Owner, TCRG Instructor
Kari is a Certified Irish Dancing teacher (TCRG) with the Irish Dancing Commission in Ireland, An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG).
Kari began dancing in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997 when the Riverdance Irish dancing craze hit America. She was instantly drawn to the energy, rhythm, and most of all, the fun. Kari took lessons with the McBride School of Irish Dance in California. Through her hard-work and dedication she became an Open Champion dancer and competed at many regional championships, called Oireachtas.
After college, Kari helped teach with McBride School for four years. During this time she learned valuable teaching skills from Ann McBride and Eileen Parker. She studied to become a certified teacher and earned her TCRG in 2015.
Kari started the Rose Courtney Academy of Irish Dance in Evergreen Park, IL where she taught for almost 2 years. In 2020, Kari and her family moved to Colorado Springs, CO. She loves sharing her passion for teaching Irish dancing with the northern Colorado Springs & Monument area.
Jordan began her dance experience at the age of seven with the Cross Keys School of Irish Dance in Chicago. After watching her older sister dance and learning the steps just by watching, she quickly discovered her passion for Irish Dancing. By the time she was ten, Jordan qualified and attended her first World Championships in Belfast, Ireland. Throughout her 10+ years of dance, she competed and placed in many local feiseanna, Regional, National, and World Championships as both a solo and ceili (group) dancer. Jordan began assistant teaching at her dance school when she was in 7th grade and also held private lessons for other dancers.
As a previous elementary school teacher, Jordan knows her love for teaching kids and helping them grow to reach their fullest potential. She is currently pursuing her TCRG certification through An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha and is grateful for the opportunity to instruct at Rose Courtney during the process!
How the Rose Courtney Academy Began
Kari realized at a very young age her passion for Irish dancing wasn’t going to end as a childhood hobby. Within her first year of beginning lessons, she decided that her dream would be to teach Irish dancing and own a dance school some day.
Any young child may find themselves day-dreaming about their future and what they want to achieve. Kari would often imagine teaching and running her own school. She would play with different ideas of what to name her school too.
Around this same time, Kari was spending some time with her Irish grandmother. As they were talking about Kari’s Irish dancing lessons, her grandmother turned to her and said, “It is a dream come true that you are learning Irish dancing.” She proceeded to share with Kari about her father (Kari’s great-grandfather), who immigrated from Ireland and lived in San Francisco, and how he would Irish dance all the time in the local pubs. Her grandmother said she always wished she had learned more dancing growing up.
It was in this moment that Kari decided she would name her dance school after her Irish grandmother, Rose Marie Courtney Hawkins.