Danspire – To inspire through dance

Danspire group

Louis Whelan

Danspire is a fun, energetic, non competitive kids dance class for ages 3 – 11. The classes combine dance, dance fitness and games that are designed to provide children with a safe space to express themselves through dance which helps improve their physical and mental wellbeing, improve their cognitive and motor skills, develop social skills and builds up their confidence. All of this while having fun and learning the latest dance routines and age appropriate Tik Tok trends.
The classes are run by Shauna Tilley (featured before in NF as Fitsteps instructor) and Danielle Doolin every Monday from 3pm until 6pm in the CYMS in Ringsend and each class is one hour long.
This is the start of a new term indoors as during Covid the classes were outdoors. Shauna is a qualified and licenced dance teacher, a dance fitness instructor with over 20 years experience. Having competed as a child, her passion now lies in the non competitive side of dance.
She wanted to create a safe space for children to be able to express themselves and experience the joy of dance, while still learning. Danielle is a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) with a passion for working with children. Danielle creates fun and interactive games in the classes, all of which have additional educational and learning elements. Her passion lies in helping each child on their individual journey to reach their full potential. Shauna (who met Danielle in a previous dance fitness class) knew Danielle was the perfect match when she hit on the idea of teaching dance to children. With her expertise and qualifications as a SNA, plus her vast knowledge of children’s needs Danielle is a great asset. The classes help children to learn things like spacial awareness, without them even realising it. All the dance classes are inclusive and unique, with Danielle simply adapting it to benefit each child. Danspire live up to their ethos that there’s no need for the kids to feel they have to perform or to be on top form every week, and they are all made to feel welcome.
Each class contains a mix of boys and girls and is tailored to the needs of the children. They can move up to the next class or stay where they are comfortable if they wish, whatever suits them.
The kids class is for ages 3-6 and that focuses on fun games, dance and learning new dance routines.This helps them to express themselves and have fun while being active. The social element of making new friends is also an added bonus.
The next class is for ages 7-8 so these juniors have high energy, lots of rhythm and their rosy cheeks show that they are clearly loving the environment. They use props like pom poms and play games such as the number game and musical chairs. They know all the words to the upbeat music and when Shauna puts on a song they love, they explode into happy squeals hugging each other. In addition they learn mindfulness as they must watch Shauna closely as she teaches them the new dance moves so they have to concentrate and be in the moment in order to show her that they can do it too. These are so much more than just dance classes: they contain elements of positive thinking, self love, self image, and esteem building. Plus it gets those endorphins running which in turn helps keep the happy levels up. This empowers children to be the best versions of themselves and they finish their class after a cooldown stretch with saying “I love me”, while giving themselves a hug.
The seniors are aged between 9-11 and they are more advanced so they are able to do more with regards to different dance styles like salsa and jive. Still, the same method is used in each class so all the children get the same level of care and attention. Here the music is faster, the pace is quicker and the energy levels are off the chart. They have the space to move around and the routines are really fun as these seniors can retain more information. This class also incorporates TikTox which the kids are fanatical about. Shauna had toyed with the idea of using TikTok during the last lockdown and as she tried it out herself, she realised that it could be something that she could use in her classes.
She decided to run a TikTok two hour masterclass during lockdown outdoors and the response was phenomenal, she sold out the first class in a half an hour. These have gone down a huge hit with everyone on social media especially with the adults jive as that has had an astounding 1.6 million views so it’s really amazing to see the whole process of learning the dance routine and putting that into a TikTok. The kids also get to have their own spin on it too and put their own sass into the moves.
Danspire has also collaborated with a lot of community groups in the area including the Dockers and Demons Halloween festival which runs every year and it was a fantastic experience for Shauna and Danielle.
Now that the restrictions have eased the next plan for Danspire is to get people back out socialising and dancing, keep it going. They also want to retain the older age group of 11 and over and get some teenagers in the classes.
Shauna and Danielle are starting a course on coaching teenage girls in sport so that it can be included into a brand new class. The goal is to have the community in dance fitness classes that cater to every generation, because when it is done in the right format it is really powerful – not just for physical health – but it also does wonders for your mental wellbeing.
Danspire are also warming up the Ringsend junior park run every Sunday morning from 9.30am in Ringsend Park, which is a series of 2k runs for children between 4 and 14. The run is open to all, it’s free and is safe and easy to take part in. Shauna and Danielle are so passionate about building the kids’ confidence and self belief and feel incredibly lucky to be able to share their passion for dance, dance fitness and games with the kids.
You can find Danspire on Facebook and Instagram.