I took my first lessons with Laureen O’Neill-James in the Washington, DC area. While living in Charlottesville, VA, I taught under the guidance of internationally recognized teacher and adjudicator Carmel O’Rourke-Tighe and I became involved with the Blue Ridge Irish Music School. In Chico, CA, I danced with and taught at the Maria Oliver Academy of Irish Dance.
Photo credit: Maurice Gunning
I completed my MA degree at the University of Limerick in the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance in Irish Traditional Dance Performance. I trained a variety of percussive dance styles including traditional Irish dance (sean-nós and North Kerry/Molyneaux), festival style Irish dance from Northern Ireland, contemporary Irish dance, tap, flamenco, clogging, and body percussion.
Capoeira and Brazilian partner dance
I trained capoeira as a student in Mestre Curisco’s Grupo Capoeira Malês beginning in 2008. I started practicing with Capoeira Malês in in Chico, and then I trained with the Capoeira DC branch in Washington, DC.
Photo credit: Daiei Onuguchi
I also participate in samba, Afro-Brazilian, samba de gafieira, forró, and tango dance classes in the DC area.
I took jazz, tap, and modern dance in high school and, while living in California, I danced contemporary jazz and hip hop as a member of the Full Force Dance Company (C-Force) at the Chico Creek Dance Centre. I was also a member of the Gorgorlu West African Dance & Drumming Troupe in Chico, CA, led by Alain Zinsou of Senegal and continue to take West African dance classes when I can.
I currently take jazz, contemporary, hip hop, modern, and Afrobeat classes at Joy of Motion and other locations in Washington, DC, and I also enjoy house/urban dance classes at Urban Artistry in Silver Spring, MD.
Photo credit: Yengul Hip Hop
I have been exposed to a variety of other dance styles, including Montserrat’s masquerade dance, flamenco, Afro-Cuban rumba, Cape Breton step dance, dancehall, Appalachian clogging, English clogging, Greek dance, Breton dance, and body percussion. I always welcome the opportunity to learn more!
St. Patrick’s Festival on Montserrat (2015)
Photo credit: Montserrat Governor’s Office