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Lavin-Cassidy School of Irish Dance

Lavin-Cassidy School of Irish Dancing

From beginner to championship level, solo dancing to ceili (team) dancing, the Lavin-Cassidy School of Irish Dancing has inspired appreciation for the art of Irish Dance for more than 27 years. Because our focus is quality, not quantity, our class sizes allow for focused, individualized instruction by our staff of five instructors, of which four are certified by An commission. Ann Lavin Cassidy, TCRG, ADCRG, Laura Stack Finn, TCRG, ADCRG, Emma Jane Jordan TCRG, Caoimhe Cassidy, TCRG and Stephanie Ryan.

The Lavin-Cassidy studio, in Worth, Illinois, is a state-of-the-art facility that features floating dance floors like those used by professional dance companies. Additional classes are offered in Oak Forest at Gaelic Park.

Lavin-Cassidy holds numerous first place titles in Solo and Team in Midwest Regional, National Championships and also at the pinnacle of Irish dancing the All Ireland and World Championships. Most recently, in 2014 and 2015, our senior Girl’s Under 19 Ceili , our junior Girls Under 13 placed First at the All ireland and World Championships held in Dublin and Montreal, Canada. In addition Tadgh Spillane placed first to win his second consecutive World Title in Montreal. We are so proud of all of our World Medal holders and all of our hardworking dancers.

Lavin Cassidy offers competitive solo and team dancing but we also offer our students the opportunity to participate in a variety of show performances throughout the Chicago area.

Teaching Staff

Ann Lavin-Cassidy, TCRG, ADCRG

Ann Lavin-Cassidy began her dancing career for Carol and John Walsh at the Redmond-Walsh Academy in Birmingham, England. The school was later taken over by Margaret Dunleavy and Dan Armstrong becoming the Dunleavy-Armstrong School. It was under the direction of Margaret and Dan,that Ann became Oireachtas and Great Britain champion. Additionally, Ann became a top medal holder at both the All-Ireland and World-Championships in both solo and ceili competitions.

Ann started teaching for Margaret at a very young age and continued to do so when she moved to Co. Sligo, Ireland. It was in one of her early talented beginner classes that she instructed her sister, Emma Jane Lavin, who went on to become a four time World Champion.

Ann moved to Chicago in 1986 and established the Lavin-Cassidy School of Irish Dance. The school has gone on to Regional, National and World acclaim. The Lavin-Cassidy School has several top 3 medals in both solo and team competitions from the World Championships. They have performed for the Clintons at their last St. Patricks Day party in the Whitehouse and for the honorable Richard J. Daly, Mayor of Chicago.

Ann teaches all levels of classes, beginners to champions, solo and teams. She is both TCRG and ADCRG certified and is a member of CLRG An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha, IDTANA, and IDTAMA. Ann most recently adjudicated the 2010 Eastern Canadian Oireachtas and the 2009 North American Championships.

Ann is married to Tom Cassidy a native of Co. Mayo, who completed the state of the art LC dance studio 7 years ago. They have 2 children, T.J. and Caoimhe. Caoimhe, a former Open Championship dancer has recently become an assistant instructor at the school. The Cassidy’s reside in the Chicago suburbs.

Emma Jane Jordan, TCRG

Emma Jane Jordan has been a part of Lavin Cassidy since 1992 when she moved from Ireland. Emma Jane was a four time World champion dancer and won every major title as a solo dancer. She also won many World and major titles as a team dancer before pursuing a career as a dancing instructor. Emma Jane also trained to be a Pilates instructor and became certified in 2002.

Emma teaches all levels from beginner to championship, solo’s and ceili. She is TCRG certified and is a member of CLRG An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha.

Emma is married to Piaras and has a son name Liam and resides in Chicago.

Laura Stack Finn, TCRG, ADCRG

Laura started dancing at 8 yrs old and competed in solo and team for 14 years. Placing top ten at both World and All Ireland Championships, top three at National Championship and winning the Mid-West Championship. Team dancing was her favorite with titles from the United States, Canada and Ireland. She graduated from Mother McAuley High School in 1991 and went on to Depaul University in Chicago, Il. Laura became a certified Irish dancing teacher (TCRG) in 1993 and became an adjudicator (ADRCG) in 2003. She has taught all levels from beginner to championship, solo’s and ceili’s since the start.

Laura resides in the Chicago Suburbs with her husband and two sons Aidan and Conor.

Caoimhe Cassidy, TCRG

Caoimhe teaches all levels from beginner to championship, solo’s and ceili. She is TCRG certified and is a member of CLRG An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha.

Caoimhe started dancing at age 2 and competed through the age of 18. She has competed at all levels of Irish dancing and started teaching when she was 16 yrs old.

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