History of Irish Dance in KC

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Christine O’Riada and Joseph Manning | Kansas City Irish Dance

Christine O’Riada

T.C.R.G. & Founder

A Brief History of Irish Dance in KC. Originally from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Christine trained, competed, performed, and taught in Ireland prior to coming to Kansas City and starting the O’Riada Academy of Irish dance.

Christine O’Riada, sweet friend, mother, and founder of the O’Riada Academy of Irish Dance, passed away the morning of April 11, 2013, peacefully and surrounded by family, in Belfast, Ireland. Christine grew up in Belfast with her three sisters and three brothers. She received her TCRG (certified Irish dance teacher) when she was just 21 and came to the U.S. as part of a trio of dancers touring with an Irish band. The lead singer’s sister was a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Christine came to visit and ended up enrolling at UMKC herself. She formed an Irish dance club at Queen of the Holy Rosary school when her twin daughters were in second grade. The club eventually became the O’Riada Academy Of Irish Dance. Christine returned to her Belfast home in 2010, and continued to serve as an adviser to the dance academy she founded. She loved life, dance, coffee and hot drinks in general, chardonnay, crossword puzzles, books, toasted cheese/tomato/avocado sandwiches, Bo Ling’s, Kansas Jayhawks basketball (especially watching the games with her girls), collecting Irish Santa Claus figurines, ceilis, seisiuns and outings with friends, and much, much more. She had many “Christine-isms” including: “to make a long story short”; “bloody hell”; “you silly goose”; “drive safe, you’ve got precious cargo in there,” and “that’s neither here nor there.” She once got out of a speeding ticket by telling the officer she was just driving to the speed of her music, which was 100 percent true. Welcoming her to the big ceili in the sky are her twin sister Patsy, brother Sean and her parents. She is survived by her “little monkeys,” Tara and Ciara

In 2010 Joseph Manning took over the academy. Contact us for more information on how you can get started with O’Riada Manning Academy of Irish Dance