History of the company

Irish Junior Ballet was co-founded by Anne Campbell-Crawford, Paris, France and Professor Jean Wallis of the Akademie der Tanzen, Heidelberg, Germany. The company had its first auditions in 1995 and gave its first performance in February 1996 at the Royal Hibernian, Gallagher Gallery, Dublin. The age group of dancers was 10-21 years. A junior level for children aged 8 years and over was established in September 1999. The name was changed to Irish National Youth Ballet Company (INYB) in the summer of 1999 with the approval of the Arts Council. INYB aims are to provide young dancers with an enriching experience during their formative years and to give them a flavour of what it might be like to pursue a career in dance.

Katherine Lewis, Artistic Director 2007 – 2019,  broadened the INYB repertoire with newly commissioned works and existing works from Irish and international choreographers. Katherine extended the performance schedules and increased the exposure of the company’s work through the medium of television and increased international touring. 2012 was an exciting and ambitious year for INYB with a twenty piece orchestra joining them to perform live with the company in April. The orchestra played under the baton of Dr. Ciaran Crilly. In May 2013 INYB were again joined by the orchestra this time under the baton of Nathan Sherman, when they gave the World Premiere of The Princess Iolanthe, choreographed by Stephen Brennan to music composed by Alla Pavlova. Ms Pavlova attended the Gala Night performance which was in the presence of President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina. Mrs Sabina Higgins subsequently agreed to become a patron of INYB.

LETTER IN PROGRAMME, FEBRUARY 1998 from Dame Ninette De Valois OM, CH, DBE, D MUS.

Dear Irish Junior Ballet Company,

I am delighted that the Irish Junior Ballet Company are having several performances of ‘An Evening of Dance and Music’ at the Samuel Beckett Theatre at Trinity College in Dublin.

It is particularly pleasing to note that several of your pieces will be performed to live music and that Professor Jean Wallace, Co. founder of the Company, has choreographed some of the dances herself.

I wish the Irish Junior Ballet Company, which has a very promising future to look forward to, continuing success in their efforts to encourage Irish talent and hope that many more hopeful young dancers will audition with a view to joining the Irish Junior Ballet Company. I know they will find it both stimulating and worthwhile.

With my very good wishes to you all,

Yours sincerely,

Dame Ninette De Valois.

Prof. Jean Wallace ARAD., FISTD (Co-founder / choreographer)

(Taken from programme March 1998.)

Graduated from the Grandison College of Dance and Drama, London. Subsequently danced, sang and acted in theatres throughout Britain and appeared on television and in films. Awarded the Advanced Teachers’ Certificate of the Royal Academy of Dancing and elected Fellow of Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. 1971 contracted to the State Theatre Stuttgart at soloist level and appointed principal of the John Cranko School , position held for seven years. Then returned to England to become Ballet Mistress of Northern Ballet Theatre. Appointed as guest teacher in schools in England, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan. Engaged as guest Ballet Mistress in Dublin, London, Stuttgart and Tokyo. In 1981 awarded the official title of Professor by the State of Baden-Wurttenberg in Germany and appointed the Principal of the Dance Department of the State Conservatoire of Music and Performing Arts in Mannheim.. a position which she has only recently relinquished in order to devote more time to teaching and choreographing throughout the world.


(Submitted in January 2012)

In 1996, Irish National Youth Ballet was co-founded by Anne Campbell-Crawford. It was with some controversy that the Irish National Youth Ballet held its first auditions in February 1996 as the concept of having a performance company, guided by professionals, for student dancers was a new one for Ireland. From 1997, INYB Co. was funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.

In 2007 Anne stepped down as Artistic Director of INYB to move to Paris where she continues to choreograph and teach for youth companies. Whilst with INYB Co. she introduced the Scholarship Awards for the dancers of the Company, which raised thousands of Euros to help pay for the INYB dancers Summer Courses.

Anne trained primarily in classical ballet (Royal Academy of Dance). She founded her own ballet school in Dublin and re-trained through the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in both Ballet and Modern Theatre Dance, achieving Advanced in both disciplines. She holds the Licentiate Diploma (LISTD Dip) and in 2006 was awarded the Certificate of Dance Education (CDE). Anne choreographed several ballets and ‘entractes’ for INYB Co., Tallahassee Ballet Company and Kalamazoo Ballet Company. She is also guest teacher for these two companies plus The Dance Academy, Malta; Goh Youth Ballet, Vancouver, Canada; Florida State University Summer School of Dance; Theatre Company, West Hartford and the Ballet Arts Centre of Winchester, Massachusetts.

In May 2003 Anne introduced the American Academy of Ballet Awards system to Ireland and to Paris in 2011. This Award training system is in the format of a public exam and in Ireland was available exclusively to the dancers of INYB Co. In 2009 Anne achieved certification in Pilates, a physical training system which she teaches in Paris and she continues to teach ballet in Paris and abroad.