Dance Director, Instructor

 

Lauren started dancing at age four - doing the usual tap, ballet and jazz - then saw Irish Dance in her recital, tried a one-week Irish Dance summer camp, and the rest is history!

She has performed all over the Twin Cities, for crowds from small retirement homes to 7000+ people at the Xcel Energy Center, and on the main stage at Irish Fair with Scottish/Irish trad band Mànran.

Lauren danced competitively for many years, travelling all over the U.S. and to Canada and Ireland for competitions, including the North American Open, the Canadian Open, the Irish Open and the World Championships.  In February 2020, Lauren came out of retirement for one last competition and became the 2020 CRN Under 21 North American Champion!

Lauren spent most of her career dancing with Cumann Rince Náisiúnta (the National Dance Association of Ireland).  She began studying to be a certified Irish Dance teacher in 2016, and in March 2020 she became just the eighth person in the U.S. (and the youngest American) to be fully certified with CRN!  Lauren has taught Irish Dance since 2014, from Littles to Champions, including coaching and choreography for performance and competition teams.

 

She  is a proud member of the Irish Music and Dance Association (IMDA), and received their Decade of Dance Award in 2016.

Lauren is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Irish Dance Studies with the University of Limerick's Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.  In 2021 she graduated from Macalester College with a double major in Education and English (and minors in Spanish and Linguistics).  Lauren is also certified through the American Red Cross in adult and pediatric First Aid / CPR / AED. 

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Lauren
Instructor

Margaret started Irish dancing at age 12.  She danced for six years, performing around the Twin Cities and competing throughout the U. S. and in Ireland at Worlds in 2014.

 

Margaret took some time off from dancing during college, but during her senior year, decided to return to competition, and at Nationals 2018 she became the U23 North American Open Champion! 

 

A few months later, after graduating from Augsburg College with a degree in Special Education, Margaret decided to concentrate on training to become an Irish Dance teacher with Cumann Rince Náisiúnta.  She moved to Ireland in 2018 to train with adjudicator/instructor Ann English.  While in Ireland Margaret competed in the Irish Open and World Open Championships.  She achieved the designation TMCRN in 2019. In August of 2022, Margaret passed her last exams and became fully certified as ODCRN.

 

Margaret works as a social worker for children and adults with developmental disabilities and teaches at Rince na Gréine.  Margaret is certified in First Aid and CPR. In her free time she can be found giggling over her cats or reading.

Margaret Schmitz
Marge
Instructor

Julia is an Irish Dance Champion who has been Irish dancing since age 7 and teaching Irish Dance since 2017.

Julia has been competing since the fall of 2017. She became a World Qualifier at her first Nationals in 2018. She became a Champion in Winnipeg at the Canadian Open Championship in 2019. She has won the Canadian Open Championship twice, as well as the Australian Open Championship once. In 2022, she won the North American National Championship, and placed 9th at the World Open Championship in Killarney.

Performing is also a big part of Julia's career.  She has performed for many years around the Twin Cities area, including on stage with the bands Jig Jam and Ring of Kerry.  In 2020, Julia was accepted to and attended the Riverdance Summer School. She has attended twice more since then, and last time she even got to learn the Female Lead choreography!

Julia has begun teacher training with the goal of receiving her ODCRN. She says, "Irish dancing is one of the most important things to me, and being able to share my passion with young dancers is incredible. I hope to help young dancers grow into amazing, talented athletes, and also inspire them to chase their dreams!"

Julia attends Macalester College in St. Paul.

Instructor

 

Chrystal started Irish dancing at age 40, and her interest quickly snowballed into competing and teaching. As an Associate Member of CRN, she taught beginner and intermediate dancers from ages 3 to 60. She has a special love for performance choreography and team dancing. 

 

A highlight of her Irish dance career was serving as the Assistant Coach for the Loring Leopards Irish dance team, an after school program at the Loring Community School in North Minneapolis. She has also taught adaptive Irish dance to adults with developmental disabilities. 

 

Chrystal was also an Irish dance mom for more than a decade. (She recommends "spin pins" to keep that wig on!) She has two grown daughters, and lives in Excelsior with her husband Mark and dogs Cricket and Junie.

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Julia
Chrystal
Chrystal O'Hanlon
Instructor

 

Lillian has been Irish dancing since age 5, and competing with CRN all across the United States since 2017. She qualified for the World Championships in 2019 at the Canada Feile. 

 

Lillian also really enjoys performing. She has performed for many years around Minnesota, including with the band Ring of Kerry and at the Irish Fair of Minnesota.  In summer 2020, Lillian was accepted to and attended the Riverdance Summer School, where she got to learn numbers from the show from current Riverdance cast members! She went on to attend the Riverdance Christmas Experience in 2020, the Riverdance summer school again in 2021. 

When she isn’t at school or dance, Lillian likes to go outside, play her violin, train her dog Ernie, and choreograph with her sister, Julia.

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Lillian
Instructor

Elin Eve started Irish dancing at the age of four, and she’s been dancing ever since. 

 

Elin began competing with Cumann Rince Náisiúnta (CRN) as a solo dancer, and as part of ceili and figure teams, in 2017.  She became a World Qualifier at 14.  Elin has achieved many of her personal Irish dance goals including attaining Craobhgrad status and becoming a champion dancer in 2020, and in 2022 she placed 2nd at the CRN North American Championships. She was part of the Freestyle team that took 3rd at Worlds and earned 12th place as a soloist in the U18 World Championships in Killarney, Ireland.

 

Elin received the Minnesota Irish Music and Dance Association (IMDA) “Decade of Irish Dance” award in 2019.  She always enjoys performing in the community; some of her favorite memories are performing annually at the Day of Irish Dance (at the Landmark Center) and at the Irish Fair of Minnesota. 

 

Elin is a 2022 graduate of Park Center High School in Brooklyn Park where she was actively involved in choir, band, theater as well as the PSEO (post secondary program). She will be attending  Brigham Young University in Utah this year, where she plans to study acting and creative writing - and is excited to join the university’s Irish dance club.

 

Elin loves being part of the Rince na Gréine Irish Dance family both as a dancer and a teacher.

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Business Manager

 

Kim was a dance mom for seventeen + years, so she understands what the parents of our dancers want and need.  She has managed a couple other dance studios and is thrilled to be fulfilling her dream of running an Irish Dance studio with her daughter, Lauren.

Kim graduated from St. Olaf College with a double major in French Language and French History & Civilization, and later got her Master's in International Management (MIM) from the University of St. Thomas.  She is currently the Office Manager for Animal Adventure in Hopkins. 

Kim has been married to her best friend since 1987.  Besides Lauren, Kim and Michael also had a son, Tyler, who died in 2021 at the age of 24.  They miss him every single day.

Kim