Kelly McDonnell started dancing with the Fleming Ball Irish Dance Academy at the age of three under the instruction of Linda Ball Hoban, following which the talented dancer competed successfully at provincial, all Ireland and world championship levels.
Upon her 16th birthday Kelly turned her love for Irish dancing into her career when she turned professional and has since performed to thousands in some of the most famous and iconic venues all over Europe, America, China, Brazil and many more.
Kelly worked on the Michael Flatley worldwide success ‘Celtic Tiger’, where she was based in Pinewood studios in London for her training and spent ten years touring Germany as lead dancer with the hit show, ‘Magic of the Dance’.
As lead dancer, dance captain and choreographer, Kelly then spent a further five years touring across America with another hit show ‘Women of Ireland’, ahead of working with renowned Irish musician Liam O’Connor on the show ‘Dance with Desire’.
Throughout her time working with Liam, Kelly performed in Croke Park for on ten All Ireland final occasions with in excess of 80,000 people in attendance on each occasion. Other performances at sporting occasions include the Ryder Cup and the JP McManus pro-am at Adare Manor.
Kelly has also performed at the Berlin Festival where she has performed for such celebrities as Liam Neeson, Michael Douglas, Sharon Stone, Samuel L Jackson, Bradd Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo Di Caprio and Sir Bob Geldof.
A former Miss Ireland contestant, Kelly has modelled with the Celia Holman Lee agency and was announced as Miss Clare in 2006.
Following her modelling stint, she turned her focus to education and is now a fully qualified TCRG, which enabled her to return to America where, with the Scariff School of Irish Dancing, she educated and trained young enthusiasts six days per week to a world level standard.
Upon her return to Ireland, Kelly commenced work with the O’Donoghue Ring Hotel Group in Killarney and created the ‘Gaelic Roots’ show which runs for six months from April to October - as Creative Director, Dance Captain and Chorepgrapher, Kelly immersed her work into this successful project for the past three years. Continuously sold out, it is envisaged that the show will run for the next ten years.
Now a resident of Athlone, Kelly has joined one of the noted and best Irish dancing schools, the O’Neill Geraghty Irish Dance Academy, which currently schools almost 300 children with classes in Roscommon, Longford and Dublin.
As a highly qualified and experience teacher, Kelly will now commence Irish dancing classes in Athlone GAA on Monday evenings and it is expected that a second class will be added also.
Promoting both the fun and competitive aspects of Irish dance, Kelly will use these classes to help build confidence in the young girls who attend.
Enrolment evening commences on Monday, January 21 from 6.30pm-7.30pm in Athlone GAA on the Ballymahon Road, Athlone.