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, 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 manages all the business and accounting aspects of the school, teaches the Adult classes, and occasionally substitutes for Zee.
Emma Youmans, Assistant Teacher
Emma Youmans is a senior at Newaygo High School. She has been dancing for thirteen years and has been doing Irish Dance for eleven of those years. She is a Preliminary Champion and has several wins toward becoming an Open Champion. She loved being part of an eight-hand that went to the 2018 Nationals and actively participates in SRNB's teams. Emma primarily manages SRNB's Fremont classes but occasionally lends a hand in Grand Rapids. 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.
Penelope O'Meara, Assistant Teacher
Penelope O'Meara is a junior at Forest Hills Central High School. She has been Irish dancing for ten years. She recently began competing as an Open Champion and danced at the 2022 North American Nationals. Her favorite part of dance is the creative performances she partakes in, and her current favorite dance is the slip jig. She really enjoys teaching because it allows her to spread her love of Irish dance while also spreading Irish culture.