Deirdre O’ Mara is from Dublin Ireland, & studied with Marie Walsh ADCRG and Mary McElroy S.D.C.R.G.
The school began in 1997 when covering a class for fellow Irish dance teacher Niall O’ Leary. This led to taking over a class in the Bronx from Niall which Deirdre taught in the backroom of the Lansdowne bar on Broadway. That class started the path which led to teaching countless students in CT & NY over the last quarter of a century. The goal of the school has always been to teach in an atmosphere of growth & inspiration for the whole child while reaching the highest levels of Irish dance.
Maura Heron TCRG Maura started Irish dancing at age six with the Margaret Pike School in Yonkers. She passed her TCRG exam in July 2014. Maura is an attorney in New York City.
I started my competitive dancing journey at the age of 7 years old, when my parents enrolled my sisters and me at the Maguire O’Shea Academy. We used to travel an hour and a half on public transport to get to classes. An amazing, talented, family-orientated dance academy, from which I learnt so much.
We enjoyed competing and travelled all over the country weekly, to dance. I worked so hard to be the best I could and won over 50 major titles during my dancing career, and hundreds of championships. I also performed in many shows all over the world.
I took my TCRG exam with CLRG and opened the Adrian Kelly Academy of Irish Dance which progressed quickly and was rebranded The Irish Dance Academy a few years later, when I collaborated with one of my best friends, Sean McNicholas, once he retired from Lord of the Dance. My sister, Charaina, finished her last World Championships, winning another world medal, then took her TCRG exam and joined the team.
My background is in education, as a PE teacher and sports’ development manager.
We are delighted to have developed our dancers from scratch and have gone on to produce numerous champion dancers, including All Ireland, All Scotland, British & North American Champions, and many world medal holders over the last 12 years.
I started my first workshop partnership with the Eireann Academy in Australia in 2021 – a fabulous school with great teachers.
I’m also delighted to have started a collaboration with my friend Deirdre O’Mara & Scoil Rince Saoirse in January 2023. A school full of super-talented dancers and where the children are at the heart of everything she does. I’m so excited to see this partnership develop further, and with the support of the parents, I’m sure we will make many great memories.
Michael danced for Anne-Marie Cunningham ADCRG and Kevin McCormack ADCRG. After a successful competition career including 4 golds at European Championships (qualifiers for Mainland Europe) and other medals at Great Britain Championships, All Ireland’s, All Scotland’s, among many other majors and open feiseanna in Europe and the USA, including The World Championships, he toured all over the globe with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, as well as partook in their Broadway production “Dangerous Games”. Since 2009, he has been teaching regular classes and performance workshops in Ireland, USA, Austria, Germany and Poland. He choreographed and directed 3 Irish dance shows, and helped with numerous other productions. Michael has an extensive dance training in various genres including ballet, jazz, tap, modern dance, as well as Alexander technique. He draws knowledge from each form, making it fit into jig shoes, putting an emphasis on alignment for healthy and sustainable dance habits. He is a proud graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater.
Tara is originally from the Bay Area (Go, San Francisco Giants!!). Tara started dancing as a wee tiny tot, beginning her journey with ballet, jazz, hip hop, and Irish dance. At the age of five, she competed in her very first Irish dance competition under the instruction of The Rosemary Turco School of Irish Dance. Tara continued to train in all styles of dance, and spent many years performing as a featured Irish dancer for the Celtic band Molly’s Revenge. Tara made her Off-broadway debut in 2018 with Brooklyn Irish Dance Company in A Celtic Christmas Story, and now works in film and TV as a choreographer and movement director. She has had the great pleasure of working closely with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Mahershala Ali, and others.