In September of 2017, we were all very sad to see the school close. Eilis Rochez McKenna is now a successful nurse who nurtures her patients with the same care she gave to our young dancers. John Heinzman continues to teach at his other Ardán Academy locations.
The Ardán-Rochez Academy of Irish Dance was established to encourage dancers to develop their skills in dance while growing into confident, disciplined young adults. The Rochez approach featured small class sizes, positive encouragement, individual attention, gentle correction and classes structured for different learning levels. Eilis Rochez-McKenna began this school to cultivate the self-esteem of each dancer, along with a healthy competitive spirit.
Solo step dancing classes helped dancers develop individual dancing skills. More concentrated conditioning classes were available, as well. Eilis and John promoted teamwork through Ardán-Rochez Academy’s innovative classes for figures (group dances), show performance and preparation for regional, national and international competitions.
Rochez dancers not only participated in competitions, they also devoted time to community service performing in nursing homes, hospitals, churches, community service organizations and schools. Eilis maintained a family atmosphere in the Academy. Family involvement was highly encouraged, and was integral to furthering the development of both the dancing and the social life of each dancer.