Our History 

In the early 1960’s, several teachers of Irish Dance across North America began to explore ways to organize Irish dance teachers, classes, and feiseanna with the ultimate goal of establishing a direct connection to An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG) in Dublin.  A number of meetings and discussions involved Peter Smith, Anna O’Sullivan, Fedelmia Mullan Davis, Mike Bergin, Mae Butler, Jimmy Irwin, and Una Ellis. 

The Irish Dancing Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) was initially founded in March, 1964, when Mae Butler, Fedelmia Davis, Kevin McKenna, Peter Smith, Cyril McNiff and Anna O’Sullivan met at the Irish Institute in New York City during a massive snow storm and brought the fledgling organization to life. The Irish dancing legends who had planned for this special event began to realize their goal of assuring teacher and adjudicator competency, as well as standardizing the ever growing number of feiseanna throughout North America.

The IDTANA and CLRG have confirmed that the founding members of the IDTANA are Fedelmia Mullan Davis, Anna O'Sullivan, Una Ellis, and the late Peter Smith.  They also affirmed that Maureen McTeggart Hall was a major force in the spread of Irish Dance across North America and confirmed her as a founding member as well.  Peter Smith and Maureen McTeggart Hall have passed away.  Fedelmia Mullan Davis, Anna O'Sullivan, and Una Ellis are still active members, hold lifetime positions on the IDTANA Executive Board, and are designated as Honorary Members of CLRG. 

Since those small humble beginnings, and through the efforts of many dedicated Irish dance teachers throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the IDTANA has grown to nearly 900 members.  There are over 135 members in Canada, 725 members in the United States, and 4 members in Mexico. The IDTANA is affiliated with seven regions within North America.