Hi There! My name is Amy Habel and I am the CEO/Creative Director for Crossroads Irish Dance. To really know the full Crossroads story, you need to know MY story.
My training didn’t begin right away with Irish dance. I began dancing when I was 3 years old at Fredericksburg Ballet Centre (FBC) in Fredericksburg, VA. I studied dance at FBC through high school where I trained in all genres of dance including ballet, tap, contemporary, musical theater, and jazz.
During my time at FBC, I had the opportunity to serve as a member of their dance company participating in staged and local performances as well as their Nutcracker show starring in various roles including the lead roles as Dew Drop Fairy my senior year. It was here at FBC that my foundation of dance was developed and nurtured. It was my 2nd home and the place I loved to be. I earned a well-rounded repertoire of many dance disciplines and the establishment of a dance family.
At the age of 17, I was given the opportunity to join the faculty at FBC full time. I had always had a great passion for teaching children, as my mom was a teacher. I was always in a position of working and teaching children alongside my mom and also spent many years babysitting.
In 1999, I was introduced to Irish dance when I picked up a copy of Riverdance from the library. I was hooked and just fell in love with this new style. I found every video and book I could to start learning. Then by sheer coincidence, I discovered there was a teacher holding Irish dance classes at my high school after school, so I quickly hopped on-board and started my formal training.
It was through this formal training that I became the Director of the Irish dance program at FBC. We offered weekly and performance-based classes for the dancers looking to expand their dance repertoire. The program started with just a couple of students and quickly grew within just a few years.
In addition to the Irish program, I also served as Co-Founder of the FBC Competition Dance team in 2006. I choreographed multiple groups, solo, and duo pieces in all genres of dance for regional dance competitions throughout Virginia. Our groups consistently received high honors, placed in the top 5 and 10, and many top awards and choreography recognition.
In 2000, I started my higher education with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA. During this time I was introduced to Danny Tighe School of Irish Dance and began training with Danny Tighe TCRG. I started competing at Feisanna’s with CLRG (An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha) throughout the US and worked my way from Beginner to Open Champion level. In 2008, I received the “Adult Master Cup” perpetual trophy at Feis Culkin.
I also got the opportunity to train with many great teachers through various workshops including: including Padraic Moyles, Craig Ashurst, Niamh O’Connor, and Kevin Horton from “Riverdance” and Rachael Harris from Busch Garden and Mitchell Simone with “Lord of the Dance”.
During my sophomore year at VCU, I received an offer to teach in Richmond with Jessica Morgan School of Dance. I was given the opportunity to not only teach traditional styles of dance but also built an Irish dance program and was appointed the Director of Crossroads Troupe. The Irish dance program grew from 5 students to close to 100 students and the Crossroads Troupe was reborn and a positive brand was built in the Richmond Community.
In addition to college classes and teaching at both FBC and Jessica Morgan School of Dance, I also was a member of the VCU Dance Team as Gold Rush Dancer. In 2004, I graduated from VCU with Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and Management. I continued to teach at both studios inspiring young dancers as well as working full time in Human Resources.
In pursuit of Crossroads having its own entity, in 2015, I decided to dedicate my time here in Richmond and opened doors to my own Crossroads Irish Dance facility here in Richmond. I am proud to have built such a strong legacy within our community and have had the chance to inspire over 300 dancers in my teaching time. I take great pride that I have successfully built a program that offers unique, diverse, and community opportunities for all dancers.
Even though Crossroads’ main disciple is Irish dance, I continue to inspire my dancers and staff in utilizing my knowledge and training in all dance disciplines. My dancers get the unique experience of experience the fusion of Irish dance with other dance styles as well as the theater experience with productions at our Spring Showcase. I also currently hold my TCRG (Teagascóir Choimisiúin le Rinci Gaelacha) Irish Dance teaching certification with the World Irish Dance Association(WIDA).
These days, I am very family-focused on building the strategic vision of our school as well as enjoying time with my wonderful, supportive husband and my daughter Madelyn who was my inspiration for joining the Jump’N Jig program as she loves to dance. I feel so fortunate to have my role as CEO/Creative Director at the school as I truly have an awesome staff that allows me to focus on building the strategic direction and opportunities for our school and most importantly, making time for my family.