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Woman with dark hair and wearing a black top smiles broadly at the camera

Cara O'Shea

Academy Associate Artistic Director

Cara trained with London Junior Ballet where she won a competitive scholarship in her graduation year, and was a Cecchetti Scholar for four years, winning the senior division at the Cecchetti Mabel Ryan competition in 1999. At age 16 she joined Northern Ballet School in Manchester on the Classical Ballet focus where, in her final year, she decided to concentrate on teaching as a career and so stayed for an additional year to obtain teaching experience at the school.

Cara joined the Academy of Northern Ballet as a trainee classical ballet teacher in 2007 and has had the unique opportunity of training intensively as a teacher under the personal supervision of Yoko Ichino. She received her teaching certificate from Northern Ballet in 2009 and is now Head of the Lower Levels of the Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) programme. Alongside teaching, in 2009 Cara completed her B.A. in Professional Practice (Classical Ballet) from Middlesex University. Throughout the year Cara conducts the Academy’s talent spotting outreach workshops to local primary schools across Yorkshire and helps Yoko Ichino with training new teachers in her method. On 24 January 2016 Cara completed her first commissioned choreographic piece with the performance of Small Steps by students of the Academy, commemorating the Kinder Transport at the Holocaust Memorial service in Leeds Town Hall.

Cara has taught at several different training establishments including Northern Ballet School, Chelmsford Ballet Company as well as summer schools in Ireland.

Cara has performed with Chelmsford Ballet Company, dancing the role of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty aged 15, created several roles with National Youth Ballet of Great Britain, danced principal roles with Manchester City Ballet and has appeared with Northern Ballet.