About our Program
The mission of our program is to bring out the best dancer in every child, and the best child in every dancer!
We do this by providing high energy classes taught by caring and knowledgeable instructors that combine superior quality instruction in Irish dance, with hard work, character building, and a profound respect for the time-honored art of Irish dancing.
In 2022, Clann Na Cara merged with the Harris-Grieco Academy in an effort to combine forces for the greater good of the students. Together, we aim to provide the absolute best Irish dancing experience for children all over WNY!
Lessons for both girls and boys start as early as age 4.
Through our classes students will benefit from...
coordination, strength, balance and flexibility
a healthy competitive spirit
team unity and friendship
perseverance and grit
improved listening skills
and so much more!
Clann Na Cara
About the Teachers
Rachael Harris-Grieco, TCRGBorn in Birmingham, England to Irish parents, Rachael started her dance journey at the age of 5 dancing for Sylvia Murphy-Brennan and then Kevin & Helena McCarron at McCarron School of Irish dance. It was these three teachers that instilled the love and passion for our beautiful art form. Throughout Rachael’s competitive career she consistently placed top 5 at major championships, achieving many titles along the way most notably British National Champion, Midland Regional Oireachtas Champion (7 years consecutively), but she is most proud of achieving 4th place at the World Championships, a day she will never forget. Rachael carried her love of Irish dance right into her audition for Riverdance and booked her first professional job as troupe dancer for the 10th anniversary tour in Japan & Taiwan, from there she went on to tour with many shows such as Celtic Legends, Danu and Ciaran Nagle of the Irish Tenors and Rockin’ Road to Dublin. She performed the lead role in Busch Gardens shows Irish Thunder and Emerald beat and topped of her performing days as Dance Captain and female lead of the award-winning show Celtic Fyre. Whilst performing in shows, Rachael studied and sat her TCRG exam and passed with honours. She is a fully qualified Irish Dance teacher certified and registered with An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha, IDTANA and Mid-Atlantic region. Rachael moved to the Buffalo, NY region in 2015 with her husband (who is originally from Amherst/Williamsville area) where she began to delve into her lifelong passion of teaching and passing on the Irish heritage to future generations.
Jennifer Mammoliti, TCRGJennifer began Irish dance lessons at age 3 and immediately was hooked. One of her earliest memories is of dancing in her Grandparents' living room along with her mom and aunts who were all Irish dancers before her. As a champion level solo dancer she placed consistently in the top 5 at the regional championships from U8 to O20 including a 1st place solo title at age 13, and top 10 at the North American Championships. She qualified for the World Championships each year and competed in both solos and teams at the Worlds 3 times (1997 and 1999 in Ireland, and 2002 in Glasgow, Scotland). She is also proud to have danced on many award winning ceili and figure choreographies over the years. In high school, Jennifer's love of dance slowly transformed into a love of teaching as she became an assistant in class. Her teacher, Paula Woodgate, allowed her creative freedom to choreograph her own steps as well as some for the younger dancers. She obtained her TCRG certification in 2007 shortly after college graduation and since that time has trained dancers of all ages and levels, from beginners stepping into their very first class, to the most talented of dancers stepping onto the world stage. As a teacher Jennifer was influenced greatly by Caroline Devaney, an instructor from England whose energetic, positive, and detail oriented teaching style left a lasting impression. Jennifer is a member in good standing with CLRG, IDTANA (Irish dancing teachers association of North America), as well as the MAR (Mid Atlantic Region.) She enjoys helping dancers grow in confidence as they reach their goals, as well as passing on the cultural traditions, and character traits (work ethic, determination, teamwork) that make for not only a successful dancer but a well rounded person.
Erin Mansour, TCRGSince age 6 Erin has dedicated countless hours to her love of Irish culture. She achieved much success including a 3rd place in her solos at the regional Oireachtas. Erin has competed at the Nationals and World Championships in both solos and teams. She also studied abroad in Galway, Ireland during college where, in addition to her studies, she also competed at the All Irelands and earned a 4th place solo ranking! Erin became a certified Irish dance teacher (TCRG) in 2009 and currently teaches on a part time basis. Erin also helps coordinate all of our performances throughout the year!
Certifications & Training- TCRG certified by An Comisium le Rinci Gaelacha (Dublin, Ireland) to teach Irish dancing - SafeSport certified. - Members in good standing with CLRG, IDTANA and the Mid-Atlantic Region. (Professional Irish dancing teacher memberships)