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McConnell School of Dance was founded in Ballymena, Northern Ireland over 80 years ago.  The School was established in Manitoba, Canada in 1947 by the late Sam & Sarah McConnell.  During their 68 year history in Canada, the McConnell Dancers have performed at the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, and across Canada and the United States.  McConnell School of Dance is recognized world-wide for their unique performance-style Irish Dancing
  • Our dancers have participated in 4 C.I.O.F.F.  International Folk Dance Festivals (Peru 2007, Costa Rica, 2009, and Bulgaria, 2011, Peru 2016).
  •  In July 2012 McConnell dancers performed at the American Celtic Irish Dance Festival in Walt Disney World, Florida. 
  • In August 2013 40 members of McConnell School of Dance performed Trasna na dTonnta at the Tailteann Nua Festival in Limerick, Ireland. McConnell dancers have performed with well-known groups such as "The Irish Rovers", "Tommy Makem" and "The Irish Descendants
  • McConnell competitive dancers compete at the World class level. In 2017 eight of our dancers qualified to compete at the C.R.N World Open Championships in Kilarney, Ireland (June 2017)
  • Sponsors of the United Kingdom Pavilion 2014 - 2017
Our Philosophy
Our philosophy is to provide dancers with an encouraging, positive learning environment where students can achieve their individual goals and learn the value of working as part of a team in a family atmosphere. 
  • Our teaching methods are based on Irish tradition and also incorporate modern teaching techniques which accelerate the learning process. 
  • Class sizes are limited to achieve individual focus on our students and classes generally do not exceed an 8 -1 student to teacher ratio.
  • Dancers are all given time with instructors and are assessed at their individual levels and needs.
McConnell School of Dance is well into its 3rd generation, under the direction of Shayleen McConnell Finucan.  With a dedicated and caring team of instructors and assistants, the school continues to thrive, offering classes in Winnipeg, Brandon, and the Interlake, MB.

Welcome to our 2015 - 2016 Season!
Please visit the member's area of our website often for school information & updates. 
All school updates are sent out via e-mail, if you are not receiving regular, please contact us immediately.
  • 2015 - 2016 Registration will be available soon!


       2014 - 2015 FOLKLORAMA
       2014 - 2015 COMPETITIVE SUMMER
       2015 - 2016 GENERAL DIVISION 
       2015 - 2016 PERFORMANCE DIVISION
       2015 - 2016 COMPETITIVE DIVISION
       2015 - 2016 BRANDON DIVISION

Our Programs
Competitive Division
McConnell School of Irish Dance is a registered member of Cumann Rince Náisiúnta(CRN), based in Dublin, Ireland.  Our students compete in CRN's Open Platform Feis (competitions), which take place at the Regional, National, and World Open levels.

  •  Dancers compete in 5 Solo Levels of CRN- Bunghrad,Ullmhuchan, Meanghrad, Ardghrad, Craobhghrad (Champion)
  • Competitions are offered for all ages and abilities, including adult students.
  • Team competitions include all traditional figure dances and modern choreographed routines.
  • CRN U.S.A Feis are held in Minneapolis MN, Dayton OH, Harrisburg PV, Philadelphia PV, Atlanta GA, Dublin CA, and many other cities across the U.S.A, Ireland, and Australia.
  • CRN Dancers also have the option to compete in any Open Platform Feis
The Competitive season extends Sept - May for dancers who wish to compete in our school or nearby competitions. For dancers who wish to compete at the Regional, National, or World competitions, the season will extend Sept - August.
  • Competition is not mandatory for dancers enrolled in Competitive programs. 
  • Our competitive program is ideal for dancers who wish to brush up on technique or who need additional learning time.
Performance Division
For dancers who are dedicated to Irish dance, love to perform, and are motivated to progress to higher levels. Performance Division requires a big commitment from the dancer and their family. 
  •  Dancers are required to attend multiple classes per week, regular workshops, volunteer at events, and participate in group fundraising.
  • Additional Class, Solo, and Show Costumes are required.
  • Performance Division Dancers must be dedicated
McConnell Irish Dancers perform at over 60 shows per year locally, in addition to St. Patrick's, Recital, & Folklorama. 
  • Dancers must maintain an average of 80% show attendance.  St. Patrick's, Recital, and Folklorama performances are mandatory.
  • Performance Dancers may also be invited to participate in International festivals.
The Performance Division Season extends from Sept - Aug (12 months) and dancers commit to performances for the full year. Performance Division applicants must have completed one full season with our school.

Recreational Division
Students who are looking for a recreational Irish dance program are encouraged to enroll in our Recreational Division.
  • Enjoy the Basics of Irish with opportunity to advance to higher levels at your own pace
  • Suitable for dancers from Beginner to Advanced. 
  • General Division is ideal for students new to Irish dance, and dancers who are involved in other activities.
The General Division season extends from September - May (9 months) with optional summer classes for in June and July.
General Division dancers learn traditional and modern styles of Irish dance.  
  • General dancers have the option to take one class per week or attend multiple classes
  • Dancers who take more than one class per week generally progress at a much faster rate.
General Division Students are invited perform at St. Patrick's Fest, Year End Recital, and at Folklorama.

All annoucements are sent out via e-mail.  If  you are not receiving school email updates, please contact us immediately.
Not sure which Division is right for you?  CLICK FOR MORE INFO
Brandon Studio
Located at the Park Community Centre
1428 Louise, Avenue
Brandon Manitoba
Our Brandon classes are held the Park Community Centre on Saturdays.  The hall features a quality hard wood floor and ample space for parents to stay and watch classes or drop dancerse off to get shopping down in downtown, Brandon
McConnell School of Dance
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg Studio
Located in Autumnwood Plaza (32 Barberry Rd)
Our Winnipeg location features 3 dance studios, a waiting room for parents, separate girls and boys change rooms, a well- stocked Irish dance supply store, and free parking. Studios are constructed of sprung wooden floors covered with Rosco Adagio Flooring for non-slip surface.
Interlake Studio
Located at Green Acres Arts Centre
1 Green Acres Way,
 Teulon MB
Teulon classes are held at the Green Acres Arts Centre on Saturdays.  The hall features a quality laminate with sprung floor.  Registration through Green Acres Arts Centre
Hours of Operation
  Mon   5:15 - 9:00 PM
  Tue    5:15 - 9:00 PM
  Wed   5:15 - 9:00 PM
  Thu    5:15 - 9:00 PM
  Fri      Closed
  Sat     9:15 - 4:00 PM
  Sun     Closed

1428 Louise Ave
Brandon, MB

1 Green Acres Park Road,
Teulon, MB

Autumnwood Plaza
32 Barberry Rd

Our studios are closed for all
 statutory holidays, winter break, spring beak,
and on days with major performances
 (St. Patrick's, Recital, Folklorama)