Rita O’Shea (ADCRG/ BG)
Rita O’Shea-Chaplin was born in Galway, Ireland, and was a champion dancer. She has taught Irish dance in both Ireland and America for more than 65 years. Rita is a registered teacher, adjudicator, and examiner with the Irish Dance Commission of Dublin, Ireland. Rita has trained many dancers for their teacher’s and adjudicator’s certificates. Rita also served as a member of the examining committee of An Coimisiún Rince na hEireann (Irish Dance Commission). She has taught thousands of children Irish culture through the medium of Irish dance, and many of her students are now dancing teachers and adjudicators themselves.
Lisa Chaplin McAllister (ADCRG/ BG)
Lisa Chaplin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and has over 30 years experience teaching Irish dancing. She was the State and New England Regional Champion many times and was the North American Champion in 1981. Lisa is a well-known choreographer and has taught many Irish dance workshops throughout the country. Lisa is also a registered teacher and adjudicator with the Irish Dance Commission of Dublin, Ireland.
Julie Horkan Meringer (TCRG)
“I started my Irish dance career with Rita O’Shea at the young age of 4. With both my parents’ Irish immigrants, they wanted to ensure that I was exposed to Irish culture, and dance was the outlet. Under Rita’s guidance and teaching, I quickly advanced in dance. From 1976 until I went to college in 1987, I competed in and won various local, regional, and national titles. In 1983, I was the North American Champion for my age – an accomplishment I could not have achieved without Rita’s teaching and support. As the mother of three young daughters, I am thrilled that they are now students of both Rita O’Shea and Lisa Chaplin.”
Maura Masterson (ADCRG)
Maura has been a member of the O’Shea-Chaplin Academy for over 20 years. Maura loves to watch the children grow and progress as individuals and dancers, into teenagers and young adults. She became a registered teacher with the Irish Dance Commission of Dublin, Ireland, in 2003. She is currently an Activity Director at a local retirement home and is thrilled to remain affiliated with the O’Shea-Chaplin Academy.
Sharon Reidy Peterson (TCRG)
“What I love the most about being an Irish Step Dancing teacher, is the opportunity I have to help young people build confidence and a stronger sense of self, just like Rita and Lisa helped me to do. I am thrilled that I am able to pass on to others what they gave to me.” Sharon has been with the O’Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance for approximately 20 years. Sharon is a registered teacher with the Irish Dance Commission of Dublin, Ireland, and we are proud to have her on our teaching staff at the O’Shea-Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance.
Aisling Francouer (TCRG)
Rita O’Shea gave Aisling her first pair of ghillies at the age of 5 months. Inevitably, Aisling would one day join the team of dance instructors that led her to such great success in her career. Aisling competed in many local, regional, national, and international competitions. She was the New England Regional Senior Lady Champion in 2007. Aisling hung up her dancing shoes in 2009 after graduating from Boston College with degrees in English and Communications. She is a registered teacher with the Irish Dance Commission of Dublin, Ireland. When she is not teaching dancing, she is working as a Senior Development Editor at UpToDate, Inc, an online medical information publication for clinicians and patients.