Gavin King (9) and Emily Cotter (10)
Gavin King (9) and Emily Cotter (10)

Two local children are praising their local drama school for giving them a boost in confidence.

Gavin King (9) and Emily Cotter (10) both attend the Mel Ryan School, who have locations in Stillorgan, Carrickmines, Mount Merrion and Dun Laoghaire.

Gavin from Blackrock told Dublin Gazette the school has helped him in many ways.

“The school has heled me express myself and communicate with people of all ages. Mel and her team spent a lot of time teaching us good manners.

“I delivered a speech on behalf of my teammates and myself when we won a very important hurling tournament. We won a shield. I felt very confident making the speech because I had practiced making speeches at the school.”

Emily Cotter from Killiney told us going to the school has really helped her confidence.

“Tuesday has been my favourite day of the week for the past three years, that’s the day I go to drama and hip hop with Mel Ryan School.

“When I first went there, I did Building Confidence/Life Skills with Mel. I loved it so much; I did it for a second year.

“I learnt how to shake hands properly, not like a ‘wet fish’, all about good manners and the importance of being me. Going to drama really helps me to be more confident.”

Emily’s mam Jennie said her daughter was struggling in school and is thankful to the school for helping with her confidence.

“Mel came highly recommended to me by a good friend in the acting circle. I have not looked back since the first time I called her, asking if she could help my daughter, who was finding aspects of school challenging, especially during break times.

“For two years, Emily attended Mel’s Building Confidence Through Drama, Performance & Presentation Skills classes where she flourished under Mel’s genuine, loving guidance before moving onto Hip Hop & Dance, which she absolutely loves.”

Mel Ryan
Mel Ryan

Mel Ryan is originally from Mount Merrion and was born into a family firmly rooted in the arts. Her mother Louise Studley is a soprano and actress, her grandmother was Eileen Studley, a wellknown pianist, and her uncle was Tom Studley, one of the founding members of the RTE Repertory Company.

Mel, who has three grown up children, always had a special interest in mentoring young people and said she loves getting feedback from students that the school has helped them.

“There is nothing more fulfilling than hearing from a parent that we have literally changed their child’s lives, that their shy, anxious, socially disengaged child has grown into a confident personality who is popular, showing leadership, volunteering and has found their voice. We get this kind of feedback all the time and it fills us with pride and emotion” says Mel.