First delivered as part of CoisCéim’s production of The Wolf and Peter,  CREATIVE DANCE TALES is a workshop programme for primary school-aged children to engage, explore, and create dance through kinaesthetic and collaborative learning. 

Drawing inspiration from related CoisCéim’s productions, the workshops are designed to give children an understanding of the story and main characters and build awareness of dance and performance.

Led by an experienced dance artist/teacher, children are guided through a series of lively and physically dynamic exercises and inventive movement tasks, and invited to create, practice and perform their own unique story. 



From Summer 2022, Creative Dance Tales workshops are available to bookend the new Virtual Reality presentations of FRANCIS FOOTWORK in 180°.  David Bolger’s vibrant production has been loved by audiences and critics alike since it premiered in 2019. Now we’re transforming the experience to bring it up close and unique to you – where everyone’s seat is front row centre!


To find out about availability and pricing, please contact: Project Coordinator for CoisCéim BROADREACH Caoimhe Coburn Gray at: broadreach@coisceim.com



Great value both for school and the children- learned to work together creatively and the co-operation within the whole group was obvious. The children responded very positively to the dance material and it was a great learning experience for the range of abilities. Positive social interaction was fostered and the pupils had numerous opportunities to show their creativity when putting together the group work.

The children themselves said that it was FUN and showed them how to work together as a team.  Some of the children had had experience of dance before but it gave the majority of the participants their first experience of working with a dance teacher- particularly the boys.

Head Teacher Harriet Pritchard | Bandonbridge National School, Bandon, West Cork (2015)

The children thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the workshop.  The music choices were excellent, it was nice balance of traditional and more modern adaptations.  The children responded well to the flow and pace of the lesson, warm up activities were engaging, the teacher led dance was fabulous and there were opportunities for children to create their own movements. 

Class Teacher Marie-Therese Brankin | Holy Family Primary School, Belfast (2015)

I think it builds children’s confidence to perform, gives them opportunities to respond to music and express themselves through movement.  It also challenges gender stereotypes  e.g dancing is for girls.

The children are still talking about how much they loved the workshop and we are still practising the dance during P.E lessons.

We really enjoyed having Philippa in school bringing dance and theatre experiences to our children who may not always get these opportunities! Thank you!

Class Teacher Dervla Dunne | Our Lady’s Meadow School, Durrow, Co. Laois (2015)

THANK YOU so much for the dance workshops over the past 2 weeks.  I just spoke to both teachers (Timahoe National School and Our Lady’s Meadow School, Durrow) who waxed lyrical about their experience!

They had the most wonderful time…amazing, extraordinary what they could do after only 2 sessions… 1st and 2nd classes were a perfect age….

Assistant Head Teacher Martina Mulhall (Timahoe National School) stated that the principal and herself couldn’t tear themselves away from watching, despite their workload! They found it quite emotional to see some very quiet children come out of their shells and express themselves!

Michelle De Forge | Artistic Director, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise (2015)



In March 2023 CREATIVE DANCE TALES went international! In a partnership with HKD, Olwyn Lyons led a weekend intensive with three socially engaged dance professionals in the Children’s House, Rijeka to enable them to deliver the FRANCIS FOOTWORK VR and CREATIVE DANCE TALES in Croatia with the first presentations as part of the Port of Dance Festival in May.



In spring 2022 dance artist Olwyn Lyons adapted and augmented CREATIVE DANCE TALES as part of the new presentation context of FRANCIS FOOTWORK in 180° Virtual Reality (VR). The World Premiere of this work took place at the GAP ARTS FESTIVAL in July 2022.  See coisceim.com/francisfootworkvr/ for more details and touring history. 



CREATIVE DANCE TALES | The FRANCIS FOOTWORK programme, developed by Philippa Donnellan, first took place as part of Baboró International Arts Festival for Children 2019, with children in 1st, 2nd and 3rd Class at St Nicholas’ Parochial School and Claddagh National School, Galway. 



CREATIVE DANCE TALES is storytelling through dance. Conceived, developed and led by Philippa Donnellan, it began as a pilot workshop series supported by The Ireland Funds in 2015, offering children and primary school teachers an imaginative, kinaesthetic learning experience in dance. It included an invitation to go see a CoisCéim Dance Theatre’s performance of THE WOLF AND PETER by David Bolger.

CREATIVE DANCE TALES is designed to link with the Primary School Physical Education (Creative Dance) and Visual Arts Curriculum through ‘looking at and responding to art’ , with the aim of encouraging ‘additional ways of learning for children and enable them to record real or imagined ideas and feelings’ (Arts Curriculum, NCCA; 1999). As part of CREATIVE DANCE TALES workshops, teachers are invited to link with other aspects of the curriculum such as Drama, Literature and Visual Art and Design, and to utilise these elements as appropriate.

Nine primary school groups took part in the CREATIVE DANCE TALES pilot workshops in 2015, either before and/or after they had seen a performance of THE WOLF AND PETER. The workshops drew from the characterful choreography and dramatic story of The Wolf and Peter and the powerful music of Prokovfiev. They enabled the children to explore themes through simple, lively movement tasks, and fun choreographic activities. Together, the children were encouraged to share and exchange ideas, and respond to all they had experienced by inventing a unique creative dance tale of their own making.

In 2015, DANCE EDUCATION workshops also took place with primary school teachers in Galway and Dublin. These workshops unpicked some key approaches to working creatively with young people in dance and movement. Drawing on material from THE WOLF AND PETER, participants had the opportunity to engage in varied and dynamic movement practices, discover new tools in the teaching of dance with young people, and share their own dance experiences with other teachers/artists working in education.

The key aims:

  • support the development of teaching skills in creative dance
  • build confidence in planning and delivering creative dance projects with young people
  • facilitate discussion and share experiences surrounding dance/arts practice in schools
  • increase awareness of creative dance practice as an aid to cross-curricular learning

In 2016, CREATIVE DANCE TALES workshops took place at Uillinn, West Cork Arts Centre with 3 local primary schools. These coincided with a performance on Saturday 18 June of a new work choreographed by David Bolger, Fancy Dress, for Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

In May 2017 CoisCéim BROADREACH and the Physical Education Unit School of Arts Education and Movement at DCU launched the CREATIVE DANCE TALES Digital Resource for primary school teachers.  This resource evolved through the pilot workshops and the continuation of the workshop programme nationwide in 2016 & 2017. It is also a legacy element of the company’s three year Arts Council funded residency at the College.

Creative Dance Tales Digital Resource

for Primary School Teachers and Dance Artists.  Click here to download and find out more…



Photography Dervla Baker

Photography from HKD, Croatia


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