Cara is the Director of Celtic Heels in Greenfield, MA. She has been dancing since she was three years old and teaching for over eighteen years. In her younger days, she studied Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Irish, Scottish and Cornish Dance. Her heart led her to focus on the dance styles closest to her heritage and began teaching Irish Step & Ceili dance in NY at the ‘Joanie Mac School of Irish Dance’ which is directed by her mother and matriarch of Celtic Heels, Joan. Cara opened classes in the Pioneer Valley ten years ago. She also studied music theory, composition and performance at Bard College. Cara is the primary Irish Step & Ceili teacher, as well as choreographer for the Troupe & Company Performance Teams. She also teaches beginner ballet, tap and barre strength classes.
Melanie has been dancing since she was three years old here in the Pioneer Valley. She studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Acro in her younger years and Middle Eastern dance in college. Melanie started Irish Dance as an adult with Celtic Heels and transitioned from student to Assistant Instructor eight years ago. In addition to dance, Melanie has been a part of various local musical theater groups as a performer, stage manager, board member as well as principal choreographer for many shows. In addition to instructing Irish, Melanie also co-directs all major Celtic Heels productions and is a performer with the Adult Celtic Heels group and Company.
Sarah has been taking dance classes since the age of three and teaching in the area for 10 years. Sarah teaches Beginner Intermediate + Advanced Ballet, Tap & Irish Dance. Sarah's classes focus on rhythm, proper placement and technique to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility which improve skills that are important for Irish dancers. In addition to teaching various styles of dance in the Valley, Sarah also performs with a prominent local modern dance company, Eclipse. She is also a former Celtic Heels Company performer, so Sarah knows first hand what will best benefit your Irish dancer.
Courtney is a UMass, Amherst student, focusing her studies on Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Public Health. She has been dancing for over 17 years and studies Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Pointe, and Hip-Hop. She has trained with the Rocketts and SYTYCD stars such as Keny Boyd, Jordan Casanova, Alex Wong and more. In her spare time, Courtney works with the non profit organization, 'Henry Gets Moving' whose goal is to prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Courtney instructs our Beginner Irish & Beginner & Advanced Ballet classes.
Joan is the Director of Celtic Heels in Red Hook, NY. Both of Joan's parents immigrated from Ireland to America, her mother from County Cork and her father from County Donegal. They met here in New York, in none other than an Irish Dance Hall! Joan first began studying the art form of Irish Dance at the age of 6 in Westchester County, NY. Spending many summers in Ireland as a child she always made a point of meeting new dance instructors there, enabling her to continue her studies on Irish soil. When choreographing, Joan strives to honor her ancestry and to preserve the "True Flavor of the Immigrants of Ireland" by blending the authentic, ancestral style of footwork in with today's more modern flair. Joan has been sharing her knowledge and her passion of Irish Dance with her many students of all nationalities, ages toddler to adult, since 1984 when she first opened the doors of her "Joanie Mac" School of Irish Step Dancing. It makes her proud to know that her legacy continues, and that 'Celtic Heels' has since branched out to reach audiences in Western MA too.
Meghan began taking Irish Dance lessons under the direction of Joan McGrenaghan when she was 8 years old. She soon became a featured performer of our Hudson Valley Performance Troupe, assisted with Recitals for the younger students, and officially became Joan's Right-Hand Assistant in 2006. Meghan’s talent and passion for Irish Dance continually shine through, whether she is performing, helping with productions or contributing with choreography of select routines, all of which have become well-loved through the years by audiences, and are now known as our “Celtic Heels” Signature Dances. She is especially excited to be teaching the new Celtic Creative Movement and Dance Classes for Toddlers, in which her oldest daughter is now an avid student. Meghan’s love of teaching and working with children extends far beyond “Celtic Heels”, as she is also New York State Certified in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Education (ages birth-12 combined). Meghan loves sharing her passion for Irish Dance with all of her students!