Creative Intensive

The Creative Intensive is an annual three week training on aerial technique and creativity. This training program for professionals was designed for aerialists who want to work on improving their technique and produce aerial acts, and also for dancers who want to get more aerial training and create an aerial dance solo. The course is hosted by tutors Chantal McCormick and Emma Poole from Fidget Feet Aerial Dance.  The remaining two tutors for 2024 will be confirmed soon.

The next announced dates are: November 18th to December 7th 2024.  There are strictly 16 places total. Deadline 16th September @ 10am.

There will be a public showing in the IACC of the work created, on the last day of the intensive. Please note the last day is a Saturday, and it is expected you will attend.

Once you have read all the information below, you can apply for the Creative Intensive here. We may offer places on an ongoing basis as we receive applications, or we might set a deadline, depending on demand.

The course is designed for intermediate through to professional level students. We offer contemporary dance classes, stretching, strengthening and conditioning, aerial technique classes in rope, fabric, hoop, trapeze, spiral, and vertical dance. We also offer creative labs, and one to one mentoring from the 4 tutors.

The work will be geared towards the creation of a piece to performed at the show (this will dictate the format of the piece). There is a creative lab or session every day, on a variety of subjects.

The course ends with a public performance of the acts in the IACC on the last day. Each performance is filmed with a professional set-up of three cameras and audio. You’ll receive the footage after the intensive, so that you can use it for show reels etc. All are welcome to book for the show, so invite family and friends. The IACC will invite funders and partners.


This course is funded by the Arts Council to support higher-level training in Ireland.

Eight half fee bursaries (€600) for Irish born or Irish based aerial circus performers and eight full price spaces @ €1200 each. That’s a total of 16 places. If you receive direct funding from the Arts Council for this programme, you cannot receive a bursary as it would be double funded. If you apply for indirect funding, e.g. travel and accommodation, then you may still receive a bursary.

Duos or groups are generally charged as two people, as they need double the mentoring time. It’s possible to negotiate this.

Once you are offered a place, you must pay a deposit of 50%. If you cancel within one month of the start date, you must pay the full fee regardless. This is due to multiple late cancellations in the past. The panel will make the decisions, and all applicants will be notified whether they were successful.

Click here to pay the deposit.

To Apply

For the program aerialists need to bring their own apparatus and a proposed act; which can be at any development stage. We can cater for solo, duets and group pieces. To apply you will need :

  • Your general information
  • Performance videos
  • A C.V. and a reference
  • Your medical information
  • Parental/guardian consent if you are 16-18yrs.

To apply for the bursary you will need to provide

  • A paragraph explaining your suitability for the bursary
  •  Proof of Irish residency or nationality (only if requested)

You may apply for the course by recording a video of yourself talking about it and answering the questions.  If you need any further assistance in applying or have access needs, please contact us and we will support you to apply.


Chantal McCormick

Chantal McCormick

Fidget Feet
Chantal Mc Cormick trained as a dancer and choreographer at the London School of Contemporary Dance. After graduation she became interested in aerial circus and trained at Circus Space, London. Chantal has toured extensively with established dance and circus companies in the UK from 1999-­‐2008. The company Fidget Feet was founded in 2004 by Chantal (Donegal) and her husband Jym Daly (Cork). Chantal has directed, choreographed, and performed shows with FF including; Wired and Free, Fairies Tail, Remember Her, Madam Silk, Raw, Hang On, Catch Me, Fire Birds and Elves and the Shoemaker she was recently invited along with FF to choreograph all the aerial work and perform and collaborate with CoisCeim in the acclaimed RTE, Centenary. Chantal is also the Artistic Director of Irish Aerial Dance Fest and professional development manager at the Irish Aerial Creation Centre.
Kat Cooley

Kat Cooley

Fidget Feet
Originally from Cornwall, Kathryn Cooley graduated with a BA (Honours) Degree in Performing Arts (Dance) from L.I.P.A, (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) in 2009.As soon as she graduated she was taken on Fidget Feet and is now an associate artist with the company. Over the past eight years Kat has also worked for: All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre, Scotland Scarabeus Aerial Theatre, London Cantabile 2, Denmark Attik Dance, Plymouth Iron Oxide, Scotland Cscape Dance Company, Cornwall and Les Commandos Percu, France Kat has been fortunate enough to perform on large scale ceremonies including Ringo Star’s concert for the Liverpool Capital of Culture Opening Ceremony, the CommonWealth Games Handover Ceremony in Delhi, Cervantino in Mexico and was offered a place on the aerial team for the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony in London.
Carolina Cabañas

