Meet the Instructors

Jessie Baffa T.C.R.G.

Jessie Baffa, T.C.R.G. and owner of the Baffa Academy is a professional Irish dancer who performed and toured the world with Michael Flatley's original show 'Riverdance' since 2005. She was accepted into the show right out of high school and continues to perform with the show a few times a year. She also toured with Michael Flatley's 'Lord of the Dance' and 'Feet of Flames'.

 

Jessie had the honor of performing in Radio City Music Hall with Riverdance, performed with Olympic ice skaters on NBC for the show 'Riverdance on Ice', on the Late Late Show with James Corden, and on The Today Show in New York City for St. Patricks day in 2016.  She was also selected to teach at the largest, most popular Irish dance summer camp, Camp Rince Ceol, where she taught and critiqued hundreds of dancers in small classes throughout a three week period. 

 

Now 30, Jessie began dancing at the relatively late age of 12 for Stephen Masterson in Cambridge, England, where she lived for six years. She then moved back to the United States to live in Fredricksburg, Virginia, where she danced for the Broesler School of Irish Dancing, who is based out of New Jersey.

 

In 2008, she won the title of All Ireland Champion, and placed second at the World Championships. Jessie placed top five at the World Championships several times and held the title of Southern Region Oireachtas Champion for six consecutive years. She also placed top five at the North American National Championships four years in a row.

Teacher/Owner/Choreography Director

Emma Cross T.C.R.G.

Emma Cross, T.C.R.G. is a professional Irish dancer who toured with Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames (Taiwan), and most recently, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games. She also performed alongside Michael Flatley during his Broadway debut in 2015 and during his final performance in Ireland at Dublin's '3 Arena.'

 

Emma grew up dancing for the The Broesler School of Irish Dancing. She placed top ten at the Southern Region Oireachtas every year she competed, and won in the years 2005 and 2007. She also placed top ten at the North American National Championships, competed at the world championships numerous times, and placed at the All Ireland Championships.


In addition to her T.C.R.G., Emma received her bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech in cinema production and has worked for several companies who produce film and television. 

Teacher/Administrative Supervisor

Erika Nielsen T.C.R.G.

Erika Nielsen, T.C.R.G. is a professional Irish Dancer who has performed and toured in multiple shows including Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, Rockin' Road to Dublin, and Women of Ireland. She has also performed with Irish legends such as Eileen Ivers, Michael Londra, and Andy Cooney. Her most notable achievement professionally thus far is performing alongside Michael Flatley during his Broadway Debut of Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games on Broadway. 

 

Erika began dancing at the age of 3 in Newport, Rhode Island. She later moved to Germany and continued dancing with Mary Sweeney. When returning to the US at the age of 9, Erika danced for the Broesler School of Irish Dancing under Kevin Broesler. Erika has won the Southern Region Oireachtas 3 times as well as placing Top 5 at the North American Nationals and placing overseas at the All Ireland and World Championships. Erika retired from competitive dancing and obtained her T.C.R.G. in 2017. 

 

In addition to Erika's dancing career, she graduated in 2015 with a BA in Public Relations from George Mason University. 

Teacher

Megan Baffa

Megan Baffa is a professional Irish dancer who has performed and toured with Riverdance since 2012. In 2014 she performed in the Busch Gardens show, Celtic Fyre and still tours with Riverdance across the U.S. throughout the year. Megan also performed alongside Michael Flatley during his Broadway debut in 2015 and was selected to perform with Riverdance on the Late Late Show with James Corden in Los Angeles in 2016. 

 

Megan began dancing at age 9 for Stephen Masterson in Cambridge, England. In 2001 she moved back to the US and danced for The Broesler School of Irish Dancing. Megan placed in the top five at the Southern Region Oireachtas for seven years until finally winning in 2008. She has also placed in the top five at the North American Nationals and placed overseas at the All Ireland's and World Championships.


Megan studied fashion design at the University of Cambridge in England and in addition to teaching, designs Irish dance dresses for Baffa Academy students and select clients. 
 

Teacher/Costume Manager & Designer

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