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Frances Dunne

DANCER. TRAINER. EXPERT. COACH.

Get To Know Me

Meet Fran

Irish Dancing is more than just a hobby and profession for me; it is a love for a lifestyle that serves a great purpose.

From relentlessly working on overcoming obstacles to become a champion competitive dancer, to lead dancer in Lord of the Dance and dedicated teacher and coach; my passion is in helping dancers overcome the challenges they face, and in turn develop the skills that will take them wherever they dream of going in the future.

What I aim to achieve is more than simply helping people become better Irish Dancers; it is about guiding them to the realisation that our minds are limitless. Once we learn how to harness our inner power, and connect body with mind, our true potential is unlocked.

MY MISSION

"To empower current and future generations to fully encompass their worth; equipped with the knowledge and skillset to achieve anything they put their mind to."

"Success didn't come without setbacks"

My Journey

I started dancing at the age of 8 for Sean Eireann McMahon School of Irish Dancing, my competitive peak however didn't start for another decade. I had been fortunate enough to be a part of countless world winning ceili and figure teams, but I didn't qualify for the worlds in solo dancing until I was 16, and the year after that didn't make the cut.

Over the next 3 years, dancing for The Academy, I went from not qualifying to getting 3rd in the World (a moment I'll never forget!) As well as winning the American Nationals twice, regional Oireachtas, and more world titles in teams. 

When my teachers moved to America, I continued for a year with the Doherty Academy, winning a 3rd consecutive American Nationals title.

Despite that success, it was always my greatest aspiration as a dancer to join a show. So upon retiring from competitive dancing, I knew I had to pursue my goal of dancing professionally.

Not only did I achieve that goal, within 3 weeks of joining the Lord of the Dance cast performing on London's West End; I had been asked to learn the lead role of Morrighan, and performed with Michael Flatley in my first lead show! 

I'm so grateful to be able to say, I've since had the privilege to tour the world doing what I love.

On paper I've had a very successful dancing career; 3rd in the world, American National Champion 3 years consecutively, over 25 World Titles in Ceili and Figure dancing; and now dancing a lead role in Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance... I feel incredibly blessed to be where I am, and eternally grateful to those who made it possible.

What isn't seen, is the process behind it.

The confidence and esteem issues I faced and had to overcome, and the people who had belief in me when I couldn't see my own potential.

The fact that becoming a great dancer wasn't a natural process for me, and I had to figure out how to fix my faults.

The fact that there were FAR more setbacks than there were success's!

But for all the lows that came with the highs, I wouldn't change it for world. It's led me to a point where I am so excited to share what I've developed; so that anyone, anywhere, can overcome their challenges too.

"The question isn't what, it's how"

The Original Fitness Formula

My original project was 'Fitness Formula for Irish Dance', a tailored conditioning programme for Irish Dancers.

I had learnt first hand the impact of using athletic training methods to improve performance, and so wanted to help bridge that gap between the fitness industry and the Irish Dancing world.

However

While I was super proud of the subsequent rise in awareness and implementation, I realised it was the tip of the ice burg. It prompted me to delve even further into the mechanics and mental processes behind excelling in technique and mindset, as well as skill ability.

I realised the challenge lay not in the action, but in the communication between body and brain. It wasn't the instruction, it was how that instruction was being translated.

Everyone has different ways of naturally moving, processing information, and responding to stimulus. Perceptions of what is normal and safe differs between every individual, so vague commands will not always deliver the desired response.

As a result, over the past 3 years I have dedicated myself to developing the ultimate solution for dancers. A system whereby every element has been broken down to the finest detail, in order to enable optimal patterning from the outset.

An all encompassing approach through which the cause of a problem is tackled, as opposed to the outcome.

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