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About Us

Starting in 1959, Helen Young School of Dancing is a long established dance school in Paisley.


Since 1987 principal Christine O’Donnell has continued to develop the dance school and maintain an exceptionally high standard of teaching to all pupils. Following Christine’s retirement in June 2015, Helen Young School of Dancing will continue in Paisley. This will continue with new principals Claire Irwin and Julie McFall, assisted by Jane McKenzie all of whom are fully qualified dance teachers and former pupils of Helen Young School of Dancing. 

Claire Irwin

Julie McFall

I started my journey at Helen Young School of Dancing in 1990, under former Principal Christine O'Donnell. Throuhgout my time at the dance school I have participated in various B.A.T.D. examinations and annual dance displays. I participated in B.A.T.D. amateur medal tests and gained my first professional teaching qualification in 2006. I began to assist at weekly dance classes and continue to increase my own teaching skills and qualifications.

I have also participated in Latin American, Ballroom Dance, Line Dance and Rock 'N' Roll B.A.T.D. amateur medal tests and also in various dance competitions around the country in these branches of dance.

Qualifications include:

Associate B.A.T.D. Majorette

Associate B.A.T.D. Modern Dance

Associate B.A.T.D. Stage

Associate B.A.T.D. Ballet

Fellow B.A.T.D Freestyle

Fellow B.A.T.D Traditional Step Dancing

Dance continues to be a great passion of mine and I am delighted that I am now joint principal and able to pass this on to our very own Helen Young pupils. 

Claire x

I began my time at Helen Young School of Dancing in 1991 and over the years have received training in a number of branches of dance.

In 2006, my time at the dance school changed in that I began to gain professional teaching qualifications and help out with younger children's classes.

After the years of teaching I received, to a very high standard at Helen Young, it has been very rewarding to pass on the knowledge and skills which I have learned to other pupils. Being able to see children and young people grow in confidence and ability is something which I particularly enjoy in teaching dancing. As well as pupils progressing and improving throughout their time at dancing, their enjoyment during time spent there is most important to me and I believe ensures that they reach their full potential.

Following Miss O'Donnell's retirement in June 2015, both Claire and I are extremely grateful that we are able to continue with the Helen Young School of Dancing. The dance school has been a huge part of both our lives, both in the high standard of dance training we received and in the lifelong friends we have made there. I look forward to continuing this for all our pupils current and new.

Qualification include:

Associate B.A.T.D. Modern Dance

Associate B.A.T.D. Ballet

Associate B.A.T.D. Majorette

Associate B.A.T.D. Scottish National

Member B.A.T.D. Highland

Member B.A.T.D Stage

Fellow B.A.T.D. Freestyle

Fellow B.A.T.D. Traditional Step Dancing

Julie x

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