Meet Our Team
TCRG Instructor, Choreographer, Owner
District Irish Dance Academy opened in Fall 2018 with the mission to provide the best opportunity to learn Irish dance in the Washington, DC area. Now running out of our very own studio in the Palisades neighborhood of NW DC, we accomplish our mission by inspiring our students to focus on our three tenets of success - technique, teamwork & tradition - in order to build an inclusive community of dancers in the Nation's Capital.
Owner/Director and DC area-native Joe Duffey has devoted more than two decades to the art of Irish dance. An alum of Bethesda's Walt Whitman High School and George Washington University, his dynamic approach to Irish dance instruction seeks to give every student at District Academy the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.
Joe brings his incredible professional dance career to the classroom: highlights include touring with Grammy Award-winning production 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)
B.A. Geography from the George Washington University (Spring 2013)
Joined by renowned instructor Bernadette Devereaux, TCRG, former lead dancer and fellow Broadway cast member in Lord of the Dance, and talented assistant teachers Evie Kennedy, Cara Horan, Katherine Olrick, Megan Weber and Mary Farrell, District Academy shares the fun and excitement of Irish dance with students across the greater Washington, DC area.
Joe Duffey with the cast of Riverdance. Photo Credit (R): David Hobby.
District Academy Parent
We started our daughter in Joe’s beginner class last month. So far she’s had 4 classes and is really enthusiastic. Joe is doing a fantastic job of keeping the kids engaged and having fun while learning the fundamentals of Irish Dance. I’m so happy he opened his school in DC so I can introduce my daughter to Irish Dance, which is something I pursued for many years in my youth and am delighted to share with her.
MAUREEN BERRY, TCRG
Owner/Director of Teelin Irish Dance
Lead Dancer in Lord of the Dance