Faculty

Maureen Collins ADCRG, TCRG, Owner/Director (All Locations)

Maureen_C

Maureen is a certified Irish Dance adjudicator (ADCRG) & instructor (TCRG) with An Chomhdhail in Ireland and a founding member of the USA Irish Dance Alliance. She has earned countless titles and accolades in the world of Irish dancing. As a former Riverdance performer, Maureen had the opportunity to dance for the Kennedy family at the Kennedy Arts Center & in front of standing room only audiences at the Broadway Gershwin Theater in Manhattan. Winning several regional & local championships, one of Maureen’s greatest personal achievements was winning the North American Irish dancing competition two years in a row. However, her greatest achievements now is watching her students work hard, perform his or her best & help them achieve their own Irish dancing goals. It is her energy and that keeps the LYNN & LOGQ Academy moving forward in the world of Irish step dancing.

ADCRG – Certified Irish Dance Adjudicator
TCRG – Certified Irish dance instructor
USA IDA – Treasurer
NAIDP – Executive Director of the National Alliance of Irish Dance Professionals
Performed with the NY Broadway & the Lee Company Show Riverdance
Two-time 1st place finisher – North American Irish Dance Championships
Two-time 1st place finisher Mid Atlantic & Southern Regional Championships
Placed in the World Irish Dancing Championships in Ireland
National Foundation for the Advancement of Arts Financial Scholarship
Produced Dancers who have placed top 3 in the All Irelands, Worlds, British Nationals, Great Britain’s, as well as dancers win the All Scotland’s, North American Championships & Regional Oireachtas Championships.
Directed a dance drama that placed 5th at the World Championships.
Graduate Degree: MBA Iona Hagen School of Business
College Degree: BS in Accounting Villanova University

Laura O’Hanlon, Associate (Stamford, CT, Pearl River, NY Location)

Hi everyone, my name is Laura O’Hanlon and I have been teaching with Lynn for the last 2 years, but my journey with the school began at 4 1/2 when I joined the school and began my dancing career. I love teaching and watching each dancer grow and progress while developing new skills along the way. Can’t wait to see the returning students and meet the dancers joining us for the first time this year!

Kate Bortz, TCRG (Hillsborough, NJ Location)

Kate Bortz began dancing at 5 years old under the direction of Maureen O’Grady.  In her nearly two decades of training, she had reached Open Championship, competed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Oireachtas over 10 times, placed in the top 20 at the National Championships and qualified for the World Championships three times. Additionally, Kate received a pre-professional training in ballet and modern dance at the Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, where she excelled in ballet and was selected for the Joffrey Ballet’s Trainee Program and the Bolshoi Ballet’s exchange program in after only 4 years of training. Kate is extremely excited to be teaching with Lynn and can’t wait to help the dancers achieve their goals!

Ashley Tuccinardi, Associate (Stamford, CT, Pearl River, NY Location)

 Ashley Tuccinardi began dancing at the age of seven under the direction of Maureen Collins, having been one of her first students! It did not take long for Ashley to fall in love with the technique, grace and rhythm of Irish dancing and soon began to compete. Some of her most notable career highlights include 3x New England Regional Champion, National Champion and earning a spot on the podium at the 2013 World Championships, placing Fifth. Ashley has also danced alongside Eileen Ivers, American Fidler and on stage at The Grand Ole Opry. Ashley has previously taught Beginner- Open Championship dancers with the Lynn Academy, but took a hiatus to pursue her career in teaching in 2015-2016. She has earned her B.S. in Elementary Education and M.S. Special Education. Ashley has enjoyed teaching over the last seven years in First Grade, Kindergarten and Special Education in a specialized classroom for students specifically with ASD. In her free time, she enjoys working out and competing in Crossfit. Ashley is very excited to work with the families and dancers this upcoming school year to share her love of teaching, dancing and fulfilling a healthy lifestyle!

