We pride ourselves of having experienced and well-trained instructors at the Drake School for Irish Dance - Asheville. Learn more about our staff below. 


Heather Gallagher, Asheville Instructor

Heather has been teaching Irish Dance as the Gallagher School of Irish Dance in Asheville, NC since 2002.  Heather was a competitive Irish dancer for 13 years.  She trained under the instruction of Sheila Murphy, TCRG in Cleveland, OH.  Heather attained the level of champion dancer by the age of 12 and was a member of the 1993 Drama team placing 3rd in Worlds.  She is currently studying for her TCRG.

Heather is also the owner of the Asheville Performing Arts Academy. If your child is also interested in the performing arts, you can learn more about the different programs offered here


Amanda Carpenter, TCRG

Amanda is the proud director and instructor of the Drake Schools Flowery Branch location and TCRG for Asheville, NC. Amanda was a competitive Irish dancer for 15 years. She trained under the instruction of Karl Drake, TCRG in Atlanta, GA and studied abroad with Elaine Kavanagh-Cullen, ADCRG in Dublin, Ireland. Amanda is proudly a two-time Southern Region Oireachtas Champion. She is a two-time world medal holder at the World Irish Dancing Championships. She placed in the top five at both the North American Irish Dance Championships and the All Scotland Irish Dance Championships.

Amanda has had the honor of performing in Celtic Connections at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China in 2012 for the opening ceremony of the St. Patricks Day celebrations. She performed as one of the female leads in The Journey Home in Shanghai, China in 2013 which was held in conjunction with the first Chinese feis in Shanghai. Amanda was also a principal dancer in An Irish Evening in Dublin that celebrated the bicentennial of the city of Dublin, GA. Additionally, she professionally starred in the Emerald Isle and the Celtic Isle Celebration shows at the theme park Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

In 2012, Amanda received her TCRG certification, allowing her to teach Irish dance under An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha. Amanda instructs workshops at the Drake locations around the U.S. as well as Mexico and China. She enjoys teaching both competitive and performance Irish dance, and she hopes to have an impact on her students dancing careers and spread her love for Irish dance.