Diddlyi is delighted to welcome Ashley Smith to our team of brilliant Dance Masters. Ashley joins the ranks of Riverdance’s Paula Goulding, Shane McAvinchey, and Nicola Byrne and Heartbeat of Home‘s Ciara Sexton. Get excited as we’ll be rolling out Ashley’s workshops this summer.
Ashley was born in Boston, Massachusetts but shortly after moved with her family to the suburbs. Growing up in a small town, she always dreamed of someday moving back to the big city. At a young age of three, she began taking Irish dance lessons from her father and mother, Michael and Noreen Smith: owners of the Smith-Houlihan Irish Dance Academy.
After years of training and attending many competitive Irish Dancing competitions, Ashley was crowned the World Irish Step Dancing Champion in Belfast, Ireland, in 2004, at that time, being the youngest American female ever to win the world title. Ashley went on to win two more gold world medals in 2005 and her last in 2009, currently she is the only North American female to hold three world championship titles. Ashley was also named one of the Top Irish Americans in 2004.
After completing her local high school education, Ashley moved to New York in 2006 where she attended Manhattanville College for four years: graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both dance and theatre.
Upon moving to New York, she continued to grow in all dance forms such as Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Musical Theatre Dance and Tap. In 2009 Ashley auditioned for the Fox hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance, and was seen on TV during Vegas week as one of the top 30 female dancers.
More recently in 2012 her focus changed to film, she was casted as a featured dancer on the Oscar nominated film The Silver Linings Playbook, directed by David O. Russell. When Ashley is not on stage or in front of the camera, she continues to study dance at Broadway Dance Center, acting at HB studios and singing with vocal coach Joleen Wilkinson.
Photo Credits: Images courtesy of and exclusively belong to Diddlyi.com and Ashley Smith.
Whether you are training for an Oireachtas, taking your first steps in Irish dancing or you just want to get fit in a fun way, Diddlyi has what you need. Access all of our online Irish dance workshops FREE for 24 hours - it takes less than a minute to register!