MARY KATE CONRAD
Mary Kate fell in love with Irish dance at age 4 and it has been a part of her life ever since. As a champion dancer her favorite success was finishing 4th place in solos at the Regional Oireachtas. Her enthusiasm for team dancing led her to Scotland, where she studied abroad for a semester as well as danced for the Setanta School, earning a 2nd place team medal at the World Championships. Her favorite part of Irish dancing is team and figure dancing.
Mary Kate became a certified TCRG in 2002. In 2006 she co-founded Clann Na Cara and then successfully passed her adjudicators examination in 2010. She greatly enjoys travelling and judging dance competitions all over!
Katie began Irish dance lessons in 1980. Throughout that time she enjoyed competing and performing with her dancing friends. In 1996 she began assisting with classes and her love for teaching children developed into a passion. She most enjoys working with younger dancers, patiently helping them to grow and develop their skills. She is also a Buffalo Public School art teacher since 1998 and loves working everyday with children.
Katie received her TCRG certification in 2003, and in 2006, co-founded the Clann Na Cara school. She later formed the very successful and fun Adult dance program at CNC and has led them to much success over the years.
Jennifer began Irish dance lessons at age 3 and immediately was hooked! As a champion 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 a top 10 National ranking. She qualified for the World Championships each year and competed in both solos and teams at the World level 3 times. She is also proud to have danced on several 1st place ceilis, choreographies and dramas over the years.
In high school Jennifer began assisting with dance classes and developed a great love for teaching. Besides helping dancers reach their potential her favorite thing is seeing dancers grow in confidence as they reach their goals. Jennifer obtained her TCRG certification in 2007 after college graduation and has been teaching ever since!
Since 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 is also one of the school's 4 co-founders. Erin also helps coordinate all of CNC's performances throughout the year.
Katie began Irish dance lessons when she was 9 years old. Over the years she has competed at regional, national, and world competitions. Her favorite aspect of Irish dancing is team dancing and, while studying abroad in England, danced on a Ladies and Mixed figure team that placed 1st at the World Championships!
Katie received her TCRG Certification in 2011 and has been teaching with Clann Na Cara ever since!
Becky started dancing at the age of 4 and achieved Championship level at the young age of 9! Having success in both solo and team dancing, she proudly earned a 1st place solo title at the Mid Atlantic Oireachtas in the ladies over 20 competition, has placed top 5 at Nationals, and top 10 at the All Irelands. She qualified for the World Championships each year and has competed at the event 5 times.
Becky successfully received her TCRG certification in 2010 and joined the CNC teaching staff in 2016. In addition to dancing classes Becky also teaches a fitness class here at CNC.
Ursula began dance lessons at age 3 in her hometown of Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, Ireland. She danced for the renowned Aodh Rua school and enjoyed an impressive career, placing top 10 at the Ulster, All Ireland, All Scotland, British National, Great Britain and World Championships.
At age 19, Ursula joined the cast of Riverdance and started an unforgettable 6 year journey performing in sold out theaters world wide, and appearing on countless international TV programs and events.
Ursula returned home, acquired her teacher and adjudicator certificates and opened her school. She has judged all over the World including the 2016 World Championships in Glasgow. We are lucky to have Ursula's experience and expertise on hand during her US visits!
Kelly began dancing at age 13 when she accompanied her younger sister to her trial class. She got bit by the Irish Dance bug and never looked back. Kelly has competed all over the Northeast and Canada. When she started college she was asked to start teaching beginners and has continued to do so since then. In her last role, Kelly taught a strength training class to young Irish Dancers striving to elevate their athleticism. Kelly's favorite part of Irish Dance is progress, there's no feeling like working hard and seeing the rewards.
Kelly has loved being able to spread her love of Irish Dance throughout the Buffalo area and has felt very lucky to find a home at Clann Na Cara.