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Meet the Team

Mary Foley TCRG, Academy Director was born in County Cork, Ireland. Her early years were spent in the Irish countryside. At the age of 7 her parents immigrated to Toronto, Canada. Mary started Irish dance that same year. She danced competitively with the Woodgate School and Scoil Rince na Gael, Rose Fearon. Irish Dance has been the epicenter of her life journey-a journey that Mary has shared with countless students that continues today.

Competing in both Equestrian Show Jumping and Irish Dance, she maintained an extremely high level of physical fitness. She obtained exceptional results in local, national and international events. Her awards were the culmination of both her dedication and talent. Winning a silver medal for Canada at the 1977 World Irish Dance Championships in Dublin, Ireland is her most memorable moment.

Mary trained as a Nurse and Social Worker, in the Province of Ontario. Her passion to dance and desire to teach led her to obtain her certification exams in Dublin, Ireland. Her overseas teaching position as a Bilingual Physical Education Teacher with the Department of Education and Science, Munster Region, Ireland provided exceptional leadership knowledge. Marys’ greatest desire is the preservation of her Irish Heritage and Celtic Culture. She is registered with the Worlds Governing Authorities, An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha, Dublin, Ireland. IDTAC, Irish Dance Teachers Association of Canada & IDTANA, Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America.

“Dancers are the athletes of God~” Albert Einstein

Carlee Held, Instructor

Great performers start at a young age. At the age of three, Carlee began Irish dancing under the direction of her mother, at the Celtic Academy in Erin, Ontario. She wanted to help teach and would make sure the dancers shoe laces were tied correctly. She was the youngest dancer invited to perform for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the opening of Erins’ Center 2000, ushering in the new millennium. She competed in her first Oireachtas in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 2002, placing 2nd in her solo reel. Her team won 1st place in the Four Hand Minor Championship.

Carlee excelled in all levels of competitive Irish Dance. Her awards in solo, teams and figure choreography are numerous. After moving to Ireland in 2003, she continued her journey at the Irish World Academy, under the tutelage of renowned dancer and choreographer, Michael Ryan, Co. Tipperary. She added to her achievements attaining many local, national and international titles. She was invited to perform as a solo dancer in Draiocht the Show during the summer seasons while residing on the Island of Ireland.

Carlee is a Graduate of the Honours Biomedical Science Program at the University of Guelph Class of 2016. She has accepted an offer to Graduate School of Dentistry UCC, Cork Ireland for Sept 2016. We all have a reason to smile. Keep up with Irish Dance Standards across the pond and do return to Ontario to share your additional skills and knowledge. Congratulations!

Quinn Held, Instructor

Some people watch and some people do. At the age of 2 years, Quinn could not sit and watch her mother teaching, she wanted to get up and dance. And that, she did! Her innate ability to hear the music and put it all together was obvious. Her first solo violin performance was at the age of three with the Suzuki String School of Guelph. Her first Irish dance performance was at Station Road Nursery School in Erin, Ontario. She performed a three hand reel with the O’Neill twins and made local headlines!

Quinn’s natural talent in solo, teams and figure choreography won her many awards. Upon her move to Ireland in 2003, she was immersed in the Irish World Academy, under the tutelage of renowned dancer and choreographer, Michael Ryan, Co. Tipperary. She furthered her achievements and attained local, national and international titles. She was invited to perform as a solo dancer in Draiocht the Show during the summer seasons while residing on the Island of Ireland. Her achievements are remarkable as is her passion for music and dance.

She is currently attending the University of Guelph, Honours BA Program, International Development, Criminal Justice & Public Policy. She has the ethics and determination of a champion and we are privileged to have her instructing our Competitive Elite Dancers. Periodization is key!