Zona Dance Company
Jessica Peoples, RAD, RTS
Director & Principal ZoNa Dance Co.
Jessica began ballet class at the age of three in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. She was introduced to contemporary dance and choreography in high school and Pilates classes in college it was during this time that her love of dance as a means of expressive communication grew.
After high school, she continued her dance training first at Scottsdale College before transferring to the prestigious University Of The Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she studied ballet, contemporary and jazz daily. Jessica trained with phenomenal, world renowned instructors such as LaVaughn Robinson, Wayne St. Denis, Andrew Pap and Ruth Andrien. She participated in many dance projects including Cultural Connection through the Arts, American College Dance Festival and a Multi-Artist project incorporating visual and performing artists.
Jessica is a qualified dance teacher with a Degree in Dance Performance, a Post Graduate Certificate in Dance Education and is a registered teacher (RTS) with the Royal Academy of Dance. After college Jessica was a member of the professional contemporary dance company, The Moving Co. where she performed, taught dance and collaborated on original choreographic works. Jessica earned a Professional Certificate in Dance from MIAET as one of six initiate dancers with Instinct Dancecorps. She is also a Certified Pilates instructor, yoga instructor and in addition to her dance and movement training she has a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Food Science. She most recently completed a post graduate year in Advanced Dance Performance at Ulster University, Magee and participated in the acclaimed production DUST. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As8ZrK7nVqM
Jessica teaches dance classes both in private studios and in schools. She teaches many styles of dance including ballet classes in Letterkenny & Inishowen, contemporary dance class, hip-hop/jazz, musical theatre dance and first wedding dances and has is passionate about Pilates and yoga. She has over 15 years of experience working with individuals of all ages and levels. Jessica had helped to develop the ballet and contemporary dance programs at a Donegal performing arts academy and has had her students go on to college to study dance at third level institutes in Glasgow Scotland (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland); Dublin, Ireland (College of Dance); London, UK (Central School of Ballet Summer Program) and America (Joffrey Ballet, New York), Phoenix Performig Arts, Dublin Ireland, Barcelona Performing Arts, Spain, University of Limerick, Ireland.
Diarmaid O’Meara – Ballet
Diarmaid is from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary and trained at the College of Dance, Dublin and Central School of Ballet, London. After his return from the UK he has danced with Ballet Ireland for several seasons and has also performed with English National Ballet, Royal Opera, Sadlers Wells Theatre, Wide Open Opera and Ballet Theatre UK.
He has extensive professional experience working with world renowned choreographers such as: Morgann Runacre-Temple, Matthew Hart, Mikaela Polley, Kate Flatt, Lucy Burge, Liz Roche, Hubert Essakow, Jessica Kennedy, Ludovic Ondiviela and Susie Crow. Diarmaid is an experienced teacher of ballet technique and repertoire and has taught at College of Dance (Dublin), Trinity Laban, Laine Theatre Arts, Bird College, Dance Ireland and Sylvia Young Theatre School. Diarmaid is a recipient of Bank of Ireland's Millennium Scholars bursary, Dance Ireland's Mentorship Residency bursary and Arts Council Ireland's Travel and Training fund. He has most recently completed his Primary Education training Masters Degree and will be teaching the children of Inishowen in Primary School in the years to come.
Linda Bennett - Jazz, Acro for Dancers & Choreography
Linda is originally from London where she trained at the prestigious Laban Dance Centre at Goldsmith College, London. She has an extensive professional career both as a dancer and dance instructor at the famous Pineapple Studios in London. Linda has worked with some of the most well-known choreographers of our time on various projects: such as Arlene Phillips (West End Chorographer), Bruno Tonioli (Strictly Come Dancing Judge) and Dame Peggy Spencer. Linda is a qualified teacher with ISTD qualifications in modern theatre and freestyle she also holds British Theatre awards in modern dance. Her professional performance career includes West End production of 'Oh What a Lovely War'; performing on TV productions in Japan and as backing dancer with touring bands. Linda is currently the choreographer for Finesse Gymnastic Display Team and is a gymnastic coach as well as being fitness and Zumba instructor.
Georgia Keys –
Pre-school & Pre-primary Ballet
Georgia attended her first ballet class at 2 years old and hasn’t stopped since. She was introduced to other styles such as hip hop, contemporary and jazz from a young age and has taken part in various competitions (spectrum dance events ), festivals (Noise 2017, 2018, 2019), parades (Dublin St. Patrick’s Day, Derry Halloween parade, Letterkenny St. Patricks) and performances including Zona Dance’s productions of “Alice in Wonderland”, “Dance for all Seasons”, “The Moon Princess” , “Dance is Art” and “The Lion King “. She has completed ballet exams with ISTD and Royal Academy of Dance which has given her the qualification of RAD Level 3 Certificate in Vocational Graded Examination in Dance. She began assisting with classes at Zona at the age of 15 and her passion for teaching and developing her own choreography grew. Since then she has taken on the role of preschool and pre- primary ballet teacher at Zona Dance Company.
Georgia is currently studying Athletic Therapy and training in Dublin City University and alongside her studies is continuing to dance competitively representing her University with the DCU Dance Society in Ballet , Contemporary and Jazz. Her hopes for the future are to incorporate her love of dance into her clinical practice.
Chloe McGregor – Contemporary
Chloe is a Freelance Dance Artist from Central Scotland, and studied Contemporary Dance at The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance in Dundee, Scotland, graduating in 2014 with a B.A (Hons) in Contemporary Dance Performance. Throughout her four years training Chloe trained in Release and Cunningham technique as well as Classical Ballet and Choreography. It was here Chloe's passion for Contemporary dance and choreography developed.
Alongside performance, Chloe developed and facilitated Contemporary, Commercial, Freestyle, Lyrical, Fitness and Creative movement classes for children and adults across Scotland. Chloe has a great interest in contemporary, commercial and theatre performance, creation, participatory and inclusive dance and fitness and nutrition. Chloe hopes to constantly develop and experience dance in all its forms with a wide variety of people to share her passion and what feels most natural to her.
Stephen Brennan - Ballet
Education Officer @ Ballet Ireland
Stephen started dance training at the Elliott-Clarke School in Liverpool, underwent further training at Bush Davies Schools in East Grinstead, Sussex, before graduating from Central School of Ballet, London.
His performing career has spanned some thirty years, dancing with many of Europe’s ballet companies including London Ballet Theatre, Malmö Stadsteater Balett (Sweden), The National Norwegian Ballet and The Scottish Ballet.
Stephen joined Ballet Ireland in 1999 and since his appointment as Education Officer a year later has developed the company’s extensive outreach programme. He has choreographed two short works for Ballet Ireland, ‘Figaro, Factotem’ (2003) and ‘School for Lovers’ (2004), and over thirty works for performance by children and young adults.
In addition to his work with Ballet Ireland, Stephen has collaborated several times with productions for Irish National Youth Ballet and is a Board Member of Irish Ballet Forum.