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.