Meet the Staff!
Katie Nugent Gerhard, TCRG, Director
Katie has had a passion for Irish dance since she started at age 5. With grandparents that were born and raised in Ireland (Tuam and Fermoy), she was raised with Irish music always playing in the home, so it was no surprise that she rose to the Championship level of Irish dance competition.
Katie always enjoyed teaching Irish dance as well, being asked by Ann Richens many times to help students in her home. Katie received certification (TCRG) in 1984 from the World Irish Dancing Commission (An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha). She is also a registered member of IDTANA (Irish Dance Teacher's Assoc of North America) and IDTAMA (Irish Dance Teacher's Assoc of Mid-America). As a teacher, Katie has trained many dancers for all levels of competition, including both the All-Irelands and the World Championships. She has had many dancers medal at these events.
Katie is married and has two grown children. She also has a BS in Accounting (University of Dayton) and an MBA in Finance (Xavier University) and works professionally in the healthcare industry. She not only teaches Irish Dance to all the children and adults, but shares a few "life lessons" as well. She truly loves the kids and the Adults that she teaches and wants them all to be successful in Irish dance and all that they do!
Tasha began her journey of dancing at the age of 6 with ballet, tap, and jazz. After falling in love with shows like Riverdance and Lord of the Dance as a teenager, she jumped at the chance to learn Irish dancing at the age of 20 when a friend invited her to try a class.
Tasha moved through the levels of dance over the years. She competed at the Preliminary Championship level competing at Oireachtas in both solos and ceili. She retired from competing at the age of 32 and focused on assisting Katie at class.
With the introduction of an adult class at the school 5 years later, she felt the pull of competition again. She joined the adult four-hand ceili and began practicing solos again. In 2021, she competed at the inaugural adult championship at the Phoenix Nationals and at Oireachtas placing 27th and 7th respectively. The adult four-hand ceili placed 2nd the 2022 Oireachtas.
Tasha resides in Cincinnati with her husband and three cats. She holds BM (Ohio University) and MM (Miami University) in music education. She taught band, choir, strings, and general music for 17 years in various Catholic schools in Cincinnati. Fifteen of those years were at St. Ignatius Loyola. She is currently co-conductor of the Queen City Concert Band, an all volunteer concert band for adults in the community. Tasha enjoys bringing her teaching perspective and deep understanding of music to all of the dancers.
Special Guest Instructors!
Tyler Schwartz: World Champion Irish Dancer
Katie hosts workshops with Tyler multiple times throughout the year to provide choreography, where needed, and assist in driving technique to help build future champion Irish dancers.
For more information about Tyler, visit here.
Maddie Rae Russo: Ballet Consultant
Irish dance and Ballet share many similarities! Much can be learned from one another, such as extension, posture, flexibility, and turnout. Maddie teaches these principles of Ballet through an Irish dance lens!
For more information about Maddie, visit here.
Dr. Sarah Crise, DPM
Not only is it important to learn how to Irish dance, but how to Irish dance safely. Sarah instructs the dancers on proper warmups, cool downs, and overall care of the body while training. Following a successful Irish dance career and training in multiple styles of movement, she has a wealth of knowledge in the combination of dance training and lower extremity health. We appreciate her guidance in all areas of dance as well as foot and ankle health.