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Our Teachers

Our Teachers

John Heinzman II, A.D.C.R.G.

John Heinzman began dancing at age 5 under the instruction of Breda McGowan and continued with her for five years. He then continued dancing with Ron Plummer for four years and finally with Tim O’Hare for one year. John danced competitively for 10 years reaching the Open Championship level, placing 4th and 3rd at the North American Oireachtas. John received his certification in all forms of Irish Dance with a Teaching Certificate Rince Gelacha- TCRG in 1996, and his adjudication certificate, ADCRG, in 2007.  These were gained by passing five difficult exams, a written, step dance teaching, ceili teaching, performance, and music exam. John opened the Heinzman School of Irish Dance with Liz in 1994. The school began with 12 students at St. Pat’s Church in Wyandotte and has grown to over 10 locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada.

Liz Heinzman, T.C.R.G.

Liz Heinzman began dancing at the tender age of 3 ½ years with Breda McGowan from 1970-74. She then continued dancing with Ron Plummer from 74-78, and June Butler from 78-82. Liz danced competitively until the age of 14, reaching the Open Championship level, placing 3rd at the North American Championships, as well as 2nd at the Mid-West Regionals.  Liz began teaching with her brother John in 1994 and earned her TCRG in 2000.

Marie Heinzman T.M.R.F.

Marie began her dance career as an adult with the Heinzman School of Irish Dance in 1996. She competed up to the Championship level earning entry into the Oireachtas and competed at the World Championships in 2002, in Glasgow, Scotland. Marie has since been teaching with the School.

Kitty Heinzman T.M.R.F.

The matriarch of the Heinzman family, Kitty teaches Ceili dance at the Gaelic League and other studios/venues.

Shannon Thoms T.C.R.G.

Shannon began dancing at the age of 4 at the local Irish Club in Sudbury, Ontario. When her family moved to Windsor, Ontario, she began taking competitive lessons at the Gaelic League in Detroit from the O’Cealliagh School. Shannon also took lessons from the Fearon School and O’Donnell School of Irish Dance. She competed in the Championship level at the Canadian Eastern Oireachtas and the North American Championships. In 2000, Shannon formed Celtic Rhythm Irish Dance Academy after passing her TMRF; she also has her TCRG which she passed in 2002.

Jourdy Bancroft, TCRG

Jourdy started dancing under the instruction of Shannon Thoms and Ann Marie O’Donnell in Windsor, Ontario at the age of 7. She then transferred to the Goggin- Carroll school where she reached the championship level and competed at many Oireachtasi, as well as the North American National Championships. Jourdy started teaching with the Ardán Academy in 2007 and passed her TCRG exam in 2011.

Christopher Stefani, TCRG

Christopher Stefani began dancing at the age of 5 with Michael O’Hare and continued with him for one year. He then continued dancing with the Ardán Academy, then the Heinzman School, for 15 years. Chris danced competitively until the age of 20, reaching the Open Championship level, placing 4th at the Mid- American Oireachtas, as well as 18th at the World Championships. Chris began teaching with the Heinzman’s in 2005 and earned his TCRG in 2012.

Megan McParland-May

Kimberly Bell Darke

Brenna Kummer

Michaela Cosgrove

If you or someone you know would like to get started dancing, know more about our classes, or would like to book our Irish dancers for a performance at your next event please contact:

John or Liz Heinzman - (734) 762-0997

- for Michigan and Ohio -


Shannon Thoms - (519) 252-0420

- for Windsor, Ontario -