Meet Our Star Team
Master Tap Instructor, Choreographer
Mary Kate Fogarty
Joe Duffey, TCRG
Cast Member in Riverdance, Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance on Broadway & London's West End
Bernadette Devereaux, TCRG
Head of Programs
Lead Dancer in Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance on Broadway & London's West End
District Irish Dance Academy launched in Fall 2018 with a defined mission: promote individuality in Irish dance through technique, teamwork, & tradition. Now running out of our very own studio in the Palisades neighborhood of NW DC, we aim to bring out the best in every dancer, offering a well-rounded Irish dance experience for every student who steps foot in our doors. Together, let's #dancethedistrict
Owner and DC area native Joe Duffey always dreamed of opening an Irish dance school and putting his mark on the DC dance scene. An alum of Walt Whitman High School (Bethesda, MD) and George Washington University (B.A. 2013), his love for the DC area is reflected in the school's brand and vision. At District Irish Dance, we apply innovative instruction to pass along our love for an art form rooted in tradition. In doing so, we enable students the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive as Irish dancers in recreational, competitive and pre-professional tracks.
Starting a dance school didn't happen overnight: Joe brings nearly a decade as a professional dancer to the classroom. Highlights of his remarkable career include touring with iconic Grammy Award-winning show Riverdance, in addition to working directly with and performing with Michael Flatley in Lord of the Dance on London's West End and on Broadway. [Read this Washington Post article to learn more about Joe’s time on Broadway!]
Joe Duffey (2nd from right) performs with the cast of Lord of the Dance on the Graham Norton Show.
Joe began dancing at age 6, training under renowned teacher Maureen Berry, TCRG at the Teelin School of Irish Dance based in Columbia, MD. He earned his TCRG Irish dance teacher certification with honors in 2017. Joe's extensive experience in both Irish dance and fitness help ensure a comprehensive well-rounded Irish dance experience is given to every District Academy student. These qualifications include:
Certified TCRG with honors granted by and registered with An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha
Fully vetted, background checked and insured Irish dance studio in DC.
CPR/AED/First Aid-certified with the American Red Cross (Spring 2017)
NASM-CPT personal trainer (Spring 2018)
Fuse Pilates method certification (Fall 2014)
Joined by renowned instructor Bernadette Devereaux, TCRG (former lead dancer and fellow Broadway cast member in Lord of the Dance), as well as acclaimed dancer Mark Chichester, who leads our tap program (credits include Lord of the Dance and Prodijig), and talented assistant instructors the District Academy team shares the fun and excitement of Irish dance with students across the greater Washington, DC area.
Joe Duffey in the iconic "Riverdance" line up during a photo shoot in Times Square, NYC. Credit: Time Out Magazine
Head of Programs Bernadette Devereaux (center) performing the lead role in "Lord of the Dance" (Credit: Lord of the Dance)
District Academy Parent