Limerick Dance Academy barks up right tree with canine inspired calendar

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan

Conal Platt, Castletroy, is ready to rock while Mollie the Boxer is ready to roll

Conal Platt, Castletroy, is ready to rock while Mollie the Boxer is ready to roll

THE DANCE Academy in Castletroy has combined its love of dogs and ballet in a brilliantly titled charity calendar – The Mutt Cracker. 

Monies raised from the pedigree product featuring teachers and pupils with their canine chums will go to Limerick Animal Welfare and Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland. Principal of The Dance Academy, Stacey Booth said they were inspired by St Louis Ballet Company in America.

“We had seen some wonderful photos online they had done with dogs and dancers. We thought it would be a lovely idea for us to do something similar.  I said if you are going to do it you have to do it for charity and people will be happy to support it, if it is for charity,” said Stacey.

They phoned and emailed photographers and they all jumped at the chance. Kevin Murphy, Cormac Byrne, Jody Neville, Michele King, Susan Parkes, Br Denis Hooper and Daisy Chain Photography all gave their time for free.

The calendar was produced by The Dance Academy’s students and teachers. 

“It involves seven local photographers, dancers, rescue and working assistance dogs, and our aim is to raise €15,000 minimum for the two charities. The calendar includes 12 beautiful photos of dancers with dogs, and is appropriately called The Mutt Cracker. It’s been a fabulous, fun project for our school,” said Stacey.

Each month features a photograph more adorable than the next. They say you should never work with animals or children but The Dance Academy has managed it perfectly for two very good causes.

“The difference that an autism assistance dog can make in people’s lives is massive. It is absolutely incredible,” said Stacey.

While Limerick Animal Welfare promotes the humane treatment of all animals, working towards a more compassionate society. They believe in educating young people about responsible pet ownership. Volunteers and staff rescue and rehome dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and many other animals when they find themselves homeless, abandoned, cruelly abused or injured through no fault of their own.

Limerick Animal Welfare has a no-kill policy and animals remain in their care until they find the right homes for them.

“The work they do is unreal,” said Stacey, whose own beautiful Irish Wolfhound, Mo, features in The Mutt Cracker.

The calendar is available in Castletroy Shopping Centre, vets in the locality and can be purchased online from The Dance Academy’s Facebook page. Stacey will also have a Dance Academy stall at a special sensory harvest festival for autistic children and adults in the Milk Market this Sunday, November 4 from 11am to 4pm. 

“It will be a more sensory environment for them as opposed to the normal market which would obviously be quite overwhelming for them. We are going to be there selling calendars and do some dancing as well. There will be dogs there as well from the charities,” said Stacey.