Our Dedicated Team

Maire and her boys, Ross & Dara

(and also her first students!)

Máire O'Connell, SDCRG began the Claddagh School of Irish Dancing in 1985 in Ventura, CA. She moved to Ventura from Galway, Ireland in 1978. Ms. O'Connell has been dancing most of her life and is accredited to teach and adjudicate, and has recently been certified as an examiner by by the Irish Dancing Commission of Dublin. She is active in the Irish-American community and participates in a wide variety of community events. She held the position of president of the Irish American Club of Ventura County. Máire is also a 1995 honoree of the City of Los Angeles for her participation in the Irish community of Southern California. She encourages her students to get involved in many community projects and benefit shows.

Gaelic is Máire’s first language and she is a graduate of University College, Galway, where she earned the credentials B.A., H.D.E., and LL.B. She is also fluent in Spanish, which serves to further the artistic and cultural exchange within Southern California.

Máire has 2 sons, Ross and Dara, who have both danced throughout the years, and continue to offer support to Claddagh.

Click on the link below to see a how it all began...


Kelly has grown up with Claddagh! An Open Champion, Kelly was 3rd in 9 Western Regionals, danced on title winning teams and competed in the World Championships.

Kelly began assisting in the studios as a teen, and after completing school became a full-time assistant. In 2001, Kelly sat for the TCRG exam and was awarded her license on the first attempt. Kelly then accepted a TCRG position in a new school opening in Germany. While in Germany, Kelly’s dancers placed in the European Championships. After teaching for 2 years, Kelly returned to Claddagh where her friends and family are.

Kelly passed her ADCRG examination in 2012 and now teaches in the Ventura and Moorpark studios.

Annie first became a part of the Claddagh School at the age of 2½ when her older sister, Katie, began taking lessons. Annie excelled quickly, and went on to have a very successful solo and team career.

After heading to college to pursue dance, Annie took over as lead choreographer for Claddagh’s figure teams in 2005.

Annie continued to compete on Claddagh teams throughout college and beyond, finally winning a World title in 2009. She eventually hung up her competition shoes in 2011 upon earning her T.C.R.G. She was recently successful in her A.D.C.R.G examination in September 2019.

Annie is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a regular teacher in South Bay and Ventura, and also serves as choreographer.

Katie was one of the first dancers to join the Claddagh studio, and was Western Regional champion nine times. She also holds multiple North American and World medals and was on numerous winning Regional and National teams. Katie became a TCRG in 2006, and was successful in her ADCRG examination in January 2013.

Katie is a graduate of UC Irvine and teaches in South Orange County.