We are proud to introduce you to this year’s team of Riverdance Summer School instructors. Each instructor will bring their own unique ability to connect and teach while staying true to our mission of inspiring, encouraging and motivating all of our students. We have instructors from Ireland, UK, North America and Australia and below you will see a very brief introduction to each of them.
MAGGIE DARLINGTON: FOYLE GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Maggie Darlington, principal dancer with Riverdance and Heartbeat of Home, is a world champion dancer, TCRG, and yoga instructor. She’s been touring the world with Riverdance since 2011, and is always looking for new and different ways to challenge and express herself when she’s not on the road.
LAUREN SMYTH – LIFFEY GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Since watching Riverdance on the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, touring the world professionally with the show had always been Lauren’s dream. She is the first female from the Festival tradition to become a principle dancer with the show and has been proudly touring the world with Riverdance since 2009. Lauren is passionate about inspiring dancers of all abilities to have the confidence and courage to go after their dreams and to believe that they are achievable with perseverance and self-belief.
CIARA CALLANAN RYAN: LEE GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Ciara Callanan-Ryan began dancing at the age of 3 and following a successful competitive career, she received a B.A. and M.A. in performance from the University of Limerick. It was always her dream to be in Riverdance so she attended the 2015 Summer School and was thrilled to be chosen to dance in the Gaiety Theatre before going on to tour the world. She is delighted to be back as an instructor this year and is looking forward to taking it online.
KEVINAH DARGAN: MOY GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Kevinah started dancing at the age of 4 at the Rince Na Tiatna school in Buffalo, New York. During her competitive career she won numerous titles including 9 regionals, 8 North american championships, the All Ireland championships and the World championships. in 2014 she started dancing professionally and has been touring ever since. Highlights of her touring career include dancing in London’s West End, Broadway and Radio City music Hall in New York City. When not on tour, Kevinah teaches dance at Rince Na Tiarna. She is so excited to be an instructor at this year’s summer school!
BRANDON ASAZAWA: SHANNON GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Brandon Asazawa is from Cleveland, Ohio, and has toured with Riverdance since 2016. At the first ever Riverdance Summer School in 2015, Brandon was one of the lucky dancers selected to dance with the show on the Gaiety stage in Dublin. Since being selected, Brandon has toured globally with Riverdance and continues to live out his dream as a professional dancer.
ANNAMAI FITZPATRICK: FOYLE GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Anna Mai started dancing at the age of four. She danced competitively for sixteen years. As a competitor, she won many major championships such as the All Ireland, Great Britain and British National Championship. She then joined the cast of Riverdance and has been touring with them ever since. She toured with Riverdance for 2 years and recently toured North America as a principal dancer.
CHLOEY TURNER: CORRIB GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Chloey toured the world with Riverdance from 2008-2019 and performed as one of the principal dancers. She is also a fully qualified Strength and Conditioning coach and Yoga teacher.
Today, Chloey advocates positive mental health and well-being through various workshops and speaking engagements.
ANDY O’REILLY: LAGAN GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Andy has been a member of Riverdance and Heartbeat of Home for 13 years. He has undertaken principle and dance captain roles during his time with the company and has performed thousands of shows across the globe. He has been fortunate enough to help choreograph pieces for major television shows such as ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars’.
MEADHBH KENNEDY: AVOCA GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Meadhbh from Tara, Co. Meath and began dancing at the age of 4. She danced for the O’Shea School of Irish Dance and has competed successfully at the World and All Ireland Championships.
Since 2015, Meadhbh has toured Europe, China and North and South America with Riverdance, Heartbeat of Home, Celtic Legends, Irish Celtic and Prodijig: The Revolution. Meadhbh’s biggest achievement to date is performing lead on Riverdance’s 25th anniversary tour
EUROPE, RUSSIA, UAE and SOUTH AFRICA
ROBYN CONNOLLY- SHANNON MAINLAND EUROPE, RUSSIA and UAE.