Carolina Cabañas

Carolina started her career as a dancer when she fell in love with aerials. She has taught and developed this genre for almost 20 years. She has studied and worked with many great dance and aerial dance companies and directors, including Rob Tannion, Fidget Feet, Roberto Magro, Rogelio Lopez, Kitsou Dubois, Chloe Moglia, Juliana Neves, Ilona Jäntti, Eleonora Dall Asta, Fred Deb, Kate Lawrence, Lindsey Butcher, Ana Prada, Julio Revolledo, Colegio del Cuerpo, among many others. She founded the first aerial dance school and company in Costa Rica and she created the only teaching program for aerials in Costa Rica. She ran the 1st Latin American aerial dance fest in 2016. Considered a precursor of this genre in Costa Rica, she keeps teaching, searching for improved techniques and keeps encouraging the professionalism for the aerial dance in Costa Rica.
Emma Poole

Emma Poole

Emma is an aerialist from and based in Liverpool, England with years of international teaching and performing experience. Her dance background supports her creativity on all apparatus, especially silks, hoop and rope on which she has her own expressive style. She has performed in various shows with Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre in Ireland and All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre in Scotland. She has performed in places such as Hong Kong, South Korea, Norway and Australia alongside creating her aerial company Tangled In Air where she shares her creative flare. Though she still loves performing and creating she has also branched out into other areas.



For more interviews and videos about the Creative Intensive see here.

Trying to describe the Irish Aerial Creation Centre’s Creative Intensive, is like trying to describe the ocean to someone who has never seen it.  It is achingly inspiring, stunningly beautiful and for seeing it you are forever changed, but finding adjectives to do it justice is a daunting, if not impossible task. Nevertheless, I will try.

The Creative Intensive is a holistic immersive exacting adventure that allows you to truly access your creative potential and to explore it in ways you never imagined possible. Once you begin you will be overwhelmed by the nurturing atmosphere promoted by the exceptional mentors and fellow participants. You are encouraged to challenge yourself technically, learn earnestly and create assiduously. The expertise you have access to is incomparable but most of all it is the caring indefatigable humans you get to know that make it truly special.  While at times it may be demanding, both physically and emotionally, it is the sort of exertion that breeds something profoundly precious.

But most of all, it is the gift of time. Time for you to undeniably indulge and luxuriate in your own creative undertaking, wherever you are in your practice, and give yourself permission to play.

Although it may seem cliché, I mean every single word…you will be forever changed and so incredibly grateful for this experience.

Jennifer de Brún


If you are looking for a space to learn some new tricks, or head on a circus holiday to relax – don’t come to the Creative Intensive.

There are plenty of other retreats where you can lie on a beach as well in Mexico or Bali (I’ve been on quite a few). The Creative Intensive isn’t for that. It’s for the harder things, the deeper things. It’s a space to explore movement quality, and artistic voice. It is somewhere you can try new things, try to understand how to translate a thought into something someone can watch. It’s that which I’ve been unable to find anywhere else in the world, a program that will hold space for you and let you develop yourself instead of telling you what to be and how to move. 

From the little things (dance warmups that I still miss every time I start training, spontaneous group massages, or the crazy way Chantal can enter a room), to the big things (trying harness work for the first time, discovering lyra isn’t the bane of my existence, or building an act that is so much different than anything I’d done to date), to the unparalleled community (witnessing someone else’s discoveries, being there for a hug, or just being next to them), there was nothing I would have changed. And I cannot emphasize how rarely that happens for me.

If you are on the fence, or wondering if its worth it to make the trip – for me I can only say it was more than I expected, and I hope you make the same choice. I’m reminded of the experience every time I touch an aerial fabric, it changed my relationship with the apparatus and the work in a way I’ll never forget.

-Sean Heisler, San Francisco