Social, Circus, Community

Hi, I’m Duana, commonly known as Duey Sol.

I’m always happy to connect with like-minded people from all over the world, especially those working towards a common goal of making the world (or their small part of it) a better place.

I grew up in the countryside in Ireland with veg, fruit, herb gardens and trees, lots of trees. That was my foundation. I moved to Galway City when I was about 8. I was lucky to go to an alternative ‘Educate Together’ primary school. They teach people to care about people and planet and to think for themselves. I went to a typical Irish secondary school which I left at 16 to do a horticulture course for two years.

I then took a variety of courses, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I studied massage for two years and practiced for a while but I took a step back from that. I hope to get back to it one day, I like healing people.

When I was 22 I started volunteering in the Galway Community Circus teaching kids contemporary circus arts (no animals!) and learning skills myself. I taught and learned there for two years. It was so important in my journey; I discovered my first hobby, first sport, my circus freak family and my love of working with children. I’m massively interested in ‘Social Circus’. I believe recreation activities, hobbies, and the social and personal development aspects of these are hugely beneficial to people.

For a few years friends and I trained together. We occasionally did circus shows and workshops at festivals and events.

Now we have a performance group in training called Hoopla Troupla. We have performed and done workshops at a number of charity and community events and festivals in Ireland. My favourite disciplines are fire dancing and being a human puppet. I also practice/teach hula hoop and poi. And I dance. A lot. My stage name is Dancing Duey.

I started doing social media work 5 years ago. One of my creations is a facebook group 'House Hunting Galway (for sound people)’, facilitating people to network to find housing and house mates. It’s really important to have a safe space to live with people who suit you. The group grew to 26,000 people and counting. Another facebook group I started is Galway Underground Gigs, which has 6,000 members. I’m always connecting people with the right people, projects and events. Galway is a magic place that draws people here from all over the world, and I get to meet the most inspirational people.

I worked as a youth work assistant for a year and now I’m doing a degree in Business, Enterprise and Community Development. I never thought I’d do third level education, being a more practical, hands-on learner, but this degree is helping me to merge my ideas and skills with community development, enterprise, youth work and circus.

My dream is to create an alcohol-free social and entertainment venue in Galway. Ireland desperately needs alcohol-free spaces. An inclusive space for people to come together with music, dancing and activities, with rooms for workshops, classes and meetings.

Finally I really want to get back to nature for some grounding and get back to my roots. Taking part in An Áit Eile’s pre-unMonastery event, a “Rural Reconnaissance” at Cregg Castle reminded me of that. Nature is life.

How was the pre-unMonastery for you?

Very nice to meet you, @Duey! You seem to be quite a connector and community leader, so you’ll probably feel at home in edgeryders. We have a lot of online conversations because we’re spread all over, and personally I have found it complements nicely real life relationships - it takes time to get used to sharing many things via a web platform, but then it really gets under your skin.

I’m Noemi, longtime edgeryders member, so if you’re curious about past unMonastery work which inspired to some extent AAE feel free to ask… There is a discussion group where the prototype work was coordinated and reported on - it’s /t/unmonastery/315. Do you have plans of joining the Galway/Cregg iteration?


Hi, Thanks for your welcome. Lovely to meet you too, and lovely to be here! I’m sure i’ll have a good look around and get to know the place and people soon. Excited to see what it’s all about.

I loved meeting Nadia in Ireland at pre-un-mon, the event went great, lots of good conversations, company, food, and work done out in the fresh (cold) air! scheming and hatching plans was great too, and the yoga and archery of course (Thanks Bernard!). I am looking forward to see what comes out of it, the connections I made and deepened there over the 4 days was invaluable. Having that time away from the city to focus on things, the whole concept is great!

So I’m not sure what my exact path is yet, there are so many ideas, possibilities and opertunities. But i’m sure being here surrounded by inspiring people will help me.

I’ll be sure to ask questions thank you :slight_smile:

Toodles :slight_smile:

What would you need to move forward?

Hello @Duey ! I am Alberto, I was browsing all these care stories on Edgeryders and found your post just today. Congratulations, you seem like an ace community convener. This is an ability that commands a lot of respect here in Edgeryders.

I have a question. What would you need to move forward with your alcohol-free space? I am interested in people’s dreams, and how they can be made to come true.


Nice to meet you. Thank you for your comment. Well for the alcohol-free space, I would need:

  1. One or two dedicated and trustworthy people who are as passionate as me about the idea, in Galway who could commit part time hours to work in it, and possibly be coloborators or managers with me, because I am not sure I want to be alone in the decision making and managing at this time.

  2. Funding and resources: I would need start up funding for the first couple of years to get the project to a self-financing stage, and a trusted accountant and solisitor to take care of such things.

  3. A suitable venue/building in the city centre. It would be ideal to own a building, or be donated one, but I would settle for renting, it is more important that the space exists.

  4. I would need to be able to give my full time and energy commitment to the project for a couple of years. (this is where a partner would be handy)

In the mean time what I could be doing is running regular monthly/twice monthly events in rented spaces, to build up a customer following and awareness of the project. This would require a smaller investment of money, resources and time.

I currenlty do not have any money to invest in either of these options.

I would need to make money from it to make it sustainable and be able to dedicate enough time to make it the best it can be.

Thanks for asking, it has helped me think about where I am and where I’m going :slight_smile:

Social and health

@Duey thanks for this post, just getting a chance to read your post.  Love the energy and the holistic aspect of your work.  I’m working with the Woodbine Health Autonomy group and also helping to curate the OpenCare festival.  We have been thinking of ways we can implement beauty and fun into our ideals of care.  I’d love to chat with you about different ways we might be able to collaborate.  Maybe more blog posts of possibly setting something up at the festival to highlight your ideas about social interactions!  We can chat via email and possibly set up a time to chat.  Email us at  Cheers and keep up the great work!

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