Susannah started her Irish Dancing career at the age of 7, here in Colorado, under the instruction of Maureen Hall. In early 1997 she moved to Columbus, Ohio and joined Richens-Timm Academy. Susannah placed in the top five at the Western Regional Oireachtas, 6th in the Mid-American Region, and placed top fifteen at the North American Irish Dance Championships. She also qualified for and competed multiple times at the World Championships.
In 1998 she auditioned for Riverdance and joined the American Riverdance-Flying Squad. Susannah toured the United States with Riverdance for 3 years, including the finale performances with the original North American Riverdance troupe, The Lee Company. In 2009 she received her teaching certificate (TCRG) from the Irish Dancing Commission and along with her best friend Jennifer, opened the Moriarty-Moffitt School of Irish Dance with several locations across northern Colorado.
After 10 wonderful years of teaching together, Jennifer decided to retire from teaching dance thus forming the new launch of the school as, the Avoca Irish Dance Academy!
TCRG, Owner and Teacher
Former dancer with Riverdance, Dancing on Dangerous Ground and principal dancer with Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance. Martin was highly successful as a competitive Irish Dancer after starting at the age of five. Under the expert tutelage of Deirdre McAleer ADCRG, Martin attained many titles including All-England and Great Britain Champion. He was runner up at the All-Ireland and was ranked third in the World.
Martin is a certified Irish Dance Teacher and Adjudicator as well as Examiner. He ran the Martin Percival School of Irish Dance here in Colorado for 10 years before closing for other opportunities in 2014. Martin has since collaborated with the very talented Ciara Sexton to found Irish Dance Theatre, producing and choreographing the Christmas show, Celtic Gift. Martin is also a host of The Irish Dance Pod Cast, where he interviews many teachers, adjudicators and choreographers in and out of the Irish Dance world.
After some time away from teaching, Martin has felt the itch to come back! We are delighted to have him with us as a part of our teaching team.
TCRG, ADCRG, Teacher
Amanda began her dancing career in 2008 taking lessons from Jennifer and Susannah as their first and only student! Amanda has worked hard as an Open Championship dancer and has enjoyed many achievements including dancing on the Senior Ladies team and receiving 12th Place at the 2019 World Championships. Amanda loves to perform and has spent 2 summers dancing with the Riverdance Summer Camp in Boston. She is also well on her way to finish her Grade Exams and take her TCRG. Amanda enjoys teaching our Beginner dancers almost as much as they enjoy her!
My name is Dayna Spence and I have been dancing since I was 10 years old. I started my dance career when Susannah came to my elementary school to teach an Irish dancing after school camp, and I’ve loved it ever since. Irish dancing has become a huge part of my life. I am currently in the highest level of competition and I have been able to travel across the world for dance competitions and camps. I also love dancing on our 8-hand teams and have a passion for performing. Later in my dance career I have really enjoyed teaching our younger students and watching them grow. I am also excited about working toward earning my TCRG and becoming I certified Irish dance teacher someday.
Elizabeth first learned Irish dancing at age 5 from Maureen Hall. Over the years she has studied ballet, earned a Bachelor of Music degree, and started raising her family but she is always drawn back to Irish dance. Elizabeth placed in the top 10 at the Western Regional Oireachtas, was a finalist multiple times at the North American National Championships, and has qualified for and competed at the World Championships five times. Elizabeth has completed 10 Grade Exams and has greatly enjoyed teaching dance for a number of years. She is absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Avoca Irish Dance!
ELIZABETH VAN NOY
Heather is based in Longmont, Colorado, is a Level 4 Essentrics® trainer, Progressing Ballet Technique instructor and is May Pilates Certified. She has also been an Irish Dancer for years so she has a unique understanding of what our dancers need when it comes to conditioning and strengthening their bodies and preventing injury.
After an Irish dance injury in 2008, Heather discovered the Essentrics®Technique, which combined her passion for fitness and dance. She is now dedicated to teaching the perfect strengthening and flexibility program that re-balances the body and gives participants a sense of freedom, rejuvenation, power, balance and strength.
Heather specializes in working with athletes and dancers, and has worked hard to perfect a program specific to an Irish Dancer’s needs. Heather provides our dancers with a monthly plan to help them achieve their dance fitness goals!
A native Californian who made her way to Colorado in 2007 to live near her family. She is happily married to her fun-loving husband, Bink, for over 20 years and the mother of twin girls, Caitlyn & Michaela, born on Christmas Day, that LOVE to Irish Dance. During the day, Christy serves as the Youth & Young Adult Director for a local church thus helping her to always have fun and to never grow old!
Christy’s girls have been dancing with the school since 2009. She has always been a dedicated “dance mom” and we are lucky to have her as a studio manager where she is an integral part of the success of our school. You’ll find Ms. Christy at the front desk ready to support our dancers and their parents in any way she can!