About us

The Huntsville Irish Dancers has performed with local Irish bands and groups including SlipJig., Kinvara, Maple Hill, Henri's Notions, The Huntsville Community Chorus and traveling groups including Grammy award winning Cherish the Ladies and fiddle extraordinaire Eileen Ivers. We've hosted a workshop taught by Riverdance lead dancer Marty Dowds. We've peformed in regular events including the The Tennessee Valley Scottish Society's annual Scottish Festival, the Huntsville Christmas and St. Patrick's day parades, Athens Art on The Square, and The Paul Stroud Concerts by the river in Decatur.

We teach Irish Dance with the firm philsophy of individual attention to each dancer's needs and first conditioning the body and teaching proper technique before requiring dancers to perform complex steps or choreography. For example, we feature small class sizes and combine technique drilling, stretching and pilates into regular classes. This establishes a proper foundation and helps our dancers progress rapidly with minimal risk of injury.


Class Schedule

Please see the calendar tab for our schedule.

Tuition

$50 per month, one hour per week
$70 per month, 2 hours per week
$85 per month, 3 hours per week
$30 per month for each additional family member after the first.
$30 per month, Wee Ones class
$30 annual registration fee

Getting Started

Irish softshoes (ghillies for girls / jazz for boys) aren't required to start classes, but will be required once a student reaches 3 months of classes. Students are encouraged to purchase Irish softshoes very soon after beginning classes for their comfort and protection. Students can initially use ballet or jazz shoes if available to get started. If not they can start in their socks, the priority is to be able to point and rise onto the balls of the feet unhindered. T-shirts and shorts are the required attire. Leggings or tights can also be worn in colder weather, but not pants. It is important to be able to see the alignment of the feet and legs, and pants can obscure them.


Shoes

When students are ready to purchase shoes we recommend these vendors:
Corr's
Hullachan
See Ms. DeeAnna for any related shoe questions.

Female Costumes

Our beginner costume consists of a black t-shirt (summer) and black long sleeved leotard (winter), and a black and turquoise skirt with an embroidered satin turquoise sash. Students will need this costume when they are ready to start performing.

Our advanced costume consists of our embroidered school dress that comes with a cape, blouse and headband. Students will be advised when they are ready for these costume levels. See Ms. DeeAnna for all costume details.


Male Costumes

Boys and men will wear jazz shoes without heels, and later with heels as they advance. Jazz shoes without heels can be sourced locally. Reel shoes with heels are purchased online. Beginner costume for boys consists of black t-shirt and shorts for outdoor performances, pants for indoor performances during the summer. Winter costuming is a black dress shirt and pants with a turquoise tie.

The advanced costume consists of the same elements of the beginner costume but with a turquoise vest and tie in winter. Students will be advised when they are ready for these costume levels. See Ms. DeeAnna for all costume details.




About DeeAnna and Jason Heym





DeeAnna Thorn Heym has been dancing since the age of 3 starting with ballet and then later tap, jazz and gymnastics as well as 13 years playing sports. Always in pursuit of learning she then transitioned into Irish studying in Nashville with Mary Moran, TCRG and also in London, England.

DeeAnna successfully reached the championship level in solo Irish dance. DeeAnna has a background in exercise physiology which guides her teaching philosophy. DeeAnna is also a certified Emergency First Responder, certified in first aid and CPR for infants, children and adults.

Because of DeeAnna's background all dancers are taught on proper sprung flooring and from an anatomically sound perspective, emphasizing conditioning, technique and injury-prevention first and foremost. This forms a foundation for more advanced elements of Irish Dance. Proper technique in Irish Dance is both aesthetically correct and reduces risk of injury.

Jason Heym started in ballroom dance and figure skating before becoming addicted to Irish dance in 1998 studying under Helen Gannon, TCRG of St. Louis Irish Arts. Jason moved to Tennessee in 2000, studying, competing and performing under Mary Moran, TCRG and the Nashville Irish Step Dancers. As an Irish dancer with NISD he has competed and performed throughout the southeast and midwest in both solo and group (Ceili) dancing, placing at the regional championship level in Ceili dancing. Jason has also performed with NISD on the Grand Ole Opry stage and with the Chieftains. Jason's dancing with the Chieftains was featured on the Down The Old Plank Road DVD.

Jason assists DeeAnna in class when his schedule allows. Jason also plays traditional Irish fiddle and is an accomplished software/optical engineer and quantitative financial analyst.



Irish Dance encompasses much more than what is seen in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. There is a wide array of music styles and tempos, each with corresponding dances. There are both traditional dances and highly modernized non-traditional dances that are unique to a particular dance school or dancer. There are also many enjoyable group dances called Ceili that also have exciting competition opportunities.

Why dance with us?

We promote and teach Irish dance because we truly love it. We have dedicated our lives to teaching Irish Dance and to our students. We bring many years of Irish dance experience to the Huntsville and Madison area.

Our dancers are taught a solid technique foundation followed by both traditional and modern material. All dancers are taught proper, competition-quality technique from the very beginning, even if they only seek a fun hobby, exercise or the occasional performance. Improper technique, once learned, is not only extremely difficult to unlearn later, it also raises the risk of injury. Irish Dance involves a tremendous amount of body movement without the aid of the arms. This makes proper lower body technique exceptionally important.

We provide a fun, rewarding and healthy experience for all our students, regardless of age, ability and interest level. We create opportunities for our dancers to express themselves. In 2010 our Huntsville dancers peformed in 18 public performances in and around Huntsville.

Anyone who has enjoyed Riverdance and Lord of the Dance knows Irish dancing is exciting to watch and listen to. It is even more enjoyable to perform and can be learned quickly given proper instruction. Once one masters basic technique and the structure of the music, Irish dance is very hard to give up. It can be practiced innexpensively in one's home. It is a phenomenal form of exercise and promotes good cardiovascular health. When danced with proper technique on proper flooring it offers much less impact to the joints and lower risk of injury than many sports. As is such, Irish Dance is enjoyable by people of all ages and truly provides a lifetime of enjoyment.