The Ardan Academy of Irish Dance has opened its own studio on Mack Avenue to expand its offerings for students in .
The space, 20647 Mack Ave., formerly housed a martial arts business and features a large room lined on one wall with mirrors and a dance floor.
Co-Owner John Heinzman II said the teachers had requests for more classes than they were able to offer when they were renting space in the , where they taught for the last several years.
The Academy offers classes for beginners, advanced and competitve dancers, Heinzman said. It also has begun offering a class on Mondays for pre-schoolers with the hopes of getting more children interested in Irish dance.
The decision to open an entire storefront dedicated to Ardan came down to a simple real estate decision, Heinzman said. In looking for a space, the former martial arts building offered what Ardan needed and was affordable, he said.
Ardan is a larger company that began in Wyandotte and Toledo, OH. It expanded throughout the years and now has locations in Madison Heights, Ontario, Redford, Taylor and Muskegon. The offices are headquartered in Livonia, Heinzman said. Most recently the company expanded into Columbus and Cleveland.
Heinzman and his sister, Liz Heinzman, are co-owners of the company. Both are certified teachers. John Heinzman also travels often to judge dance competitions around the world, he said.
Their interest in Irish dance stems from childhood, he said, explaining their mother moved to the United States from Ireland. They have owned the company for 19 years.