Robyn is 22 years old and danced for the now Kavanagh Porter Warren Academy. She had a very successful competitive career placing top 3 at the World Championships and becoming the All Ireland Champion as well as winning multiple Leinster and Irish National titles. She joined Riverdance in 2015 and since then has been very lucky to travel all over the world performing in the show she loves. She is very honoured to be an instructor in this years summer school and can’t wait to meet you all.
NATASIA PATRACIC AUSTRASIA SHANNON GROUP
Natasia began dancing at the age of three in Sydney, Australia. She trained in all styles of dance with a strong focus on Classical Ballet and Irish Dance. Throughout her dancing career Natasia obtained seven National Irish dance titles whilst training as a Ballerina with the Australian Ballet School. In 2013 Natasia was chosen as an original cast member of Heartbeat of Home, to which led her to join the cast of Riverdance in 2014. Natasia performs in both shows as a Principal Dancer and has been touring worldwide for 7 years. She has performed on some of the biggest stages including, London’s prestigious West End, and just recently took part in the Riverdance 25th Anniversary Gala in Dublin. In between touring, Natasia has also co-choreographed and co-directed her own show “Romeo & Juliet” and has recently become a qualified Barre Pilates Instructor.
IRELAND and THE UNITED KINGDOM
ELLEN BONNER: LAGAN GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Ellen began dancing at the age of 5 and attended the renowned O’Shea School in Dublin. She juggled dancing professionally with her studies graduating with an Accounting and Finance degree in 2012 and qualifying as a T.C.R.G. in 2017. Ellen has progressed into a Lead Dancer and Dance Captain with Riverdance, most recently performing at the 3arena Dublin with the 25th Anniversary Tour. Ellen has been a Summer School Instructor since 2015 and is very excited to be part of the team again this year.
MICHAEL GARDINER: CORRIB GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Michael has been dancing for 20 years, having started in Denver, Colorado at the age of 4 and then moving to Hession School in Galway when he was 10. Here, Michael went on to win every major title including the All Irelands and World Championships, with a historic world title win in the same year as his brother Matthew. After that special year, Michael attended the Riverdance Summer School in 2015, joined the show in 2016 and has toured the world since! Some of his highlights include choreographing and dancing for Pope Francis, and more recently, performing in Radio City Music Hall in 2020. He is excited to be teaching the Summer School for the third year now and can’t wait to welcome you all to the Riverdance family.
LOUSIE O’SULLIVAN- LIFFEY GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Louise from Dublin began dancing at the age of 4 and danced for the Elaine Kavanagh School of Dance. Louise is now a Personal Trainer and is Dance Captain and Lead Dancer with Riverdance.
JOHN LONERGAN: SHANNON GROUP INSTRUCTOR
John has been a part of Riverdance since back in 2012, a total of 8 years & has seen nearly every corner of the World thanks to Riverdance.
In his 8 years of touring, he has had the pleasure of performing to thousands and thousands of people, including the most recent 25th Anniversary Tour, which personally was a massive career highlight for John. He was one of the lucky few to be chosen to dance in the Iconic “3 Arena” where Riverdance debuted back in the days of the Eurovision Song Contest, & in Radio City Music Hall earlier in March this year. In 2018 John was made ‘Dance Captain’ for the American Tour, something he had worked very hard for, for years within the show. This title comes with a lot of responsibility, and he is very grateful to the show for putting their trust in him. John has also been involved with the Riverdance Summer School since Day 1. He is one of the “Original” Summer School Instructors & it is a highlight for him every year to teach students from all over the globe, and to help make their dream of performing in Riverdance a reality.
John is so passionate about Riverdance, and he hopes to pass this on to every student that crosses his path. He looks forward to welcoming you all to the very first Online Riverdance Summer School & can’t wait to get the hard work started!
JACK QUINN – AVOCA GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Jack started dancing at the age of 6 with O’Shea School of Irish dancing in Dublin. Since then he has won 7 World Championships along with other major titles. At the age of 17 he joined the cast of Heartbeat of Home and a year later, the cast of Riverdance and has been touring with both shows ever since. This is Jack’s second time to teach at the Summer School and he is looking forward to working with the extremely talented next generation of Riverdance.
