Welcome to Rose & Sword Academy of Irish Dance, the home of Irish dancing at its finest! We believe that Irish dancing should be fun while reflecting the richness of our Irish heritage.

Rose & Sword is a member of the World Irish Dance Association (WIDA) and our dancers proudly compete in WIDA Irish dance competitions.

KATHY-HEADSHOT-smaller Kathy Nelson is the owner and primary instructor at Rose & Sword Academy and is a WIDA-certified Irish Dance Teacher (TCRG). She passes on her extensive experience as a performer and dance choreographer to the students of the school. Kathy was a champion dancer in her competitive career and has been teaching Irish dance for 26 years.  She has created numerous first place talent dances for dancers competing in area pageants and her choreography has won accolades in the both the competitive and performance arenas.  She is also very experienced in health and fitness and incorporates exercises in each class. Kathy loves working with all of her students, but has a special passion for working with adult dancers and homeschool families. She is a former homeschool Mom.


Isabelle Hollingsworth is a champion dancer who is isabellehollingsworthexperienced in choreography development and is also a skilled stage performer.  She has danced in professional Irish dance shows and has been teaching and training with Kathy for over 15 years.  Isabelle is in the process of taking her WIDA exams to achieve her TCRG. She has successfully passed Grade exams 1, 2, & 3. She is excited to be working with Kathy at Rose & Sword Academy!




Ashley Starkins began Irish dance as an adult. She is studying for her TCRG certification and has successfully completed grade 1 & 2 exams. Ashley competes as an intermediate and open level dancer and enjoys performing with Rose & Sword regularly, specifically at Williamsburg’s 2nd Sunday Festivals and Busch Gardens St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in performing arts management and a Master of Business Administration degree.



There are many opportunities given to ensure a well rounded experience in Irish dance:

  • Weekly classes
  • June recital
  • Fitness classes & Competitor Camps
  • Community performances including 2nd Sundays
  • Competitions
  • Performing groups

We offer classes for all ages from 4 to adult, and our students include many adult dancers and homeschool families.

Come join us to experience our love and joy of Irish dance!