ABOUT THE ACADEMY
At the Ashurst Academy of Irish Dance, our goal is to provide the highest quality instruction in competitive and recreational solo and team dancing while also stressing the importance of fun and fitness.
We strive to create an extremely positive and encouraging environment for learning while maintaining structure, discipline and the expectation of hard work.
Classes will help students with self-esteem, confidence, balance, stamina, technique, sportsmanship, goal setting, team work ethic and the importance of community with seasonal performances at schools, nursing homes and regional events.
MEET THE TEAM
Christina Dolzall-Ashurst, TCRG
Riverdance, Lord of the Dance (lead), Busch Gardens, Michael Londra's Celtic Fire, Top 5 All Ireland Medalist, 5x National Medalist, 3x Regional Champion, 5x World Qualifier, Certified in Elementary Education, B.A. in Psychology
Christina Dolzall-Ashurst, who grew up in Connecticut, met her husband and co-director Craig Ashurst on tour with Riverdance and is a 3x Regional Oireachtas Champion, North American National Championships medalist, All Ireland Championships medalist, and 6x qualifier for the World Championships.
Upon completion of a successful competitive career, Christina had an astounding professional career with national and European tours of Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance where she played the lead role of the Little Spirit in addition to being a troupe dancer and with 15th Anniversary tour of Riverdance including performances at the prestigious Radio City Music Hall. She has also performed with Busch Garden's Emerald Beat and Celtic Fyre, the Women of Ireland and Michael Londra's Celtic Fire where she was also a choreographer, as well as with artists such as Eileen Ivers and Gaelic Storm.
In 2010, Christina took the T.C.R.G exam to become a certified Irish dance instructor with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelcha and passed with honors. With this certification as well as knowledge acquired in her receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and her Elementary Education certification from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, she looks forward to teaching and inspiring generations of future dancers.
Craig Ashurst, TCRG
Riverdance (lead), Celtic Woman (principal/DVD), Lord of the Dance (DVD), All Ireland Champion, World Podium, North American Champion, Great Britain Champion, 9x Australian Champion, Featured on James Corden, Today Show & More
Craig Ashurst began dancing in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia at the age of 5. By the end of his competitive career, he held 10 Regional titles and 9 Australian titles in addition to winning the All Ireland Championships, British Nationals, Great Britains, and North American National Championships. Craig placed 2nd in the World Championships three times and also won his All Ireland title under the direction of the prestigious Danny Doherty Academy in England.
Upon making the switch to a professional career, Craig danced alongside Michael Flatley during the filming of the Lord of the Dance 3D movie. Craig performed as a principal dancer in Riverdance for most of his six and a half years on tour with the company including on the stage of Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY. He also made multiple TV appearances with the show including on the TODAY show and the Late Late Show with James Corden. Before settling in Connecticut with co-director Christina Dolzall-Ashurst, Craig also toured North America and Europe with Celtic Woman as their feature dancer. He can be seen on the PBS special and DVD entitled, “Emerald.”
Craig has prior instructional experience including Camp Rince Ceol Irish Dance Camp for five summers, workshops and performances with the renowned Trinity Irish Dance Company, Studio2Stage and other workshops around the world. Craig passed his T.C.R.G. exam with honors which certifies him to teach Irish dancing with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha.