Sandra Connick, TCRG
Sandra is a fully accredited teacher of Irish dancing, registered with An Coimisiun Le Rince Gaelacha, Dublin, Ireland and is currently serving as its Vice-Treasurer. She also actively participates in the Southern Region of the Irish Dancing Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA), currently serving as its Vice-Director. Previously, Sandra has served as Vice-President and Treasurer for the National Body of the IDTANA. Sandra is in great demand as a teacher, and her talents have been utilized by the Mecklenburg County School District in programs designed to incorporate cultural enrichment into the middle school curriculum. She also has worked extensively with the Diocese of Charlotte Catholic Schools In addition, Sandra has worked as a lecturer on Irish Dance at UNCC.
Lisa Clark, TCRG
Lisa Clark, TCRG is the director and the main teacher of the Raleigh LOQC location. Lisa has danced, trained and taught under Sandra Connick TCRG for the past 8 years. Surprisingly, Lisa did not start out as an Irish dancer, but as a competitive springboard diver and competed in National and International Diving competitions in her 10-year career. She made the NCAA Division I National Collegiate All-American All-Star Diving Team for all four years she attended college. She also just missed qualifying (by two-tenths of a point) for the Olympic trials to represent the U.S. Olympic Diving team in the 1988 Olympic games. Lisa was fortunate to be trained by three Olympic diving coaches over her years of “living at the pool”, and she brings invaluable training and experience to the table in preparing her Irish dancers to be strong competitors. In addition to her athletic experience, Lisa also brings her knowledge from years of teaching middle and high school math to all types of learners. Lisa’s ability to motivate dancers to do their best has proven invaluable. Lisa always had a dream to be a dancer but knew she didn’t have the time with her diving training. So after life slowed down a bit in her adult years, she took her first Irish dance lesson and has been hooked ever since. She entered the competitive circuit as an adult Irish dancer and then entered the senior ladies competitions for a more competitive challenge. She competed for 8 years and, after finishing her last Irish dance competition at the North American Irish Dance Championships in 2007, she decided it was time for her to hit the books and start studying for her TCRG exams. Lisa is honored to be representing one of the top-ranked Irish Dance Schools in the US.
Colleen Pitt, TCRG
Colleen Pitt, TCRG was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both of her parents are from Ireland and it was very important that they raised her brothers and herself with Irish culture. Therefore, they registered Colleen in Irish dance. Colleen started Irish dancing with the McDade School of Irish Dance in Pennsylvania when she was four years old. It began as a fun after-school activity but, as she improved, she began taking it more seriously and competing at competitions twice a month. Colleen started competing in the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas when she was 10 years old. She competed at the Open Championship level and she has danced with The Chieftains, Natalie McMaster and a very successful Irish band up north called Blackthorn. Colleen stopped dancing when she was 17 years old and left for college to pursue an Education degree. She continued with Irish dancing by teaching private lessons. Colleen worked with two families whose daughters have gone on to win top 3 at the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas and have placed at World Irish Dance Championships. Colleen is also a certified Elementary school teacher and currently teaches kindergarten at the Wake County Public Schools. Her patience and caring nature with the younger ones is commendable!
Stacie Greiner, TCRG
Stacie started Irish dancing at the age of 11 with the Sheahan-Gormley School of Irish Dance. It is there that she fell in love with the artform. At the age of 14, she studied at the Quinlan Academy, which later became O’Grady Quinlan. Stacie went on to compete regionally, nationally, and internationally. She passed her TCRG in 2011 and could not be more thrilled to be a part of the Lynn-O’Grady Quinlan-Connick teaching staff. Stacie has her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from Pennsylvania State University and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology at Temple University.
Michele Dawe started dancing at age five alongside her two older sisters in Boston, Massachusetts. Many family weekends were spent traveling to outdoor feis and road trips throughout New England, of which she has many fond memories. She was also a great supporter of her niece years later when she started Irish dancing. Michele, with her husband and two daughters, moved to North Carolina and joined the dance school Rince na h’Eireann in February, 1999. As a family, they traveled and the girls competed and medaled regionally, nationally and internationally until they went off to college. Early on Michele became involved in Rince na h’Eireann, assisting Sandra Connick, TCRG with shows, classes, camps, and feis registration. She is very excited to be a member of the LOQC team!
My name is Pamela Pierce formerly Mc Guinness. I grew up in Dun Laoghaire Co. Dublin Ireland. I started dancing like most Irish children at a young age of 7 and went to two different teachers and became bored with it. At age 11 I met a girl in school who told me about this terrific young male teacher she had started with and meeting him and working with Kevin Massey turned Irish Dancing into my favorite thing to do. Kevin was an amazing teacher and dancer and opened up doors for all his dancers. We had dancers like Michal Flatley at our classes every summer doing camps with us. Dancing became my life. We became involved with Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, consequently doing summer shows in Dublin and overseas. I was a competitive dancer also, competing regionally and nationally. Although I much preferred shows, I continued dancing all through my school days and even when I started working. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. After many years of being married to a US military man and traveling and living in many places, my husband retired and we settled in North Carolina. I met Sandra Connick and started working with her in 1996 and have taught at RNE and LOQC since then. I consider myself a patient teacher and take great pride in teaching every child to believe in themselves. Hard shoe rhythm and timing are what I love and in which I like to give every dancer a great foundation.
Jessica Fernandez Pall has taught Irish dance under Sandra Connick since 2009 and enjoys instructing dancers and watching them develop into their fullest potential. She comes from a strong musical and athletic background which is a valuable asset to today’s form of Irish dancing. She has shared her love of Irish dance and it’s culture with her four children since joining the school in 2001 and continues to share her experience and love of teaching with students of all ages and levels.