Dance School Faces Closure Due To Lack Of Funding
|A north Dublin dance school that works with young people from some of the most deprived areas in the State faces closure because it does not qualify for funding from the Arts Council or the Sports Council.
The school, which specialises in hip-hop and has 380 students and 13 staff, has two teams competing at the World Hip-Hop Championships in Las Vegas, having recently won the Irish championships for the third consecutive year.
“We won bronze medals at the world championships in 2006 and 2010 and we have the only Irish children’s team at the championships in Vegas at the moment,” said Paul Murphy, co-owner of the school with his wife, Tara Treacy, who founded it.
Student numbers have fallen though, despite the fees being lowered to €250 a year. Some parents work at the school unpaid so their children can attend.
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“Rates are killing us,” added Mr Murphy.
“We have a very understanding landlord but we have fallen behind with the rent and it’s only a matter of time before he can’t wait any more.”
The Arts Council refused funding for the school because it deemed that the competitive element of the school’s activities meant the dance taught there was a sport.
The Sports Council, however, said their dance was art.
Minister for Arts and Heritage Jimmy Deenihan will meet the founders of Streets Ahead Dance School next month to discuss their difficulties.
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