Mission Statement

The mission of the O’Sullivan Academy of Irish Dance is to promote, preserve, and share the tradition and culture of Irish Dance. At O’Sullivan Academy, our focus is on the health, happiness, and education of each student. We will offer a fun, family-friendly atmosphere open to all students willing to learn about the joys of Irish dance. We offer a commitment to excellence and to reaching each dancer's personal potential.

About Melissa O’Sullivan, T.C.R.G.

Melissa began studying Irish Dance at the tender age of 4 with Annie McBride, A.D.C.R.G., T.C.R.G. in Oakland, California. From there, she went on to study dance and other dance styles throughout high school and college. In 1989, she started working as a professional dance instructor and choreographer, and after intense study received her Bachelor of Arts - Dance in 1995 from San Jose State University. She also spent five years as a dance judge for Winterguard competitions. From its early 2002 beginnings, Melissa owned and directed O’Sullivan’s Dance Academy, which focused on Irish Dance as well as ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop dance styles. It was in 2006 that the O’Sullivan Academy of Irish Dance officially came into existence when Melissa received her T.C.R.G. certification. Then, in July of 2008, she decided to sell the non-Irish dance part of her studio and began to focus exclusively on Irish Dance. Melissa has a very broad dance and fitness background which she brings into all of the Irish dance classes. She obtained her Aerobics Certifications from AFAA and AEA which emphasized injury prevention and proper warm up technique. She is currently working on obtaining her personal trainer certification through ACE to further assist dancers with their strength and fitness goals as well. Her future goals include sitting for the Irish Dance judging exam (A.D.C.R.G. - Ard Diploma Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha) in 2012, and to continue fostering a fun and exciting family atmosphere for dancers and parents who wish to learn proper Irish Dance technique. Many have already found their second home with Melissa.

About O’Sullivan Academy of Irish Dance

O’Sullivan Academy of Irish Dance is under the direction of Melissa O’Sullivan. T.C.R.G. (Teastas Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha) and is registered with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, the Irish Dance Commission in Ireland, I.D.A.N.T.A. and the Western U.S. Region of Irish Dance. O’Sullivan Academy is a unique and exciting school. Our studio offers five days of classes on state-of-the-art Sprung Marley Stage Step dance flooring, which prevents injury to dancer knees and ankles. O’Sullivan Academy is proud to have its own touring Irish Repertory Company (IRC) which travels and performs year round for senior retirement facilities, wedding rehearsals, corporate and community events.

Teaching Philosophy

Melissa has a true belief that all people can dance and she is excited to show each student how they can become an Irish dancer. With 20 years of dance teaching experience, she has developed positive instructional methods that can help students reach their goals. Melissa believes in teaching students proper dance technique from the moment they walk into the studio. She emphasizes knowledge of the muscles, dance terms, rhythm, and music recognition. In our classes, students will focus on important standards in Irish Dance such as Turn Out, Timing, Crossing, and Carriage. Dancers can work toward being able to compete, although not required, and some dance for recreation. Regardless, Irish dancing is a character building sport and many find friendships from simply sharing their interest. Melissa believes most of all in human potential. Any dancer who is willing to work hard, come to class, and give it their all will succeed. It’s all about fitness and fun.