Ceire Clarke, Associate (Stamford, CT, Pearl River, NY Location)

Hello! My name is Céire Clarke and I am from Greenwich, CT. My parents are from County Louth, Ireland and they are the ones to thank for getting me involved in the Irish Dance world! Being 100% Irish has been such a staple in who I am today. I started Irish Dancing at 5 years old to be more  associated with my culture, which led to being a competitive Irish Dancer for 14 years with Lynn Academy as well as at the collegiate level at Sacred Heart University. In 2019, I graduated from UConn’s Neag School of Education with my B.S. in Comprehensive Special Education (K-12) and in 2020 I graduated with my M.A. in Educational Psychology. Currently I am a second year high school special education teacher at New Canaan Public Schools. I am looking very forward to working with the Irish Dance community that I grew up with!

Lily Schwoerer, Associate (Stamford, CT, Pearl River, NY Location)

Hi my name is Lily Schwoerer and I was a dancer at Lynn for about 10 or so years. During that time I competed regionally, nationally, and internationally and hold a world metal. I am a recent graduate of Uconn and currently work in healthcare administration. I’m so excited to be working with dancers and can’t wait to see what the year brings!

Patrick Quinlivan, TCRG (zoom and online classes)

Originally from New York City, but growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Patrick Quinlivan began his Irish dance career at the age of 6 years old and danced competitively for over 15 years. In January of 2012, Patrick received his TCRG and is now a full-time teacher with LYNN Academy. Over the course of his competitive career, Patrick has medaled at the North American Nationals, All Irelands Championships, and World Dancing championships, the most prestigious awards being 4th at the Worlds in 2005 and 3rd at the Nationals in 2010. Additionally, Patrick is an 8-time Southern Regional champion and has been the team captain on several winning ceili teams. Currently, Patrick serves on the USA IDA executive branch board as the assistant treasurer. In his life outside of dance, Patrick obtained his PhD in chemistry from Columbia University and works full-time as a Research Scientist for BASF. Patrick’s love and passion for Irish Dance can be seen every time he steps into the dance studio and enjoys nothing more than to share his talents with the next generation of LYNN dancers.

Mary LYNN Collins-Callanan, Associate (consultant)

ML I have been involved in Irish dance for over 20 years. In my younger years I was a Regional and National Champion and a World Champion recaller. I left Irish dance and pursued my ballet career which included performances with the Pennsylvania Ballet and New York City Ballet companies; working with such prestigious artists as Peter Martins, Heather Watts and Sean Lavery.

Following my retirement from ballet my sister Maureen Collins ADCRG asked me to join her in establishing the LYNN ACADEMY of Irish step dance. I have enjoyed being an assistant coach and teacher to our dancers and use my ballet and Irish experience to help dancers enjoy the Irish culture and perfect their dance.

My husband and I live in Westchester where we have 4 children who currently take Irish with their “Auntie Moe” and their Mom. We both believe that Irish provides the discipline, courage and grace that is needed to be successful in life. Whether are children are world champions or grade level dancers, we know this sport will provide a solid foundation as they grow into adulthood.

Mary Kate Callanan, Teaching Assistant 

Hi, my name is Mary Kate Callanan. I am 14 years old and I have been dancing since I was 4. I am currently in open championship. In this upcoming year I will help to teach the younger students. I enjoy competing in my solo rounds as well as participating in Ceili dances.  Some of my most proudest achievements were placing 4th in the Nation and receiving a medal at the World Championships. I am looking forward to getting back to class and taking in part in competitions.

Julia Puluka, Teaching Assistant (Hillsborough, NJ Location)

Hi my name is Julia Puluka. I am 16 years old and will be attending Somerville High School as a junior this year. I started dancing 8 years ago. I am currently in open championship. I started to help teach last year and I love working with all the dancers. Some of my favorite Irish dance memories are traveling overseas with some of my closest friends and recalling at the 2019 world championships for the first time. Can’t wait for an amazing year.

Eileen Rella, Teaching Assistant (Stamford, CT Location)

My name is Eileen Rella. I am 13 years old. I am in Pre Open. I have been dancing for a little over 8 years with Lynn. I love competition season but I especially love doing shows. I love when I get to teach other kids because I love helping others and especially when it is Irish Dance.