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About Us

For over 45 years the Verlin School has helped pass on the centuries old tradition of Irish Dancing to new generations of Irish Dancers.  Along the way the school has created many Champion Dancers, but more importantly, lifelong friends.



4:15 - 5:00 Advanced Beginner
5:00 to 6:00 Adv. Beginner, Novice, & Prizewinner
6:00 Prizewinner & Preliminary Champs
7:30 - 9:00 Open Champs


5:00 Adv. Beginner, Novice, & Prizewinner
6:00 Prizewinner & Preliminary Champs
7:00 Prelim & Open Champs


4:30 Beginners
5:30 Advanced Beginner, Novice & Prizewinner 
6:30 Prelim & Open Champs


The Verlin School of Irish Dancing was founded by Kenny Verlin in 1974. Kenny was one of those rare individuals who was equally as talented as a teacher as he himself had been as a dancer. In addition to producing many championship dancers, Kenny and the Verlin Dancers hold the distinction of being the first American School to win the World Competition in the Choreography Competition. The world, in addition to the Irish dancing community, lost one of its great talents with Kenny's untimely death in 1986.

Kenny's spirit lives on through the school he founded. At Kenny's request, Ellen Riordan-Ross, his senior Champion Dancer, continues in the tradition of her mentor as director of the School. The true measure of a school is, or course, its students. The young ladies and gentleman of the Verlin School regularly attend local, regional, national, and international championships where their talent and dedication is often recognized. The school sends several students to compete in The World Championships that are held in Ireland every spring. 

In addition to competitions, the Verlin Dancers have been honored to have performed:


  • at Radio City Music Hall with Frank Paterson's Annual Irish Gala

  • at the Irish Heritage Festival at the Garden State Arts Center

  • in concert with the Wolf Tones

  • at the Pines Hotel "Great Irish Weekend"

  • with the Dublin City Ramblers, Johnny McElvoy, Erin's Pride and other renowned Irish Entertainers

  • at the World Trade Center Irish Heritage Month Celebration

  • many more civic, charitable and Irish Fraternal Organizations



Owner, Director

Ellen is a registered adjudicator and member of the CLRG and IDTANA-MAR. As an Irish Dancer, Ellen won numerous championships at the local, regional, national, and international levels, and was the first American dancer to receive the overseas award for her solo competition at the World Championships. She has even performed on tour with the renowned Chieftains. In the tradition of the school's founder, Ellen has won wide acclaim for her innovative choreography and creative performances.

For nearly 35 years, Ellen has continued the tradition and vision that Kenny had for the school -- to inspire dancers to be the best they can be and exude their love for the dance. Since its inception, the Verlin School has not only won numerous regional, national, and world titles, but many students have gone on to pass their ADCRG and TCRG certification exams. 

Ellen has had the pleasure of adjudicating several regional Oireachtasi, as well as the 2017 North American Championships.



Jacqueline has danced with the Verlin School under Ellen Riordan for her entire dancing career. Jacqueline competed in solo and ceili competitions at feiseanna across the country, the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas, the North American Championships, and qualified for NAFC Senior Belt Championships twice. She has taught classes at the school for over 15 years and has co-chaired the schools annual feis for nearly 10 years. 

In 2014, Jacqueline passed her T.C.R.G. exam and is currently a member of CLRG, the IDTANA, Mid-Atlantic Region. Jacqueline enjoys teaching the little ones and instilling in others the love of the dance.


Teaching Assistant

Sarah began her Irish dance career at the Verlin School at the age of 11. Five short years later, she began teaching beginner classes with Ellen and the rest is history.

For the past 11 years, Sarah has been assisting Ellen and Jackee in teaching the wonderful students at Verlin. Irish dance helped Sarah discover her true passion for teaching and she graduated from Oneonta State with a bachelor's degree in Earth Science and Adolescent Education. In addition to teaching at the Verlin School, Sarah is currently an 8th grade science teacher at Monroe-Woodbury Middle School.

Verlin dancers are available to perform for special occasions ranging from small parties and weddings, to community centers and senior residences. If you are looking for Irish dancers for your event, contact us and we will work with you to create your show.