De Barra Academy of

Irish Dance (DBA)

De Barra Academy of Irish Dance (DBA) is a new Irish dance school located the heart of the South Bay dedicated to high-end Irish dance training.  The lead teacher is the world-renowned female lead of Riverdance, Tara Barry-Phelan.

Tara Barry-Phelan, TCRG

Dancer and actress Tara Barry performed with Riverdance the Show, the internationally-acclaimed celebration of Irish music, song and dance, since its inception in Dublin, Ireland in 1995 through 2003.

Born in County Cork, Ireland, Tara’s Irish dancing career began at the tender age of three with the renowned Cowhie-Ryan School of Irish Dancing in her hometown of Cobh.   In her pursuit of excellence, Tara won her first Munster Championship at the age of seven and went on to win 2 World Championship titles, 6 All-Ireland Championships, 2 British Nationals and 10 Munster Championships.

By the age of eighteen, Tara was asked to join the cast of Riverdance the Show where her career began as a dancer and under-study as the main female lead.

By 1997 Tara had danced on three continents and in hundreds of cities around the world including Dublin, London, New York’s Radio City Music Hall, Belfast, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Toronto, Montreal and Mexico City.  


Her hard work and dedication was rewarded in 2000 when she was named the Female Lead touring North America and South America.

In 2001, Tara was nominated as “Best Actress” for the National Broadway Theatre Awards for “Principle Dancer” in Riverdance the Show.

Since completing the tour, Tara has choreographed and worked on numerous Television Commercials and short videos such as Marshall Fields in Chicago and LG Electronics plasma televisions (via Duo Films and Park Production Company).  Tara was also featured as a “Celebrity Teacher” on “America’s Got Talent – Season 1.”

Before pursuing her TCRG, Tara had been teaching workshops in the United States, Canada, Ireland and England for the past 10 years consistently providing results for competitive Irish dancers of all ages.

Tara is also SafeSport trained.

Tara and her husband are the proud parents of three daughters and presently reside in Southern California.

About Our School:

De Barra Academy of Irish Dance is located in, Manhattan Beach,  accessible from across the South Bay.  

DeBarra Academy offers classes for beginners through champions.  Children may start taking lessons as young as the age of four.  Adults classes available too!

In addition to classes, DBA also accepts performance invitations.