Sheryl has been involved in Irish dancing for more than 35 years. Having started classes at the age of eight, Sheryl has enjoyed a successful and enjoyable competitive Irish dancing career both as a dancer and as a teacher. A five-time Queensland solo championship runner-up and Queensland Irish Association & Mid Year Feis Title winner, Sheryl has won many state figure dancing titles and is an Australian figure dance champion. She was also ranked in the Top 5 nationally for solos. In 1986, she was a recall finalist in the World Irish Dancing Championships, which were held in Limerick in Ireland, finishing in the Top 20.
Sheryl was also invited to perform with the internationally-acclaimed Irish group “The Chieftains” during their Brisbane tour in 1987 and took the stage at QPAC with the famous musicians. In 1989, “The Chieftains” invited her to join their Australian tour but the arrival of a baby daughter only weeks before the tour meant Sheryl was unable to accept the offer.
After retiring from competitive dance, Sheryl set her sights on teaching and was appointed principal teacher at the Queensland Irish Association, where she schooled almost 70 students from children to adults. Under her instruction, the QIA Dancers collected many solo and figure dancing titles including an Australian figure dancing championship title in 1991.
After two years at the QIA, Sheryl established her own dance school – the WATKINS ACADEMY OF IRISH DANCE – with classes operating in Ipswich and Brisbane’s western suburbs. Since its inception in 1992, the WATKINS ACADEMY OF IRISH DANCE has produced many solo and figure dance champions and its dancers have been placed in the Top 10 in the world.
Sheryl Watkins is a qualified Irish dance teacher, having passed the comprehensive TCRG (Teachers) Exam. Registered with the An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha (Irish Dancing Commission) in Dublin and the Australian Irish Dancing Association.
Lorin Grey T.C.R.G
Lorin put on her first pair of Irish dancing shoes in 1992 in Mount Isa. Lorin quickly showed a passion and a gift for Irish dance and competed in her first State and National Championships in 1995. Since then, Lorin has enjoyed a wonderful career as a dancer having won five State solo titles in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In 2008, Lorin realised a long-time goal by winning the Australian Senior Ladies Solo Title at the National Championships in Hobart. Lorin went on to win a prestigious World Championships Solo Medal in 2009, placing 18th overall. Lorin had previously also held a World recall medal. Lorin also competed in team dancing and her career highlights boast many State Titles and a National Title in 2007 in the Senior Mixed 4-Hand Own Choreography Jig event. Her most recent team achievement was finishing Runner-Up National Champions in the hotly-contested Senior Figure Dance event at the Australian Championships held in Wollongong in 2010. Now a qualified Irish dance teacher, having passed the tough TCRG exam, Lorin is enjoying the new phase in her Irish dancing career as a teacher.