CAROL Leavy Joyce is from Ardee and worked for eight years with the world-famous Riverdance team as Irish Dance Director, Assistant Director,and also contributed new choreography to that show.
In 2003 she was part of the creative team that staged the show in the Great Hall of the People in China.
That year she also arranged the Riverdance line of one hundred dancers who took part in the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics at Croke Park in Dublin.
Carol was also Irish dance choreographer on The Pirate Queen, the musical which had its Broadway première in 2007.
Her work on that show, in collaboration with Graciela Daniele, received an Outer Critics Award nomination.
She was choreographer on the Japanese version of The Pirate Queen that premièred at The Imperial Theatre Tokyo in November 2009 and what promises to be a spectacular version of the show will be staged at An Tain Theatre, Town Hall Dundalk, next March.
It will be produced by S.O.N.G. (Stage One New-Musical Group). S.O.N.G. bought the rights to produce an amateur production and Carol will be working on that production alongside director Terese Dunne, assistant director Rosemary Winkless and musical director Patrick Dunne musical director.
Rehearsals start in January.
In 2008 Carol co-created, choreographed and produced The Rising Step, an Irish dance show that told the story of dance. It ran for two summer seasons in Donegal.
During her dancing career Carol has won three World Irish dance titles, three All-Ireland titles and nine Ulster titles.
“I started with the renowned Roddy School in Dundalk,” said Carol. “Mona Roddy and I are great friends and her encouragement is so valuable now that I teach myself at Blackrock Community Centre.
“When I was about 18 Mona invited me to dance in Seisun which ran every summer at the Fairways and was organised by the great Rory Kennedy.
“It was a wonderful way to spend the summer.”
“I also started Irish dancing classes this year at St Mary’s GFC Ardee and have just started adult ceili classes.
“I danced in a Scor team for St Mary’s back in 1985 so it’s great to be back. Ardee has such a great musical and football tradition.”
And somehow she also managed to take up new studies. This year she graduated with an Honours Master’s degree in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick.
Ethnochoreology is the study of dance within its culture.
“It was a great opportunity to study other dance cultures from around the world,” she said. “It was tough, but I’m glad I did it.”
Carol travelled to Limerick every week while she was studying for her masters and feels she could not have done it all without the support of her family, her husband Kevin, her children, and her mum and dad.
Her mum and dad, Maureen and Pat Leavy, recently celebrated their golden wedding.
The family and friends, which included best man Tommy Crawley, bridesmaid Ann Duffy (Maureen’s sister), and Margaret Breen (also Maureen’s sister) attended a special Mass at the Convent of Mercy Ardee and then had a beautiful meal at Brian Muldoon’s.
Together with all the family Carol’s sister Paula was also there with her son Niall, who was a member of the Dublin minor football team that won this year’s All-Ireland title, an achievement that made Pat -a great St Mary’s man – really proud.
As well as being a teacher with world-wide experience, Carol is also an adjudicator.
Just recently she judged the St Mary’s Drumcar Strictly Come Dancing contest along with fellow judges Darragh Maloney of RTE Sport and Senator Mary Moran.
This was a fantastic fundraiser with 19 couples taking part.
For details about Carol’s classes contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. And for classes at St Mary’s check St Mary’s GFC Facebook page.