Anna Kelly has been dancing nearly her entire life, beginning her journey in Irish dancing at age seven. Anna took Irish dancing throughout her childhood and early adulthood in Houston and New Orleans, beginning with Southern Region pioneer Paul Tynan. After Paul’s passing, she began dancing with Colm O’Maoileidigh, where she danced for more than 20 years. During her dancing days she also had the good fortune to study under such teachers as Eimir Ni Mhaoileidigh, New Orleanian Mary Ann McGrath Swaim, and Michael Smith.
In her competitive career, Anna advanced to Open Championships, the premiere level of Irish dancing. She attended the Southern Region Oireachtas for three years and qualified for the World Championships each time, representing the Southern Region by dancing at the Worlds in Belfast, Ireland in 2004.
After working as an assistant teacher for many years, Anna took the TCRG exam, an exhaustive test to become a registered Irish dancing teacher, in October 2014 and passed on the first try. Today she is the owner and founder of Clann Kelly and is excited to share her love of Irish dancing with her hometown.
About Clann Kelly
Clann Kelly (meaning Kelly Family in Irish) is an Irish dancing school established in 2016 and is registered with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha, The Irish Dancing Commission, in Dublin, Ireland. We teach both boys and girls—ages 5 to adult—the steps, rhythms and movements of Irish dancing. This dance form is an excellent way for children and adults both to stay active and strong. From our smallest beginners to our champions, Clann Kelly dancers strive for excellence both on stage and in the classroom. Though competition is not a requirement for attendance, Clann Kelly encourages dancers to compete at the appropriate level with Anna’s guidance.
Clann Kelly seeks to present an atmosphere for learning Irish dancing that is positive, healthy and fosters friendships between all our dancers. Our school’s name was chosen because we truly believe that when you enter Clann Kelly, you’re not just gaining a dance school—you’re gaining an extended family.
“Nothing Without Labour” is the motto of County Down, where Anna’s mother’s side of the family is from, as well as the unofficial school motto. We know that each medal or trophy earned at a competition is a reflection of the hard work our students put in during their class and practice time. By making the most of every lesson, our classes not only teach traditional Irish dancing, but also the value of healthy work ethic, determination, and discipline. In the competitive arena, Clann Kelly dancers are expected to display the highest degree of good sportsmanship—humble in victory, and gracious in defeat.