Dance studio

Moving to Atlanta sparked dreams of opening a dance studio

“If you’ve never learned Irish and have a background in ballet, tap or jazz, it will be very easy for you to pick up the basics of Irish dancing,” said the Dublin native.

The dances fall into two categories: soft shoes and hard shoes. “Soft shoe dances include reels, slides, light jigs and single jigs,” Drake said. He added the hornpipe, heavy jig and treble reel for the hard shoe dances.

“Originally, hard shoes had studs on them, below where the tap was on tap shoes. Due to the heavyness of the shoe and in the modernization of Irish dancing, the fiber glass replaced studs, on the toe and heel, making the shoe lighter,” he said.

Drake’s dancers have a record of national and world “competitive achievements”.

The renowned dancer said: “I have a loyal staff, teachers who have been with me and former dancers who now teach at the Drake School – a huge offer for the school. I have trained 20 teachers and I am very proud to have once again brought another generation of dance teachers around the world.

Currently 15 of his students are preparing for the World Irish Dancing Championships (April 10-17) at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. “It’s like the Irish Dancing Olympics,” the founder said. The youngest child is a 10-year-old boy from Atlanta.

If you’re curious about Irish dancing and want to try it out, Drake’s School offers a month of free introductory lessons.

Address: 4790 Peachtree Industrial Blvd #101 (located in The Shops at Berkeley Lake), Norcross (404-524-6986).

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