BOBBY HODGES – FOYLE GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Aged six, Bobby began taking Irish dance classes in his hometown Bristol, England. After an illustrious competitive career, winning 10 World titles with his school, he was recruited to join the cast of Lord of the Dance (2008). Just six weeks into the tour, aged only eighteen, Bobby was cast in the principal role ‘The Lord’ performing worldwide for over three years. In 2012, he linked up with the winners of Sky 1’s Got To Dance – Prodijig to help create Footstorm. Following the tour, Bobby was cast as the principal lead in a new dance show from the producers of Riverdance – Heartbeat of Home for its world debut tour (2013). Succeeding this, he was invited to join the company of Riverdance (2014) as a principal lead dancer.
Since then Bobby has been touring worldwide with both Riverdance and Heartbeat of Home with highlights including performing for Pope Francis in Croke Park to over 80,000 people, guest appearing on BBC’s The One Show, ABC’s Good Morning America and leading a West End run at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
Bobby has continued his development in the industry by managing, co-directing and co-choreographing his own production of Romeo & Juliet which toured throughout China (2018).As one of the principal dancers and dance captains Bobby is honoured to be playing a key role in Riverdance 25, the show that inspired him to pursue dance in the first place.
FERGUS FITZPATRICK – BOYNE GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Fergus from Co. Meath, started dancing at the age of 8. Alongside his sister Anna Mai, they danced for the Holly & Kavanagh Academy of Irish dance. Fergus won the World Championships in 2017 then turned his focus to professional dance and is now performing in Riverdance as a lead dancer.
EMMA WARREN – MOY GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Emma Warren is from Dublin, Ireland and danced for the Elaine Kavanagh School. She toured the World with Riverdance for over 5 years and was the Lead dancer for 3 of those years. Emma has performed with many other shows including Prodijig’s ‘Footstorm’, ‘Hairspray The Musical’, ‘Heartbeat of Home’ as a lead dancer and she is now a TCRG with the Kavanagh Porter Warren Academy. Emma also has a Masters in Musical Theatre from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is Currently part of the new production of ‘Les Misérables’ at the newly refurbished Sondheim Theatre in London’s West End.
AMYMAE DOLAN – LEE GROUP INSTRUCTOR
Amy-Mae Dolan from Co.Tyrone competed for the Carson Kennedy Academy in Belfast winning the World championships and many other major competitions throughout her competitive career. Amy-Mae attended the Riverdance Summer School in July 2016, one of the most challenging, motivating and rewarding weeks of her life. Amy-Mae then joined the Riverdance family in November that year, a lifelong dream come true. Amy-Mae is very proud to be a Principal dancer in Riverdance, the show that inspired her, all her life. She is very excited to be an instructor for the first ever online Summer school!
PATRICK O’MAHONY – INSTRUCTOR
Patrick is a native of Rusheen, Ballylongford, Co Kerry. He began his dance training at age two with Rinceoiri Na Riochta. His first of many titles came in 1993, and he became All-Ireland champion in 1995. Moving to the U.S state of Virginia in 2004, he spent eight years dancing with Irish Thunder in Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. Back in Europe, he toured extensively with Gaelforce and performed in the Breandan De Gallai productions Noctu and the Rite of Spring. Patrick joined Riverdance in 2012, was a principal dancer in Heartbeat of Home in 2015 and has since become a Dance Captain and Lead Dancer with Riverdance Patrick is also a qualified personal trainer.
Riverdance Associate Director, Brand Manager and Summer School Course Director.
Padraic has been with Riverdance for 23 years. Since joining the show in November of 1997 Padraic has toured the world as member of the troupe, a lead dancer and a dance captain. Padraic has performed on Broadway with Riverdance and The Pirate Queen, he is the Associate Director of Heartbeat of Home and has helped choreography for a number of television shows. He is grateful for the support of his family, mentors, supporters, teammates and teacher Donny Golden as well as being extremely thankful and proud of all the instructors that have taken part in the summer school over the past 5 years and helped shape it into what it is today it.