- Category: Dancers
The Dennehy School of Irish Dance has been in existence for over 50 years. It was first started by Dennis Dennehy (TCRG; ADCRG) and Marge Dennehy (TCRG; ADCRG). Many of the Irish dancing teachers in the Chicagoland area were pupils of Dennis and Marge. Their most famous pupil by far starred in shows such as Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, and Celtic Tiger (and was the 1975 Senior Boys Under 17 World Champion)––Michael Flatley. In 2005, Dennis and Marge were inducted into the North American Feis Committee Hall of Fame.
The school is now under the direction of Dennis and Marge's daughter Kathy Dennehy (TCRG; ADCRG). Kathy was a championship dancer herself and began teaching at the school when she was in her late teens. A former championship student of the Dennehy's, Kathie Moloney-Horan (TCRG), teaches at the school as well. Recently retired championship dancers of Marge, Dennis, Kathy and Kathie's have also joined the ranks of Dennehy teachers by passing their TCRG exams and becoming Commission Certified Irish Dance Teachers: Kathleen Mesterharm (retired from competition 2007; received TCRG 2007), Clare Nix (retired from competition 2009; received TCRG 2010) and Maggie Putman (retired from competition 2007; received TCRG 2010).
The Dennehy Dancers compete in local, regional, national and international competitions where they have attained great success––the most recent being that of Michael Putman, Boys 16–17 2009 World Champion and Men 17–18 2010 All Ireland Champion. The Dennehy Dancers perform annually at Ireland on Parade and Irish Fest, both at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest, Illinois and Celtic Fest in Grant Park. They have also performed in Dance Chicago at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, at Chicago Bulls games and have been featured on the WGN Midday News. In addition, many of the Dennehy Dancers have performed with the traditional Irish musical groups The Chieftains, Cherish the Ladies and Mick Maloney.