, Dublin), “Ariel” (Footloose), “Pitti-Sing” (The Hot Mikado) and “Ado Annie” (Oklahoma!, National Concert Hall, R&R, Dublin).

Concert appearances include: “Big Shot” (54 Below, Broadway), “Josh Groban” (3Arena, Dublin), “LIPA Showcase” (Criterion Theatre, West End), “Encore” (Guest Soloist, Bord Gais Energy Theatre), “Forget Me Not” (Lead Soloist, National Concert Hall, Dublin),”Good Thing Going” (Featured Soloist, National Concert Hall, Dublin).

TV credits include: “Realta Agus Gealta” (Finalist, TG4) “Over The Rainbow” (Final 50, BBC), “The Ray Darcy Show” (Performer, RTÉ) “Ireland AM” (Performer, RTÉ). “My Kind of People – Michael Barrymore” (Performer, ITV)


Lynn Redmond

Lynn trained at the North London Dance Studios where she graduated with a National Diploma in Dance and Musical Theatre. Shortly after graduating Lynn was awarded her first of many contracts with Costa Cruise Lines. She has performed in many countries during her time with Costa where she visited such places as the French & American Caribbean, Mediterranean, Adriatic, Transatlantic and South America regions as part of her profession.

Lynn has also worked onboard Irish Ferries as a Dancer in the “Wilde Nights Cabaret”, “Our House” in the Olympia and on several film productions in Ireland including the Bollywood Movie “EK THA TIGER”. Lynn has performed with Theatreworx Productions in various pantomimes such as Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty and most recently Jack and the Beanstalk at the Helix Theatre. She has choreographed for various stage schools though out the years and in August 2016 choreographed “The Big Shot” Musical for the Camden Fringe Festival in London. She currently teaches for Jill o’Neill school of Dance and Phoenix Performing Arts College & Studio. Lynn has recently qualified as a ITEC Fitness Instructor & Personal Trainer.


Amy Ford | Hip Hop

Amy Ford started dancing when she was 8 years old starting with hip hop. From age 10 to 16 Amy has won many competitive awards such as Irish street champion, British street champion, street dance dancer of the year and took numerous 1st place around Europe. Amy has worked with tv companies such as RTE, TG4, SKY.

Amy has worked with many Music artist: Kat Graham- in Brussels, Aluna George- Croke Park opening act for cold play, Rudimental’s- in the 3arena, Music band words that burn- music video “perfect mirror mannequin”, T-pain- show in the button factory, Jedward- flash mob. Amy Ford is a teacher of hip hop, contemporary, heels performance and commercial for schools and studios all around Ireland. Amy does all of this with her passion for dance and how it can connect people together. Amy is also part of a company called fly dance company that have successes all around the world and have evolved into a worldly known dance company.


Naia Byrne Paredes | Recreational Gymnastics Coach

Naia found her passion for gymnastics at the age of 8 years old, so coaching stemmed from her love of this sport. Naia has travelled to several countries over the years, such as Italy, Scotland and Greece, with her old gymnastics team, so has collected a lot of experience from her travel.

Naia began assistant coaching at Olympian Gymnastics Club  and is now coaching at Steptacular school of performing arts.


Chris Currid | Singing

Chris has just returned from touring Germany with the World of Musicals, playing arenas and theatre’s all over the country including the prestigious Tempodrome arena in Berlin. He has been performing his whole life. Starting out in various stage schools and drama classes, he made his professional debut in Bugsy Malone in the Olympia in 2005. Since then, he has gone onto play many leading roles with different production companies and groups all over Ireland favorites being Prince Charming in Cinderella (Helix, 14/15′), Pablo in Sister Act (National Concert Hall), Zangara in Assassins, Jesus/Judas in JCS, Emmet in Legally blonde and Robbie in the Wedding Singer.

In 2015, Chris was a lead vocalist in Raglan Road, Disney Orlando. He has also worked as a MC/vocalist on Irish Ferries and with Sean Gilligan Productions. In 2016, he was in the cast of the Hired Man in Cadogan Hall, London. He has sung with various bands and entertainment acts at weddings around the country for the past number of years

At the AIMS awards in June 2018, Chris was awarded Best Male Singer in the country for his role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar with Avonmore MS. At the production end of things, Chris has directed for many musical societies, schools and stage schools as well as teaching singing privately and in group classes in schools all over the country.