The Toráin Academy of Irish Dance was founded in 2005 by champion dancers DeeAnna and Jason Heym. T.A.I.D has performed with local Irish bands and groups including SlipJig., Kinvara, Maple Hill, Henri’s Notions, The Huntsville Community Chorus and traveling groups including Grammy award winning Cherish the Ladies and fiddle extraordinaire Eileen Ivers. We’ve hosted workshops taught by a Riverdance lead dancer and the leads of Lord of the Dance. We’ve peformed in regular events including the The Tennessee Valley Scottish Society’s annual Scottish Festival, the Huntsville Christmas and St. Patrick’s day parades, Athens Art on The Square, and The Paul Stroud Concerts by the river in Decatur and many, many more venues and events throughout the Tennessee Valley. We've also been quite successful competitively with many dancers reaching championship level and bringing home many medals and trophies from feisanna (Irish dance competitions).


We teach Irish Dance with the firm philosophy of individual attention to each dancer’s needs and first conditioning the body and teaching proper technique before requiring dancers to perform complex steps or choreography. For example, we feature small class sizes and combine technique drilling, stretching and pilates into regular classes. This establishes a proper foundation and helps our dancers progress rapidly with minimal risk of injury.


Director DeeAnna Thorn Heym has been dancing since the age of 3 starting with ballet and then later studying tap, jazz and gymnastics as well as 13 years playing sports. Always in pursuit of learning she then transitioned into Irish studying in Nashville and also in London, England.


DeeAnna successfully reached the championship level in solo Irish dance. DeeAnna has a background in exercise physiology which guides her teaching philosophy. DeeAnna is also a certified Emergency First Responder, certified in first aid and CPR for infants, children and adults.


Because of DeeAnna’s background all dancers are taught on proper sprung flooring and from an anatomically sound perspective, emphasizing conditioning, technique and injury-prevention first and foremost. This forms a foundation for more advanced elements of Irish Dance. Proper technique in Irish Dance is both aesthetically correct and reduces risk of injury.


Why dance with us?


We promote and teach Irish dance because we truly love it. We have dedicated our lives to teaching Irish Dance and to our students. We bring many years of Irish dance experience to the Huntsville and Madison area. We provide a fun, rewarding and healthy experience for all our students, regardless of age, ability and interest level. We create opportunities for our dancers to express themselves.


Our dancers are taught a solid technique foundation followed by both traditional and modern material. All dancers are taught proper, competition-quality technique from the very beginning, even if they only seek a fun hobby, exercise,or the occasional performance. Improper technique, once learned, is not only extremely difficult to unlearn later, it also raises the risk of injury. Irish Dance involves a tremendous amount of body movement without the aid of the arms. This makes proper lower body technique exceptionally important.