At the Connolly School, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of Irish dancing training whilst inspiring all dancers to share our passion of the art form of Irish dancing. Our mission is to support every dancer along their journey to achieving their full potential.
We are more than just a dance school, we are a dance family! We offer a friendly and positive environment and encourage each student to work hard whilst supporting each other and working as a team.
We strive to create a healthy atmosphere that helps students grow in self confidence, be challenged, and learn valuable life skills.
Clare Connolly, TCRG
The Connolly School of Irish dance is one of the oldest and well known dancing schools in New Zealand.
It was founded in 1977 by the legendary Clare Connolly.
Clare started teaching at the age of 18. She achieved her T.C.R.G certificate in 1974. Soon after she started the Connolly school, registered under the leading body An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha.
Irish dancing is one of Clare's greatest loves, she has taught and influenced hundreds of dancers over the years. She has always placed a strong emphasis on friendships through Irish Dancing. The team spirit at the Connolly School is second to none and it is great place for children to have fun, get fit, and make life long friends in a safe and happy environment.
Becoming a teacher in her earlier years enabled her to teach her own children.
Her greatest joy was when her son, Ciaran, went on to join Riverdance and later Lord of the Dance, her youngest 2 children, Siobhan and Martin also joined the troupe. She has been able to travel to many countries to see her 3 children dance in these prestigious shows and is very proud of their achievement.
In 2012 Siobhan came back to N.Z. after a 10 year career in Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the dance’. After becoming a qualified teacher (TCRG) Siobhan has since taken over as the Director of the Connolly School alongside her sister in law Katie Connolly-Kerrigan (TCRG). Katie and Siobhan toured the world together with Lord of the dance and Celtic tiger and now get the opportunity to pass on their knowledge to the younger generation.
Although Clare has given up the teaching part in the school, she still has a very active role in the administration side and loves to be involved with the exhibition and team dancing.
Throughout the last five decades, we have competed and performed locally, nationally and internationally winning many National Solo and team titles, Australian International Oireachtas titles and placings at the North American and World Championships.
In 1999 Connolly was the first school in New Zealand to take an 8-hand Ceili team to the World Championships, and in 2012 once again made history by being the first school from New Zealand to take a Senior Girls Open Figure to the Worlds Championships in Belfast where they achieved 5th place in the world.
Siobhan Lundon, TCRG
Siobhan began dancing at the age of 3, taught by her mother Clare Connolly. She won numerous titles during her competitive Irish Dance career. Having recalled at the World Championships, and receiving a World medal, she was honoured to be selected to join Michael Flatleys 'Lord of the Dance' in 2003.
She toured the world extensively for 10 years landing the lead role of Saoirse in both Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames, and was privileged to dance the lead role alongside Micheal himself.
During that time she was one of the few that was selected in her Troupe to be involved in Michael Flatley's 'Celtic Tiger' Production where she was part of the creative team and dancer. This show led her to many major venues over the years, including Madison Square Gardens, Wembley Arena, the O2 in London, and the Point Theatre in Dublin, to name but a few.
Nearing the end of her show career she performed in Michael Flatley's 3D movie 'Lord of the Dance' released in 2011. She then went on to obtaining her T.C.R.G exam, which has led her to become the principle teacher and director of the Connolly School.
The love of Irish dancing has enabled her to progress into teaching this wonderful art form of dance, and pass down her knowledge to the younger dancers.
Katie Kerrigan-Connolly, TCRG
Katie began dancing at the age of 5 with Kathleen O’Carroll at the Cross Keys School on the south side of Chicago. During her time at Cross Keys she won several Midwestern regional titles and placed many times in the top 3 nationally. Katie’s biggest competitive achievement was winning two world medals, placing 8th and 11th for solo dancing dancing at the World Championships of Irish Dance.
In 2004, Katie was lucky enough to join the cast of Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the Dance’ which began her 11-year career on the professional stage. She toured around the world with LOTD and was also a part of the original cast of Flatley’s ‘Celtic Tiger’ production. Katie had the amazing opportunity to dance the lead role of Morrighan in the show, even getting to dance lead alongside Michael himself.
She was the female Dance Captain for several different troupes and most recently an assistant Dance Director under the world renowned choreographer Marie Duffy.
Katie became a qualified TCRG in 2010 and taught with the Cross Keys School in Chicago before putting roots down in New Zealand. Katie is very happy to be teaching dancing here in Auckland alongside her dear friend Siobhan who she toured the world and shared the stage with for over 10 years.