A Brief History of Aniar Academy

"Aniar LA" began as the Christine Byrne School of Irish Dance, back in the late 80's, early 90's. It started out as a small school, with dance classes in Westchester, Santa Fe Springs/Downey, and Monrovia. Many old students have fond memories of dancing on plywood in her garage.

In the late 1990's, Christine joined up with long time friend, Theresa LaBlanc, and they merged their schools, forming Aniar Academy.

Red Dress

The main branch, located in Laguna Niguel, is a full time Irish dance studio. "Aniar Laguna" is the most widely known school, with their school dresses in red with intricate Celtic knotwork of blue, yellow, and white embroidery.

Teal Dress

"Aniar LA" has retained its original school dress, teal with intricate Celtic knotwork embroidery done in blue, purple, yellow, and salmon. It is most known for its two white horses that take center stage on the two center panels.

The Celtic knotwork on both dresses both dresses was taken from the Book of Kells in Ireland.

Celtic Horse

This Celtic Knotwork with the horses is the basis of Christine's design for the teal dresses.

Currently, Aniar LA has been focusing its efforts on the Santa Fe Springs branch. The dancers here dance at the Santa Fe Springs Center for the Performing Arts. Many of our dancers also take other dance classes that the studio offers, such as acro-tumbling, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical. This gives the dancers more opportunities to perform and compete, as well as making them more well-rounded dancers. Dancers who attend the Santa Fe Springs branch for Irish dancing DO NOT have to take these other dance classes.

As mentioned above, the Laguna branch is a full time Irish dance studio, with classes being offered Monday-Thursday and Saturdays. Please make sure to check out our Dance Schedule for current class days and times.

Both branches of Aniar Academy offer a wide range of levels, from the beginner on up to championship level, and all have the opportunity to compete in local feiseanna (competitions) and participate in a wide variety of shows. Aniar Academy is currently under the direction of Christine Byrne, T.C.R.G.


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