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Nicola Whelan

Speech and Drama

Nicola joined ESPA in 2009 as a full member of the teaching faculty and returns to visit as a guest teacher throughout the year for Speech and Drama Performance.


Graduating in 1992 with a Distinction in Drama Performance, she began her performing career in Canada and the US,  and continued to dance and perform competitively and professionally across Ireland, the UK,  Italy, Germany and France until 2002. She was lead dancer with Gan Ainm and performed with Caliban on their European tours across Europe from 1998 – 2002 including a 5 year residency in Temple Bar.  She went on to study with various master teachers and choreograph other genres of dance and performance including, commercial, hip hop, Latin, World Dance, Zumba and fitness instruction.

In 2009 Nicola joined Elevation School of Performing Arts as a Teaching Assistant working her way up to Dance and Performing Arts and Drama teacher. She has trained in ISTD Modern Theatre technique. In 2015 she was a judge for Liffey Sounds Playwriting  Competition, and Strictly Come Dancing. She has written , produced, worked behind the scenes, choreographed, directed and performed countless plays and dance performances all over Ireland and has worked in the RDS, The Helix, The Mill Dundrum,  Gorey Little Theatre and many more.  Nicola has also done voiceover work for RTE Radio One, Newstalk  and Ireland AM on TV3 along with several corporate instructional videos and compered many live events.  


In 2014 she performed in Eoin Colfer's Holy Mary, Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children and toured Ireland with Lucan Drama in Norm Foster's The Death of Me and My Narrator for 2 years winning numerous Drama Festivals, nominations for Best Actress, Best Moment in Theater and special mentions from Adjudicators.  Her ongoing professional development, includes qualifications in various aspects of writing and theater through University of Birmingham in the UK and The Lir NADA and  is currently studying a professional acting course in the Meisner Technique in Momentum Acting Studios Dublin under Robbie Byrne and Liza Michaels. 

Nicola Is an avid writer and has written numerous plays for children which have been performed in theaters and schools around Ireland.

In 2016 Nicola was one of four founding members of NFA Productions and produced and performed in Happiest Day of Your Life and also co-wrote, produced and directed Cinderella, A Pop Up Panto which toured Wicklow and Kildare. She is currently in the planning phase for their next production . She is also currently developing a short one act play for Festival submission along with a full length play which will be produced professionally. 


Nicola has been delivering hugely successful drama classes for Elevation both in our community classes and throughout National Schools within which Elevation has close links. She is an invaluable member of the faculty bringing fresh ideas and an energy to classes that have gained a fantastic reputation.


Holding her instructors certification in Zumba Basic®, Zumbatomic® (children’s program) and Zumba Gold® (a program specifically designed for lesser active, older or less able bodied adults) Nicola (or Nicky as we all call her!) also plays a primary role in communications and school updates and administration.


With a further background in business Nicky is also responsible for much of the administration for ESPA. Nicola is one of the key coordinator’s for our annual end of year shows for which she also helps to stage and manage.


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