Dance Council of Ireland was founded in 1983 and funded by the Arts Council to act as an information and teaching resource for dancers and other dance professionals, as a liaison centre between dance interests in Ireland, and as a national voice for dance in the country. It established a number of significant initiatives, most notably an annual national choreography course which enabled young choreographers to develop their skills, and the Irish Youth Dance Company with an annually changing cast to allow young dancers to explore a career in dancing. It reported on dance related news on the pages of Dance News Ireland which commenced publication in 1985 and, in 1986, began to amass dance magazines, press cuttings and archival material with a view to establishing a national dance archive. The Council's early staff members included Arthur Lappin as chairman and Gaye Tanham as administrator/ development officer. They both resigned in 1990, and were replaced by Frank Whelan and Mary Brady, respectively. In 1995, radical policy changes within the Arts Council and internal strain within the Dance Council of Ireland caused the former to cease funding the organization, which folded later that year. Its ethos has been continued by Dance Ireland.

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