Established in 1985, Dana’s Dance Academy is in the heart of the historic downtown Heritage Park Area of Irving, Texas. The location at 414 S. O’Connor Road, replaced the Second St. Luke’s Catholic Church, built in 1928. The grounds consisted of three structures, including chapel, rectory, and fellowship hall. The beauty of the hardwood floors, towering ceilings, and stained glass windows caught the eye of the founder/director Dana Davis–Bailey.
This was the opportunity Ms. Davis-Bailey had been looking for, a wonderful location with existing structures capable of hosting dance studios and school requirements for the planned academy. The fellowship hall and chapel were easily converted into the three dance studios.
The history of the structure itself begins in 1928 when Bishop Lynch dedicated it into service. There were few Catholic families in Irving at that time. Bishop Lynch, Henry Moulard, and J. O. Schulze served as the very first trustees of the new church. The first wedding ceremony performed in the church was in 1929 between Louis DeHaes and Laura Allison. They had one processionary flower girl, Mary Catherine (Lively) Clyatt.
In later years, Charles Schulze, the nephew of J. O. Schulze, and his wife Catherine became instrumental in the further growth of the parish. Charles had met Catherine O'Connell while attending St. Edward's, where she also had attended after completing study at Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Texas. They held close ties to the growing catholic community and the church.
The small structure on O’Connor Road now could barely house the new size of the parish. Since the main chapel was set on blocks leaving it unstable, it only held service on Sunday, except during the summer. Their persistence became instrumental in the development of new St. Luke’s Catholic Church and parish under Father Miesch. They paved the way for the new structure that now included vast vaulted ceilings, an imported pipe organ, and more room for the growing parish.
The structure on O’Connor Road was then sold. The Schulze family continued to serve the Catholic community in many ways. Charles’ younger sister Mabel Isabel entered the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament in 1944. Charles served on the board of Catholic Charities and was a member of the Dallas Serra Club for more than four decades. He was inducted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulce in 1956. This Order dates back to the Crusades.
In 1985, the property was acquired by Ms. Davis-Bailey and her family for the new dance academy. It took very little renovation for it to become operational and begin teaching movement and appreciation for the arts in Irving, Texas. The original chapel serves as Academy I, and the beginning point for many new and young dancers along their journey to study ballet. Its hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, and stained glass windows are inspirational to feeling a part of something larger as the new students learn. The fellowship hall was easily divided into two other studios, Academy II and III. Academy II is a larger room perfect for large group classes. It has mirrored walls to allow students to observe their movements as they practice. Academy III is the smallest of the studios and is perfect for personal instruction or smaller groups.
Since 1985, Dana's Dance Academy has served Irving by providing dance instruction to all ages. Many professional instructors have visited, lending their talents to provide the best experience for young and old alike. Our students have moved on to professional careers in dance and in the performing arts. Dana's Dance Academy continues to provide excellence and achievement today.
The studio buildings are available for rental click for details »