Sonia Stewart Dancers is a local dance school based in Armagh and Portadown – and over the last week has saw a video on its Instagram account go viral – with over 400,000 views at the last count and almost 26,000 likes.
Bearing in mind that some of the videos on the BBC Strictly page don’t get that much attention.
The reel starts off by showing some of the dancers aged around 12-13 years old getting to grips with a new, exciting and impressive move that takes a lot of trust and team work! It then goes on to show some of the more experienced dancers, just a few years older, showing how it is done!
Sonia Stewart is renowned for her award-winning choreography and inimitable style. Her dance school pushes the boundaries in originality, talent and style and she is always striving to ensure her dancers are not only loving every minute of their classes, but also working to the highest standards and to the best of their abilities.
“We can’t believe the way this reel has taken off on Instagram, it is absolute madness!” commented Sonia. “But at the same time I am absolutely delighted that hundreds of thousands of people are seeing just how hard my girls work and the determination they have to achieve their goals!
“There really is no stopping them and although learning something new like this can seem challenging at the start, I know that they are 100% ready, capable and committed – and with practise and guidance they can do anything! And once those moves are then incorporated into our dances, it really does take them to the next level.”
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Sonia Stewart established her dance school 26 years ago and is well known throughout the dancing world here in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and further afield.
Sonia’s experience and talent is second to none. After training at the renowned Laine Theatre Arts in London – where the patrons include world famous choreographer Matthew Bourne and Arlene Phillips (of Strictly Come Dancing fame), and past students include the Spice Girls and many Broadway and West End performers – dancing has always been in her blood.
After training, Sonia spent 10 years in the dancing and performing profession including many British Stage Tours, as Dance Captain on cruise chips and numerous international television appearances.
After marrying and settling in Northern Ireland, Sonia was extremely excited to set up her dance school in 1996, teaching ballet, modern and lyrical dance to children aged from three to 18 years old – and this is where her passion continues to flourish.
“Teaching dancing to children is an absolute privilege because I know the incredible impact that it can have,” commented Sonia.
“Dance is wonderful in every single way, but it isn’t just about the steps.
“It is instilling self-confidence from a young age in a world that keeps getting harder. It is helping them to develop their self esteem, encourage body-confidence, spark creativity and build trust within themselves and others – as well as all of the amazing physical aspects such as coordination, flexibility, balance, muscular strength and fitness.
“To be able to teach children throughout the years, to watch them grow and flourish into the most amazing young people is an absolute privilege.”