Back in person classes at all locations
The Michael Dillon School offers, not only world-class instruction, but also memorable experiences. We are a family of individuals who are passionate about the art of Irish dancing..
Our dance lessons are conducted by licensed Irish dance teachers. all registered with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, Ireland For your convenience, you can now book a class through Zoom and learn this amazing dance form in the comfort of your home.
Michael has been teaching 35 years, having passed his exam in Dublin, Ireland in 1984. Michael moved to the United States in 2010 from Co Clare, where his students won many major titles over the years. Michael started dancing at the age of 5 for the wonderful Nora Bennis from Limerick and spent a number of years in Dublin studying at Scoil Rince Inis Ealga under Mathiu O Maoileidigh and Marie Duffy Pask (Dance Director of Michael Flatley’s ‘Lord of the Dance’) where Michael was a member of their renowned gold medal ceili, figure and drama teams. He was also part of the All Ireland Champion O'Callaghan's Mills set dancing team. Following his qualification as a teacher he was a lead dancer on many tours of 'on Shannonside' , a renowned group of World class musicians and dancers. Michael moved to Brighton in England, where he had his own school for a number of years and worked as a Project Manager for Lloyds TSB Bank plc, before moving back to his home village of Kilkishen in 1997. Michael danced on the award winning Guinness TV commercial for Harp Lager and has given workshops all over Europe, from Norway to Austria. In 1998 Michael qualified as an adjudicator with An Coimisiún, and has been honored to judge the World, All Ireland, All Scotland, Great Britain, Irish Nationals & Ulster Championships, North American Nationals to name but a a few and has judged all over the World from as far afield as Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. Michael recently passed his Grade examiners exam and continues to be empassioned about Irish culture and dance.
Jennifer started dancing at the age of 4 for the Murphy school of Irish dance in San Francisco, under the direction of Mary Jo Feeney. Through the years, she continued to compete at Regional, National, and World competitions. In 2010, she traveled to Shanghai, China and performed at the World Expo. Jennifer attended Saint Mary’s College from 2010 to 2014, where she earned her BA degree in liberal arts with an emphasis on elementary education. In 2011, Jennifer joined DMA, which is now the Michael Dillon School, and continued to compete at the Regional, National, and World competitions throughout her college career. After retiring from competition, Jennifer passed her exam in 2016, becoming a certified TCRG and has been very fortunate to continue teaching alongside Michael at the Michael Dillon School. She recently earned her Masters of Education in School Counseling and is also currently working as a Middle School Counselor. Jennifer is excited to be a part of the MDS team and looks forward to great success and fun with the Michael Dillon School Family.
Makenzie started dancing at age 7 with the Moore School of Irish Dance which would later become the Dillon Magh Adhair Academy of Irish Dance. She continued competing through her sophomore year of college and experienced many successes including five placements at the worlds in solos, becoming a world medal holder, and an Oireachtas Champion. After retiring from competition, she began studying for her TCRG, which she passed in 2017. Makenzie graduated high school from Carondelet and college from the University of Notre Dame, where she received a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience.
Alyssa started dancing at the age of 7 under the tutelage of Wilmar Remmelt at the Irish Embassy of the Hague while living in the Netherlands. Due to her father's job the family moved around frequently. She continued her dancing career at the Duffin Murphy Academy in Plum Island, Massachusetts and the Maple Academy in Northern Virginia. While dancing for Bill and Marnie Maple Alyssa competed at the regional and national level in solos, teams, figure, and dance drama as well as competing at the world championships in both solos and figure. After retiring from dancing and passing her TCRG exam in 2014 to become a certified teacher, Alyssa started teaching at the Maple Academy. She taught there for a few years before making the move to the Bay Area for her own work. Alyssa is so grateful to have found such an amazing school in DMA to join the teaching team and continue share her love of Irish Dancing. Alyssa graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and now works as a Project Manager at a Commercial General Contractor.