Irish Dance Teachers Take Journey Alongside Their Successful Students


Some classrooms are quiet, with students silently working.

Others, like the Irish Dancing Academy in Westerville, are not. Kicking and stomping are quite normal for a class like this.

Byron Tuttle and Edward Searle each co-direct this academy full of talented dancers. Before this, Byron had a different story. He competed and toured at one point in his life. But he soon began to realize he had a different calling.

“I knew deep down in my heart of hearts, I wanted to teach,” Byron said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

So he and Edward started a school in England to fulfill this heartfelt dream.

However, Byron found himself longing to be back in Columbus. With this, he and Edward made the move and opened the academy in Westerville.

They have about 100 students now who are working to perfect this unique art. Contrary to popular belief, it all begins with the shoes - not taps or clogs.

To make them work the right way, it’s up to the individual student to turn out their feet, perfect their carriage, and hit the beats.

Edward warns however, that it is not as simple as one might think.

“It's not easy at all,” Edward said. “You have to make sure you stay on time to the music.”

It’s highly emphasized in class, as students push and practice moves over and over. It all becomes worth it though, when talented dancers such as Cosette De Bourbon take the stage.

Cosette is only 13 years old, but she has taken home a world title with her skills. As a successful dancer should, she works on her craft about 15 hours a week.

But even this young teenager knows winning isn’t everything.

“Sometimes I don't care about the result,” Cosette said. “I just want to please my teachers.”

Both Edward and Byron are very proud of this talented student, and only hope each child becomes the best dancer they can be. But dancers like Cosette make them realize being a part of the journey to someone’s success is the most rewarding thing.