North Carolina

Sandra Connick, TCRG

Lisa Clark, TCRG 

IMG_0832Lisa Clark, TCRG is the director and the main teacher of the Raleigh LOQC location. Lisa has danced, trained and taught under Sandra Connick TCRG for the past 8 years. Surprisingly, Lisa did not start out as an Irish dancer, but as a competitive springboard diver and competed in National and International Diving competitions in her 10 year career. She made the NCAA Division I National Collegiate All-American All Star Diving Team for all four straight years she attended college. She also just missed qualifying (by two tenths of a point) for the Olympic trials to represent the U.S. Olympic Diving team in the 1988 Olympic games. Lisa was fortunate to be trained by three Olympic diving coaches over her years of “living at the pool” and she brings invaluable training and experience to the table in preparing her Irish dancers to be strong competitors. In addition to her athletic experience, Lisa also brings her knowledge from years of teaching middle and high school math; teaching all types of learners and how to affectively motivate them to do their best has been an invaluable asset to Lisa as she teaches the dancers. Lisa always had a dream to be a dancer, but knew she didn’t have the time with her diving training. So after life slowed down a bit in her adult life, she took her first Irish dance lesson and has been hooked ever since. She entered the competitive circuit as an adult Irish dancer and then entered the senior ladies competitions for a more competitive challenge. She competed for 8 years and after finishing her last Irish dance competition at the North American Irish Dance Championships in 2007, she decided it was time for her to hit the books and start studying for her TCRG exams. Lisa is honored to be representing one of the top ranked Irish Dance Schools in the US.

Colleen Pitt, TCRG 

Colleen_PittColleen Pitt, TCRG was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both of her parents are from Ireland and it was very important that they raised her brothers and herself with Irish culture, therefore, they registered Colleen in Irish dance. Colleen started Irish dancing with the McDade School of Irish Dance in Pennsylvania when she was four years old. It began as a fun after-school activity but as she improved, she began taking it more seriously and competing at competitions twice a month. Colleen started competing in the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas when she was 10 years old. She competed at the Open Championship level and she has danced with The Chieftains, Natalie McMaster and a very successful Irish band up north called Blackthorn. Colleen stopped dancing when she was 17 years old and left for college to pursue an Education degree. She continued with Irish dancing by teaching private lessons. Colleen worked with two families whose daughters have gone on to win top 3 at the Mid-Atlantic Oireachtas and have placed at World Irish Dance Championships. Colleen is also a certified Elementary school teacher and currently teaches kindergarten at the Wake County Public Schools. Her patience and caring nature with the younger ones is commendable!

Audrey Burr

Audrey's photoAudrey Burr is a native of Cork City in Ireland. The youngest daughter in a family of eleven, Audrey began taking dance lessons at the age of 3 with the McTeggart School of Irish Dancing. After completing her Business and Marketing degree at the Cork Institute of Technology she emmigrated to the United States.

She has taught Irish dancing in the Carolinas for 16 years alongside her sister Sandra Connick and the dance school Rince na h’Eireann. Audrey has since married and has three sons. She was thrilled to join the teaching staff of LOQC in January 2015. Audrey’s dedication and love for her culture and heritage is very apparent throughout her work.

Haylee Dawe 

Haylee DaweHaylee Dawe began Irish dancing with Sandra Connick, TCRG at the age of five.

She has spent the past 18 years competing and earning both solo and team medals regionally, nationally as well as internationally.

Having just graduated from Elon Univeristy in May 2015, with a Bachelors in Business Managment, Haylee has more recently transitioned into the role of teaching, hoping to reinspire the new generation of dancers with the same camaraderie, team spirit, and love for Irish dance that she was engulfed by and cherished as a young dancer. 

Pamela Pierce

Pam PierceMy name is Pamela Pierce formerly Mc Guinness, I grew up in Dun Laoghaire Co. Dublin Ireland. I started dancing like most Irish children at a young age 7 and went to two different teachers and became bored with it. At age 11 I met a girl in school who told me about this terrific young male teacher she had started with and meeting him and working with Kevin Massey turned Irish Dancing into my favorite thing to do. Kevin was an amazing teacher and dancer and opened up doors for all his dancers. We had dancers like Michal Flatley at our classes every summer doing camps with us.

Dancing became my life, we became involved with Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, consequently doing summer shows in Dublin and overseas. I was a competitive dancer also competing regionally and nationally. Although I much preferred shows, I continued dancing all through my school days and even when I started working. I couldn’t imagine my life without it.

After many years of being married to a US military man and traveling and living in many places my husband retired and we settled in North Carolina. I met Sandra Connick and started working with her in 1996 and have taught at RNE and LOQC since then. I consider myself a patient teacher and take great pride in teaching every child to believe in themselves. Hard shoe rhythm and timing are what I love and like to give every dancer a great foundation in. 

Michele Dawe 

Michele Dawe started dancing at age five alongside her two older sisters in Boston, Massachusetts. Many family weekends were spent traveling to outdoor feis and road trips throughout New England of which she has many fond memories. She was also a great supporter of her niece years later when she started Irish dancing.

Michele with her husband and two daughters moved to North Carolina and joined the dance school Rince na h’Eireann in February, 1999. As a family they traveled and the girls competed and medaled regionally, nationally and internationally until they went off to college.

Early on Michele became involved in Rince na h’Eireann, assisting Sandra Connick, TCRG with shows, classes, camps, and feis registration. She is very excited to be a member of the LOQC team!

Colleen Wagner

Colleen_WagnerColleen Wagner, assistant teacher, is originally from Bethlehem Pennsylvania where she danced with O’Grady Quinlan Academy for over 17 years. Throughout her dancing career, she competed in multiple national and international competitions, as well as performing throughout her community and with musicians such as Eileen Ivers. Just before her senior year of high school, she achieved her goal of qualifying for the World Championships while dancing at Nationals in San Diego, California in 2006. She was lucky enough to experience this competition, held in Glasgow, Scotland, with two of her closest friends, Teresa and Erin, who are now teachers in LOQC. After graduating high school, Colleen attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania where she got her Bachelors degree in Biology. Colleen then received her Master’s degree at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine as a member of the Physician Assistant Class of 2014. She had visited North Carolina numerous times and decided to look for jobs in the Raleigh area. She is now working for an Orthopaedic practice in Raleigh and lives in North Hills. She is so excited to assist Lisa and the Raleigh LOQC branch.