Elizabeth ("Zee") Ní Bhraonáin, TCRG
is a registered Irish dance teacher, certified by An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha (CLRG). Mrs. Ní Bhraonáin grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and started her dancing career at the age of six, learning her first steps from Annie McBride, an internationally-known San Francisco dancing master. She has performed with artists such as the Black Brothers, Tempest, and An Dro. Her most recent performance's have been with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra / Billings Symphony Orchestra and Grammy nominated Jeremy Kittle & Co. After achieving the highest level of competitive dancing, and competing at local, regional, and national levels, Zee taught as an assistant teacher with the McBride School from 2007 to 2013 before receiving her teaching credential in December of 2012. After settling in Michigan in 2013, and with the help of her mom, she decided to put down the roots for her Irish dancing school in Grand Rapids. Since then, she has choreographed dancing for events with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Frederick Meijer Gardens and the Dogwood Performing Arts Center, as well as trained the 2018 Mid America Regional U10 Mixed Ceili champions and World Qualifying solo dancers that have placed top ten at the Regional and National Championship level.
Mary Cope Brennan, Business Manager
is Zee’s mom, assistant teacher, and the school’s business manager. Mary is a native Grand Rapidian but spent her adult years in California, where she married into the Brennan family from Dublin, Ireland. While Zee and her sister Kat were learning their first steps with the McBride School of Irish Dancing in Concord, California, Mary danced and competed as an adult dancer and was a regular fixture managing stages at San Francisco Bay Area feiseanna. She also volunteered as an assistant instructor with the McBride School from 2000 to 2007, teaching steps and technique to beginners through prizewinner dancers, and providing drills and step review for advanced dancers, teams and adults. Mary has a day job as a technologist with the State of Michigan, but occasionally substitutes for Zee and can be available to assist parents with questions about competition and costuming.
Emma Youmans, Assistant Teacher
Emma Youmans is a sophomore at Newaygo High School. She has been dancing for eleven years and has been doing Irish Dance for nine of those years. She is a Preliminary Champion and has one win toward becoming an Open Champion. She loved being part of an eight-hand that went to the 2018 Nationals. She also loved being a part of a four-hand. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing the kids learn new steps and seeing them grow every dance class. Outside of school and dance, she likes to relax by baking and hanging out with her family.