Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance History

The Richens/Timm Academy is one of the most respected names in the world of Irish dance. Its rich history began over 40 years ago when Ann Richens, a native of Dublin, Ireland, began traveling to Columbus from Dayton, to share her passion for Irish dance.  After her prized pupil, John Timm, captured the 1993 Senior Men’s World Championship title, they partnered and the school became the Richens/Timm Academy.  

Since Ann’s death in 2011, the Richens/Timm Academy has been directed by John and his wife, Heather Timm, also a world medal holder. The Richens/Timm Academy has locations in Dublin and DaytonIndianapolis and Tipton, IN, and a sister school in Casper, Wyoming. The academy teaches traditional and contemporary styles of Irish dance to children as young as 5 or 6 though adult beginners.

Collaborations of note include involvement in the creation of the Dublin Irish Festival, an event which attracts over 100,000 visitors each year. The Richens/Timm Academy continues to perform as the featured Irish dance company and the only dance troupe to have performed at every festival since its inception 28 years ago. The academy has also provided choreography and dancers for the Dayton Symphony, The Arnold Sports Festival, and Cityfolk events in Dayton. 


Ann (nee Farrell) Richens emigrated from Dublin, Ireland to America
Ann Richens began travelling from Dayton, OH to teaching Irish dancing in central Ohio
John Timm, prized pupil of Ann Richens, began traveling with Ann from Dayton to Columbus to teach twice weekly.
The Richens/Timm Academy toured the Soviet Union dancing in a Summer Festival of Performing Arts
John Timm won the Senior Men’s World Irish Dance Championships
Ann Richens & John Timm became partners and the Richens Academy became the Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance
First Richens/Timm student joins Riverdance, The Show
John Timm declines offer to understudy for Michael Flately’s lead role in Lord of the Dance to stay and continue his teaching the next generation at Richens/Timm
2003, 2005, 2008 & 2009
Ann Richens & John Timm chaired the Mid America Regional Championships in Columbus, Ohio
John Timm served as Regional Director of the Irish Dance Teachers Association of Mid America. During this time also served as the representative to An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha in Dublin, Ireland.
Richens/Timm relocates studio to Dublin, Ohio
John Timm awarded Presidential Scholar of the Arts Teacher Recognition Award from the United States Government
Ann Richens passed away. John Timm and his wife, Heather Timm, carry on Ann’s legacy through the Richens/Timm Academy
Richens/Timm student wins the Senior Men’s World Championship
John Timm co-chaired the North American Irish Dance Championships in Chicago, IL
Richens/Timm student wins his 6th North American Championship title
Recipient of a grant from the Dublin Arts Council in support of new choreography