The Duffy School of Irish Dance


A Week at the Worlds

Over the week of Spring Break, three Duffy dancers traveled to Dublin for the CLRG World Championships. During those 8 days, the top 1% of Irish dancers all over the world convened upon the Citywest Hotel to vie for a spot on the podium. 

The competitions are large - these girls compete against 150-200 other dancers in their age category. Their time on stage is short - 51 seconds for a reel and 1 minute 24 seconds for a hornpipe. Months and months of practice and preparation for 2 minutes 15 seconds on stage, in the hopes that they'll be placed in the top 50 and called back for one more dance. 

We are so proud of our dancers, and the fact that they qualified at all is impressive. While none of our dancers placed in the top 50, they brought home so much more than a medal.

They learned what it means to have a big goal, and what it takes to work for that goal. They learned to persevere through pain, stress, and schoolwork. They learned to prioritize and manage their time. They learned to speak up for themselves when they felt something needed to change. They learned how important the small stuff can be.

Even though they are back home and setting their sights on the National Championships in July, they are still learning. They are learning from their mistakes. They are learning to use their experience in Dublin as fuel for their fire. And they are very happy to be learning some new material after doing the same steps for the last year!

Miss Erin and Miss Casey have also learned from the experience. Watching the top dancers in the world compete is an important part of growing as a teacher. They are also happy to be home to share what they have learned with the entire Duffy School, so that some of those dancers may one day dance on the Worlds stage.

x Miss Erin

Erin Martorano
Getting to Know The Duffy School

Welcome! We at the Duffy School have been busy making great changes to every aspect of our school over the last year, and this new website is just one example! We'd like to take a moment to tell you about our journey.

Miss Erin opened The Duffy School of Irish Dance in 2007 with the support of her family, which included her younger sister Miss Casey. The first classes were held in a small basement studio in the home of one of our first students. From those basement classes with 5 small, eager students, the school began to grow, and we made our first move to a Knights of Columbus Hall.  That hall served us well as we grew in number, and in 2011 we moved into a studio of our very own.

These places helped shape the school we have become. Those basement classes were so important to us because we were welcomed into a stranger's home, entrusted with their children, and given the opportunity to prove ourselves as competent and caring instructors.

When we moved to the KofC hall, we were grateful to have a larger space for our dancers, who were growing not only in number, but also in size. The Knights were kind and helpful, supporting our budding school as we learned to run a small business.

After several years, we began searching for a place to call our own. What a huge, scary undertaking it was! Up to that point, we hadn't taken many risks in our business, but we were ready to take that big step. With the help and support of both our biological and dance families, we were able to navigate the process, and in April 2011 The Duffy School of Irish Dance Studio opened for business in Gaithersburg, MD.

We made upgrades to the studio as funds allowed, and we now have a sprung floor to keep dancers safe, mirrors to help with form, and a growing selection of fitness equipment. Miss Caitlin has joined our team, bringing with her a new perspective and great enthusiasm. We have partnered with Prime Performance to strengthen our dancers and help prevent injury, and we've brought on an office assistant to help us get more done so we can better serve our dancers and their parents.

There are many more changes to come, but we are proud to be who we are and are grateful for the people and places that have helped us on our journey thus far.

x Miss Erin

About UsErin Martorano