V A L H A L L A
Home of Regional & National Champions
and World Medal Holders
Formerly O'Rourke Irish Dancers
LuAnn O'Rourke-Boyd, TCRG/ADCRG - LuAnn O’Rourke-Boyd, ADCRG, grew up in Yonkers, New York and studied Irish Dance since the age of six with Eileen Morr, Michael Smith and Margaret Pike. Throughout LuAnn’s Irish Dancing career she continually ranked in the top ten regionally and competed at the National and World level. LuAnn graduated from college with Honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Communications. A year of college was also dedicated to majoring in dance including ballet, jazz and modern technique. In addition, LuAnn was the Director of Technology Training for a large corporation until the terrorist attacks on 9/11 at which point she decided to start a family and take her part time Irish Dance school full time.
LuAnn started O’Rourke Irish Dancers based in New York in 1995 and has been teaching for 26 years. LuAnn is also raising three children with her husband Steve. O’Rourke Irish Dancers runs a very successful feis which hosts 1,000 competitors each year in the beautiful Perform Arts Center of SUNY Purchase College. O’Rourke Irish Dancers performs at many local events including parades and festivals and has appeared on various television shows. O’Rourke Irish Dancer’s has produced Regional and National Champions for both solos and teams among podium placers and World Medal holders.
LuAnn received her T.C.R.G. (Teachers Certificate Rinci Gaelacha) from An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha of Ireland in 1994. LuAnn later received her A.D.C.R.G. from An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha in 2007 which allows her to adjudicate Irish Dance competitions throughout the world. LuAnn judges many feiseanna throughout the United States and Canada. Additionally, she has recently judged the North American Championships held in Orlando, FL in 2016 and the prestigious Irish Dancing World Championships being held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2018. In December 2018, O'Rourke Irish Dancers merged with Doherty Petri Irish Dance.
Kelly Pappas, TCRG
Kelly Pappas, TCRG began Irish Dance at age 10 as one of the first students at O'Rourke Irish Dancers when it opened its doors in 1995. Her love of competing led her to become the first student in the O’Rourke School to reach Preliminary Championships, as well as the first to attend the Mid-Altantic Oireachtas as a solo competitor. Throughout high school, Kelly was an assistant teacher at O’Rourke and took a short break from teaching to attend college at Fordham University in New York City, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2007. After returning from college, Kelly joined O’Rourke once again as an assistant teacher. She also competed on the adult 8-Hand and 4-Hand teams, winning both regional and national championships. Kelly earned her T.C.R.G. in 2012. She currently teaches the Adult Solo classes and assists with the pre-school and beginner classes at the White Plains studio.
Claire Donnelly, TCRG
Claire Donnelly, TCRG began Irish dancing at the age of 9 in Dayton, Ohio. She danced competitively for 13 years at the Celtic Academy under the instruction of Kathleen Dwyer and Mary Laffey, and later as a workshop student of Michael Smith. She competed at numerous regional and national championships throughout her competitive career, qualifying and dancing at the World Championships three times. She competed on ceili teams at the regional, national, and world championship levels. Claire started teaching with LuAnn at O'Rourke Irish Dancers in 2008 while attending Fordham University, and she feels lucky to have been welcomed into this dance family. Claire is grateful to have the opportunity to share her knowledge and passion of Irish dance and culture through teaching.
Maura Zipf, TCRG
Maura Zipf, TCRG Maura Zipf began Irish Dance at the age of 8. She danced competitively for 12 years at O’Rourke Irish Dancers. She competed at numerous regional and national championships as a team and then solo dancer, competed internationally at the Worlds as a team dancer, and at the All-Scotland Championships as a solo dancer. Throughout high school and college, Maura was an assistant teacher at O’Rourke and after graduating from the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University in 2016, and in Dublin, passed her T.C.R.G. exam in 2016. Maura has always had a love of Irish Dance and hopes it will always be a part of her life.