Learn to jig With O'Connor & Hennigan Irish Dance Academy

About O'CHIDA

The passion hard work and ambition of all the teachers at O’Connor and Hennigan Irish Dance Academy has helped the Academy to grow to the success it has reached today with dancers aged from 3 up to 40 enjoying dance classes across Hertfordshire, Essex, London, Slough/Berkshire, Norwich and Oxfordshire

OCHIDA has produced numerous champion dancers and World medalists and are very proud of all our students past and present.

Our teachers have had hugely successful careers at international and national level winning many coveted awards and titles. Their personal experiences are the ethos behind the academy and is transferred to the student which is demonstrated by the success of the academy’s students in awards and competitions.

All of our teachers are highly experienced and qualified. They are registered with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha — a governing body of Irish dance. 

Our Classes

Our Irish dance classes are held throughout the South in Hertfordshire, Essex, London, Slough/Berkshire, Norwich and Oxfordshire, and we welcome Irish dancers of all ages to join us for fun and fitness or to work towards competitions and grade exams.

Our Teachers

Teacher at O'Connor & Hennigan.

MANDY HENNIGAN,
TCRG, ADCRG, BG

Teaching for 21 years and an adjudicator for 11 years, Mandy teaches full time across East Herts, Essex and Norwich. She enjoys adjudicating all over the World and has just qualified as a CLRG Grade Examiner.

Mandy started dancing age 4 and during her career won numerous regional & National titles and was proud to be World Solo Champion 4 times as well as part of a World Champion figure team.

Teacher at O'Connor & Hennigan.

SEAN HENNIGAN,
TCRG, ADCRG

Sean has been dancing since he was 7. He went on to win 8 world titles in solo and team competitions. As well as being Great Britain and All Ireland champion.

He also toured around the world with Michael Flatley in Lord of the Dance in 1997 for 3 years. After leaving to continue his studies he became a qualified teacher with CLRG.

In 2009 Sean became a qualified adjudicator and has been invited to judge in competitions around the world.

Teacher at O'Connor & Hennigan.

ANGELA
O’CONNOR, TCRG

Angela started Irish dancing at the age of 6. She danced competitively at world championship standard until the age of 18. She also studied performing arts after leaving school which covered all genres of dance including, ballet, tap, street dance and contemporary.

Angela traveled the world with ‘Lord of the dance’ for four years as a main backline dancer and understudy for one of the leading roles. On returning from her travels Angela decided that she wanted to inspire others by what she had learnt. She studied as an Irish dancing T.C.R.G, Pesonal trainer & sports therapist. Angela is the principle teacher at our Slough location but you will often see her teaching at all of our classes.

FAQs

  • DO I NEED ANY EXPERIENCE TO GET STARTED?

    No. Beginner students of all ages at O’Connor and Hennigan Irish Dance Academy start out learning and mastering basic technique including foot placement, balance, posture and music. While mastering these techniques, four solo dances are taught in the soft shoes: Reel, Light Jig, Hop Jig and Slip Jig. Students then move on to training in the hard shoes.
  • WHAT DO I WEAR TO MY FIRST CLASS?

    Girls should wear shorts or leggings and a t-shirt, white socks, and plimsoles or ballet shoes if you have them (if not, socks are OK, too). Boys should wear soccer-style shorts and a t-shirt, plimsoles or jazz shoes if you have them (if not, socks are OK, too). It is imperative that the teacher is able to have an unrestricted view of the dancers legs, knees and feet. Any clothing that will restrict this view or any clothing that will inhibit free movement of the dancer is not appropriate for class.
  • DO I NEED SPECIAL SHOES?

    Dancers will start out in soft Irish dance shoes before they train in the hard Irish dance shoes. If a dancer already has a pair of ballet shoes, they can wear these for class until they start performing or competing. If you don't already own a pair of ballet shoes, you can wear plimsoles or just socks for your first few classes and then can purchase Irish soft shoes when you feel ready. Girls wear lace up soft shoes. Boys wear split soled jazz shoes. Girls soft shoes, boys and girls hard shoes and all other Irish Dance supplies including poodle socks can be found online
  • AT WHAT AGE CAN YOU LEARN TO IRISH DANCE?

    At O’Connor and Hennigan Irish Dance Academy we run classes for all age groups. Our beginner childrens classes are for age 4 upwards. We also run Baby Reel Class for preschool ages at some of our locations too . These classes are designed with music and movement and lots of mum or dad interaction. Please ask for details. OCHIDA also run Reel Fit and Fun courses for older learners and adults,It is never too late to start learning and keeping fit whilst having fun through basic steps and ceili sessions. Once again contact us to find out when we will be starting the next course.
  • WHAT ARE GRADE EXAMS?

    OCHIDA runs exams (similar to ballet) every year from Grade 1 - 12 which can help mark the progress of your dancer. If successful dancers are awarded a certificate with comments on technique from a qualified instructor. These exams are held informally and local to our classes and dancers are all encouraged to work towards at least one grade a year.
  • WHERE CAN I LEARN TO IRISH DANCE?

    O’Connor and Hennigan irish Dance Academy have classes across East Herts , Essex , Norwich , Slough, Thame plus we are opening more class loations all the time. Look at our class details for your closest location .
  • IS THERE A WAITING LIST?

    Contact us to find out if we have immediate spaces available.
  • ARE YOUR IRISH DANCING CLASSES SAFE TO ATTEND AT THIS TIME?

    At this very strange time we are restricting the numbers of dancers at each lesson in order to manage social distancing in the best way possible. The Academy instructors will have completed Covid 19 risk assesements before commencing classes at all locations. We will ask you read and sign our own Academy Covid procedures before the lesson and help guide dancers with regards to social distancing and personal sanitising . All dance areas will be cleaned before and after lessons .
  • WHAT ARE THE CLASS FEES?

    Class fees vary depending on location and dance levels. We can advise you of costs before you commit to lessons but we often will run free taster sessions as well, Please contact for details
  • WHERE CAN I BUY IRISH DANCING SHOES?

    There may be some second hand shoes available within the class and it is always worth asking your teacher or posting on the Academy Facebook page . We recommend the following online companies which will stock shoes , socks and accessories,www.feiswear.com or www.antoniopacelli.com Please remember light shoes or pumps for beginners must be close fitting as will be difficult to dance in if too big.
  • WHERE CAN I BUY OCHIDA CLASS COSTUME?

    Beginners to the classes will be given the opportunity to order our simple Academy tshirts and vest tops through your teacher . They will have the information on sizes etc. Once a year in the Autumn we also place an order for our OCHIDA sports training wear from Malley sports in Dublin. These are specially designed for us and so as there is often a minimum order quantity we try and plan the order to arrive in time for Christmas. Malley will have tracksuit tops , winter jackets , crop tops and vest tops .
  • HOW CAN I SEE NEWS AND EVENTS FROM ALL OUR CLASS LOCATIONS?

    We have two facebook pages one private one public , for the whole of O’Connor and Hennigan as well as an Instagram page and also a separate Norwich facebook page Here you will see photographs of our dancers at class and Feisanna, items for sale as well as lots of other news. Please feel free to look us up !

Contact