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The Best Irish Dance Lessons in New Jersey

It has been 22 years since the debut of Michael Flatley’s Riverdance sparked international interest in the elaborate world of Irish dance, known for its rigid upper body stance, super elaborate footwork, and ornate hairstyle and costumes.

Prospective students in New Jersey who are looking to learn this type of dancing–whether it be solo step, group dance or tightly choreographed numbers–have many excellent schools to choose from. There are beginner classes for students looking to have fun or gain fitness and flexibility, and advanced lessons available for those ready to move on to competition.

More From Best of NJ

Irish style of dance is so not just for the Irish anymore, which is good news for New Jersey’s diverse population. In fact, Julia O’Rourke, a two-time world champion and star of the documentary, Jig, was born in New York and has Filipino and Irish ancestry.

See below for our list of the best Irish dance schools in NJ, offering lessons for children. All of the locations listed are staffed with teachers who’ve obtained the highest level of prestige and accreditation in the International Irish dance community–they have passed the demanding TCRG exam and are An Coimisiun Le Rince Gaelacha (World Irish Dance Commission) certified instructors.

DeNogla-Ardmore Academy of Irish Dance

Irish DanceWhere: Classes in Berkeley Heights, Hightstown, Ledgewood, Rutherford, Verona and Westfield.
Price: $16 per lesson
Details: Lessons offered at multiple New Jersey locations target beginners as young as 3 years old, prize-winning championship dancers, and everything in between. Academy students have won multiple awards at local competitions. To see the students in action, check out their annual feis (festival) on Saturday, March 19 in Caldwell.
More info: Visit the website or call 973-868-4022 or 201-716-9900.

Kerri Smith Academy of Irish Dance

Kerri Smith, Irish DanceWhere: 110 Bright Street, Jersey City
Price: Beginner lessons start at $15 per class
Details: Kerri Smith began dancing at age 8 and went on to become a five-time oireachtas champion, placing 2nd in the North American Irish Dance Championship, and ranking 4th in the 2009 World Championships. At her sunny, friendly studio in downtown Jersey City, Smith offers both competitive and non-competitive dance instruction. Dancers get plenty of informal performance opportunities at cultural festivals, community events and parades, alongside the chance to represent the school at local, regional, national and worldwide competitions.
More info: Visit the website or give them a call.

Heritage Irish Dance Company

Irish Dance

Where: Classes held in Bernardsville, Cedar Knolls, Chatham, Clinton, Martinsville, Metuchen, Middletown, Morristown and Wharton.
Price: Contact school for pricing details.
Details: This school was founded by the late Peter J. Smith, who was born in Glen Ridge and became a huge icon in the Irish dancing world. Classes are available for boys and girls 2 years and up. Once students are proficient in the basics of individual Irish step dancing, they are encouraged to sign up for class in ceili (group dances). Competitive dancers are invited to learn elaborate choreography from guest teachers. Students interested in a course of study not geared for competition are also warmly welcomed.
More info: Visit the website or give them a call.

The Kevin Broesler School of Irish Dance

Irish Dance
Where: Classes held in Haddonfield and Westwood.
Price: Contact school for pricing details.
Details: The school’s founder, Kevin Broesler, is a former national and world-champion step dancer, and the Broesler School was named the top Irish Dancing School in the U.S. by Irish Dancing & Culture magazine in 2005. The Jersey outposts of this multi-state school offer a host of classes including Advanced Beginners, Novice and Youth Preliminary Championship Dancers. Broesler dancers, in addition to their successes at competitions, have been cast in major dance shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance/Feet of Flames.
More info: Visit the website.

Hero (Top) Photo: Margo Harrison / Dollar Photo Club
Other Photos (in order) Courtesy:
DeNogla-Ardmore Academy
Kerri Smith Academy
Heritage Irish Dance Company
The Kevin Broesler School of Irish Dance

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