Oonagh Phelan studied ballet from a young age at her mother’s school, the Gwenda Grayson School of Dance. Oonagh’s mother trained at Arts Educational Schools in the 1940’s and was a professional dancer for many years before running her ballet school in Enfield until she retired at 75.
Oonagh’s love of performance, which originated in her dance training, was enhanced by studying Drama at university. She continued to attend regular ballet class throughout this time, until in her twenties she decided to qualify to teach with the ISTD, and opened the Islington branch of her mother’s school. This ran for 10 years, until the birth of her first daughter Sophie in 2007. Having moved to Cambridgeshire, Oonagh started the ballet branch at the Stephanie Prior School of Dance in Royston in 2010, which grew fast and had 60+ students aged 3-18 when she left, on the family’s move to Bourn in late 2012. Bourn Ballet School opened in January 2014, with two small classes of children of the same ages as Oonagh’s two daughters, Sophie and Emma. The school now runs 8 different levels of classes each week and has over 60 pupils.
Oonagh also teaches ballet to 16-18 year olds on the Performing Arts IB course at Impington Village College, and owns the Cambridge franchise of the highly renowned Tiny Toes Ballet. She has entered students for hundreds of ISTD Imperial Ballet examinations through the years, in both ballet and modern theatre dance, with 100% success rate. She also choreographed and directed several dance school shows at a small professional theatre in Hackney. She holds enhanced DBS (was CRB) certificates both through the ISTD and other organisations, and keeps her Paediatric First Aid qualification updated regularly.