We love Irish dancing, and it shows!
"Teachers create the future when they shape the people they instruct, guide, and encourage.
They give hope and the belief that every person has something positive to offer."
& Victoria White
OIDA is run by sisters Christina and Victoria White. Born and raised in Portland, they both fell in love with Irish dancing after seeing Riverdance when they were young girls. They have been teaching for a combined 23 years, as well as spending a combined 41 years performing and competing at a world level, qualifying for the World Championships a combined 17 times. In addition, they have had the distinct honor since 2012 to be selected as counselors at the largest international summer camp for Irish dancers, Camp Rince Ceol, in New York where they get to work with and learn from multiple world champions and principal dancers from professional dance shows including Riverdance and Lord of Dance.
"We love passing on our knowledge and passion for Irish dance and helping our students build confidence and feel successful! The most important thing we want you to know about OIDA is that we believe in teaching in an encouraging way. Class is structured to instill an appreciation for discipline and hard work, but instruction is always geared towards creating a positive, pleasant, and fun-filled environment that students will look back on and remember with joy. We love Irish dancing and want you to love it, too!"
Read full bios below!
Miss Christina (she/her) began Irish dancing when she was 9 years old. She has trained both as a solo and team competitor and performer. During her competitive career, she was ranked 5th in the Western US Region and qualified for the World Championships nine times. She earned a World Recall Medal at the World Championships and placed 44th in the World. Irish dancing has taken her all over America, as well as Canada, Australia, Scotland, England, and Ireland. She has performed with The Chieftains, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Oregon Symphony, Gaelic Storm, and many other world-renowned Irish musicians and groups. She was a gymnast for many years, and spent five years coaching gymnastics in addition to dance. In 2017 she was voted in by the public and became the face of Phoenix Designs, an international Irish dancing costume company. In 2020, she passed CLRG's TCRG exam, a three-day, five-part test, largely regarded the world over as the most difficult examination available to evaluate Irish dancers’ teaching ability. She is currently serving as President of the All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon. She has been Irish dancing for 23 years, teaching for 13 years, and loves helping so many dancers fall in love with Irish dance the same way she did when she was young!
Miss Victoria (she/her) first Irish danced when she was 7 years old. She excelled competitively, reaching the highest level of competition in a mere year and a half. She is a three-time Western US Regional Champion, meaning she was the highest ranked dancer in the 13 western-most US states for three consecutive years! She has qualified for the World Championships eight times, been ranked as high as 15th in North America, placed as high as 24th in the world, and placed 5th at the Great Britain Championships. She auditioned for and was accepted into the Riverdance Academy 2017, earning a full-ride scholarship in the process. She was also a 2018 Dance Wire Ambassador. She has traveled all over the globe, and she has years of professional experience performing with many world-renowned Irish musicians and groups including Téada and Gaelic Storm. She toured in the world premiere of Scott Doherty's "Christmas in Killarney," Irish Dance Theatre's "The Celtic Gift," and Michael Londra's "Celtic Fire," and she danced in FOX Sports' nationally televised commercial for U.S. Women's Soccer Team member, Tobin Heath. She has been teaching for 10 years and loves passing on her love of Irish dance!
Miss Emily (she/her) started Irish dancing in California when she was 8 years old. She competed for many years, but her real joy always came from performing in shows and being on a team! She began helping to teach dance classes when she was 13 and continued to help teaching dance until she moved to Portland to attend Lewis & Clark College, where she double majored in Mathematics and Chemistry. She then worked at Lewis & Clark teaching math and running the peer tutoring center at the undergraduate campus, as well as working in STEM education at the graduate campus. She even just received her Master's Degree in Mathematics from San Diego State University in 2023. She has extensive tutoring experience and loves helping younger people learn. When she moved to Portland, she found OIDA, and when we found out she also loved to teach Irish dancing, the rest was history! She is also a passionate runner, swimmer, artist, cook, and seamstress, and she even lived in Cork, Ireland, when she was little!
Miss Krista (she/her) has been dancing since she was 5, and started Irish dancing when she was 7 years old at Forest Grove Dance Arts (FGDA) with Miss Christina! Before taking Irish dance, she took tap, jazz, and ballet dance classes. She continued taking tap classes until she was 14, and decided that she liked Irish best. She performed in many recitals and St. Patrick’s Day performances throughout her dance career. She began to help teach dance classes at 14 years old, where she worked at FGDA with Miss Christina and also helped coach OIDA’s dance camps. Needless to say, she loves to teach and work with people on expanding their abilities. Now, she is finishing up her degree at Portland State University, pursuing a career in clinical psychology. In addition, Miss Krista is not only teaching Irish dancing, but she is also a horse trainer, where she is starting her own business on working with horses, their owners, and anyone who wants to learn to ride. She is thrilled to be part of the OIDA teaching team!
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FOX Sports Commercial With Tobin Heath
In 2019, Miss Victoria was selected to dance in a national commercial by FOX Sports highlighting U.S. Women's National Soccer Team member, Tobin Heath. The commercial aired on national television ahead of the World Cup games, which the U.S. Team went on to win! We love that Irish dancing was able to represented in something so large scale, and we love the message in the video even more! Check it out...
IS OREGON IRISH DANCE ACADEMY ACCREDITED OR CERTIFIED?
The largest and oldest international governing body for Irish dancing is An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha, or CLRG for short. CLRG hosts what they call TCRG certifications, which are intensely rigorous, 3-day-long, 5-part examinations. The TCRG exam is largely considered the world over as the most difficult examination available to evaluate Irish dancers' teaching ability. Miss Christina worked over 3 years to complete the 12 pre-requisite Grade Exams that qualified her to take the TCRG exam. She then passed the TCRG Exam in 2020, with flying colors no less, earning "Honors" in the dancing section and a perfect score on the music section!
IS OREGON IRISH DANCE ACADEMY REGISTERED WITH A LARGER IRISH DANCING ORGANIZATION?
Oregon Irish Dance Academy is not connected to any larger Irish dancing organization. Miss Christina passed the TCRG exam offered by CLRG, but we have chosen to remain independent and not to register with CLRG. One of the main practical functions of CLRG and the other major Irish dancing organizations is to host and regulate competitions, and as OIDA is completely non-competitive, we prefer to operate independently from competitive organizations.
Miss Christina and Miss Victoria are active members of and/or donors to multiple local organizations that promote and support Irish dance, music, language, and culture in our area, including the All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon, Irish Network Portland, CCE Oregon (Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann), the Céilí of the Valley Society, and the Celtic Heritage Alliance.
ARE OIDA'S TEACHERS BACKGROUND CHECKED?
Yes! Miss Christina and Miss Victoria are background checked by The Children's Gym, Portland's leading facility for children's fitness activities since 1984. OIDA also runs background checks for all additional staff members including camp coaches, workshop teachers, and substitute teachers.