are committed to teaching Irish dance to boys and girls in a way that
is both true to the roots of the art and innovative in its rhythm and
style. Our goal is to promote a love of dance in a family-oriented,
safe and enriching environment. It is our hope that a dancer will have
fun while realizing their potential. We will encourage the values of
respect, self-discipline, self-confidence and cooperation. Performance
and competition both play an equal role in our instruction. It is the
student's goals that drive the focus of their instruction. Opportunities
in each of these areas will be fostered. We are dedicated to
choreography and footwork of high caliber. This is integral to providing
quality performances in the community. Focus on this level of detail is
also necessary for participating at local, regional, national and world
Inspired by many great teachers, we began the Kinsella Irish Dance to continue the legacy of honoring heritage and tradition in the art of Irish dancing. Kinsella Irish Dance was founded in 2004 during our third year in college. We were married 2007 and now have four children. Two of our children are in our programs and that has really helped us tailor programing to families. We keep costs to a level in which we could afford. We manage a schedule that helps families Irish dance but also have the flexibility to do other things and have family time.
About Our Name
Our school name was selected to honor one of our first teacher, and Ryan's mother, Therese Kinsella. However, both Therese, her husband Lupe, and Brigid's parent's Jerry and Beth O'Sullivan play integral roles in developing a lifelong love of Irish dance, music and all of its traditions. We are grateful to them for their support through the years and in helping us realize our dream of opening our own Irish dance school.
Ryan Alba T.C.R.G.
Irish Dancing has always been a part of my life. My mother, Therese Kinsella, who grew up dancing herself, introduced me to the wonderful art of Irish Dance. From teaching my beginner class, to guiding me through my competition years and beyond, she has always been and continues to be my strongest supporter.
Growing up, I had the privilege of learning from some exceptional teachers. Legendary dance instructors Dennis and Marge Dennehy, ADCRG, along with their daughter Kathy Dennehy, ADCRG, guided and shaped my dancing career. I also had many opportunities to learn from Donny Golden, ADCRG, taking workshops through the Irish Fest summer school program. Collectively, these talented individuals, taught and inspired me to pursue my own teaching career. In 2003, I received my license to become a teacher, my TCRG.
From my teachers, I take pride in the lessons I've learned and the ability to pass it down to the next generation. I am a passionate instructor, and love to see students reach their full potential. Often times, my students surprise themselves, surpassing their own expectations and taking their dance career much further than they or, their parents ever anticipated! More than anything else, I hope to pass down the joy and exhilaration I feel when I dance.
Over the years, I've developed a love for all aspects of Irish dance and music, and more specifically rhythm. The rhythm of the shoes, is the most important part of the art form but, the hardest to master. I try to transfer my deep appreciation for the rhythm of the steps to all my students. My favorite part of class has always been and continues to be inventing and creating new material. As the students advance, I ask them to take part in the process, giving them a chance to take ownership and find a new resurgence in their dancing.
My love of rhythm led me to the Bodhran, the Irish Drum. I started playing when I was 18, and it came very easy to me. I love incorporating the drum wherever and whenever I can into performances, adding another dimension to the show. I do offer drum lessons as well, hoping to start a new chapter in the development of musicianship within the school.
Brigid Kinsella-Alba T.C.R.G.
I began Irish dance at the age of 5 and studied under master teachers Dennis Dennehy, A.D.C.R.G. and his daughter Kathy Dennehy, A.D.C.R.G. My sister started before me and I wanted more than anything to Irish dance. I loved my dance classes and my dance friends quickly became my dance family. My parents were unbelievably supportive and encouraged me to go as far as I could, but they made me work hard at each level.
Ryan and I were in the same beginner class. I told my mom that someday I was going to marry him and that we were both going to be dance teachers, she laughed. We started dating in high school and built a stronger relationship with dance, music and teaching when we were in college. When Ryan got his TCRG and became a certified teacher, we decided to make our dream come true and start our own school. I knew I always wanted to have kids of my own and have a place for them to learn Irish dance that was similar to my up bringing. My goal is to create a class that is a combination of fun and hard work. in a safe learning environment I've loved developing the early childhood programing at the school and working with all of the younger dancers.
I earned my T.C.R.G. in 2008. One of my favorite parts of teaching is learning about dancers. Each dancer is unique and it is so great to learn about their personalities and develop a program that helps them grow and have fun. I also love to mix contemporary music with Irish dance. One of the favorite activities my classes like to do is dancing hop 1,2,3's with scarves to "Let it Go." It's a great warm up and everyone always finishes with enthusiasm and ready to learn more.
My parents made sure that I not only received a strong dance education, they also believed in the importance of music. I started violin when I was 8 years old. When I was 13, I started fiddle lessons with Ed Paluceck and Maria Terres-Sangren. Luckily there were some other musicians my age, so when I was 14, we started a band called, Anam Ri. We played regularly at County Clare, Cecelia's and other Irish bars and even recorded a cd, Live from the Milwaukee Ale House. During this time, I also was invited to be an honorary member of Milwaukee folk group, Leahys' Luck. Tom and Brian Leahy taught me how to be a leader, how to perform, and how to be a better musician. I only play fiddle during our shows and act as the 9:30 music director with my father, who plays guitar, at St. Rose Parish in Milwaukee.
In addition to dance and music, I hold a Bachelor's of Science from the Business College of Marquette University. In addition to teaching at Kinsella, I also work as Assistant to the Vice President of Mission and Ministry, at Marquette University a position which I've held for 7 years.
Liam Alba - Tap and Irish Instructor, Milwaukee and Fox Cities
I started Irish dancing at the age of 4 and tap at the age of 10. I'm currently a student at UWM. With Irish Dancing, I've been a part of ceili teams and competed as both a soloist and on teams at the local, regional, national and international levels. My favorite part of Irish dancing is creating choreography and performing.
I started tap through my many years of musical theatre at Catholic Memorial and recently have begun working with Danceworks for the Tap Summer Showcase. I learned a variety of tap dancing styles from hoofer to musical theatre and even a more classical jazz style. I love tap because it focuses a lot on timing and artistry.
I'm excited to work with dancers and share the love of dancing.
I have been dancing for almost 20 years - the majority of which I have been taught by Brigid and Ryan. I joined Kinsela right away when they opened in 2004, and have loved watching the school grow since. I love rhythm and teaching dancers how to properly execute movements to create clear sounds. I am currently attending graduate school full time at Carroll University to earn my Master's degree in Occupational Therapy. I am so excited to be teaching again.
Back in the day my mother was an Irish dancer, and she got me involved at age 4. I can't thank her enough for getting me involved in such an amazing sport. I have been dancing for 20 years. I graduated with my Bachelors in Business Administration from UW Waukesha. Being an Irish dancer, I've had a lot of remarkable opportunities. I competed as a soloist and also on teams. My solo dancing took me a long way, and I can give a lot of that credit to Ryan and Brigid for helping me and pushing me everyday. I was determined and never let myslef go a day without practicing. I am beyond excited to work with the dancers and help them reach their dreams and goals!