About Us

Paula Doyle-Hunkin


Leeann Doyle-Loftus


Chelsea Gibson

Assistant Teacher

Why Doyle Academy

Our goal is to be able to offer each dancer that comes into our Academy exactly what they want out of Irish Dancing.  Whether that is just to be a great technical dancer, achieve success in competitions, be able to perform in front of an auidence, learn something new, meet new friends, connect with their hertiage, enjoy the fun and develop fitness.  

Each class is split into levels starting at beginner and working through to Championship.  We have a strong basic's structure within each class and continue to drill those right through the levels.  Each individual dancers' strengths and weaknesses are constantly addressed with personalised drills & exercises to make them into the best dancer they can be.  

AS A PARENT we work closely with you to understand the basic's (to help at home) and are always available to discuss your dancers progress.

About The Academy & The Teaching Staff

A long established history of Irish Dance runs through Leeann and Paula's family from their grandfathers’ early days in dance, as well as family in America now running their own successful Irish Dancing schools. Their parents immigrated from Dublin to Auckland in the 1970s and both encouraged them to take up Irish Dancing to connect to their culture and history.

During their competitive Irish dancing career, both danced for Norah Walsh TCRG, Shealagh Hallissey TCRG, ADCRG, BG and Hilary O'Sullivan TCRG. They also attended workshops and classes of Brendan Tiernan, Phyllis Cronin, Margaret O'Brien, Colin Dunne, and Terry Gillan.

During her competitive Irish dancing career, Leeann was a world qualifier several times and was part of many National Champion teams. Paula won the New Zealand Championships three times and placed in the top five at the Australian Championships. In 1998 Paula recalled and placed 26th at the World Championships, after winning the 1997 Rodney Walshe Travel Scholarship.

The Doyle Academy was opened in 1998 in the South Auckland with the demand coming from the world-wide success of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. Both girls toured with the Irish Rovers on their New Zealand and Australia Tour ‘The Ireland Show’ with Liam Harney TCRG, ADCRG as well as the North American tour with ‘Celtic Fusion’.

In 2001, Leeann gained her TCRG (teaching) qualification in Toronto. Paula re-joined the teaching staff in 2003 after retiring from competition and attained her TCRG diploma later that year and followed up with her ADCRG (adjudicating) qualification in 2010. Paula is also a qualified secondary school health and physical education teacher, as also has a degree in sport and exercise science.

In August 2012, the Academy moved to their base in East Tamaki and created a bespoke Irish dance studio facility with mirrors and sprung floors.

Always striving to improve, Leeann and Paula have worked with teachers from the around the world to bring the latest techniques and material to their dancers.

In 2015 Chelsea Gibson joined the teaching team, assisting with various classes and then opening the Ellerslie beginners satellite classes in 2019. Chelsea started dancing for Academy in 2005 and competed for 13 years. A highlight for Chelsea was being a member of the Doyle International Competition Team traveling to numerous Australian competitions; the 2014 North American Nationals and both the 46th and 47th CLRG World Championships in Glasgow and Dublin. Chelsea has completed all 12 CLRG Grades and will be sitting the TCRG exam at the next available opportunity.

Leeann, Paula and Chelsea and their student teachers pride themselves on providing an organised structure of classes with patience, individualised chorography, and a focus on bringing the best out in each student.

Leeann and Paula are both actively involved in Irish dancing in New Zealand. Leeann is the TIDANZ registration officer, social media, and website manager. Paula is the TIDANZ President representing NZ at CLRG meetings.