DANCE teacher Nicky Hayes has been remembered as a “one of a kind” who will be missed greatly by her friends, family and students.
Ms Hayes passed away on Thursday following a lengthy battle with cancer.
Nicky’s best friend for the last 40 years, Alan Foley, founder and artistic director of Cork City Ballet, has described the heartbreak of losing her.
Nicky, aged 52, who was the founder of Nicky’s Dance Studio in Donnybrook, died following a hard-fought battle with cancer, leaving her 20-year-old daughter Emily without her mother.
The dance teacher has three sisters and a brother and will be sadly missed by her nephews Killian, Alex and Ryan and niece Molly, among others.
Mr Foley, aged 51, who grew up with Nicky in Minane Bridge described the death of his best friend as heartbreaking and devastating.
“We were best friends since the age of 10. We travelled the world together, we did everything but marriage and babies,” Alan said.
Mr Foley said that the oncologist told Nicky on Monday that her cancer had spread like ivy and she was moved to Marymount on Wednesday night before passing away on Thursday night.
“My greatest fear was that she would be afraid to go, but she wasn’t.”
Speaking of the great loss that Nicky’s death would be to her community, Alan said Nicky was a friend to everyone and a greatly admired dance teacher.
“It is heartbreaking, she was known for her kindness and spirit and her love for children.”
Alan said that the pair taught together and he learned a great deal from Nicky in her strength of character and her way with the children.
“It is difficult to put into words how special Nicky was, she truly was one of a kind and she is a huge loss to the dance community.”
Discussing Nicky’s daughter Emily, Alan said she was an incredible young woman with great resilience, who was coping well with the loss of her mother.
Speaking about Nicky’s death, Mr Foley said he had hated seeing Nicky suffer and he wouldn’t have wished the suffering she went through on anyone.
“She wore her illness with great dignity. She never complained. We didn’t avoid the ‘C’ word. We dealt with it. She had all her affairs in order by the end.
Nicky is being cremated today following a requiem Mass at 3pm at Sacred Heart Church, Minane Bridge.
Many of the children from her dance school will be in attendance at her funeral mass to say goodbye to their favourite teacher.