At the Harney Academy, our teachers are one of our greatest assets. It is their dedication and commitment to fostering a positive and friendly environment that allows students the opportunity to develop the skills and abilities need to be a world class Irish Stepdancer and performer.

Our teachers Stepdancing and Ceili expertise: coupled with extensive ballet, jazz, drama, and modern dance training and choreography, provides a well blended teaching environment for all students to embrace. In addition to their extensive experience, our teachers hold certifications in Stepdancing (T.C.R.G.), Ceili dancing (T.M.R.F), and Adjudication (A.D.C.R.G.).

Our teachers consistently review and discuss a student's progress and attentively look for those "teachable moments" to provide the coaching and feedback necessary for success as well as relying on a variety of teaching tools to support a student's learning and practice routines.

Liam Harney

Liam Harney is a two-time World Champion Irish Stepdancer and founder of the Harney Academy.

It is through Liam's dynamic style and positive attitude that has propelled the students of the Academy into World Class distinction. His personal commitment and spirited personality invigorates and fuels the school's dance programs

His skills as a choreographer coupled with his extensive performing arts background transcends the school and immerses students progressive and traditional dance numbers.

He is a certified instructor and adjudicator, has notably starred in Waves; a world renown Irish performance and is currently starring in his own touring Irish Dance show "Celticfusion".
  • 1984 Junior Men's World Champion
  • 1987 Senior Men's World Champion
  • Top 100 Irish Americans
  • Arts Recognition and Talent Search (A.R.T.S) Recipient, awarded by President Ronald Reagan
  • Numerous Regional and National Titles
Performance and Choreographer Credits
  • "CelticFusion" - US, Chile, United Kingdom, Germany
  • "Waves" - Ireland
  • "RiverDance" - London
  • "Folger's Coffee Commercial"
  • "Blown Away" - Starring Jeff Bridges
  • "Flight from the Hungry Land" - Australia, On Broadway
  • "Dancing at Lughnasa" - Starring Michael Learned
  • "Ireland, Where the Song and Dance Began" - Australia/New Zealand
  • "Great Famine Commemoration" - Ireland
  • "Great Famine Suite" - Ireland
  • "River of Sound" - Starring Eileen Ivers and Liam Harney
  • "Those Wicked Feet" - Ireland
  • "42nd St","Hello Dolly","Chicago" - Musicals
  • "The Late Late Show" with Gay Burn
  • "Breakfast Time" - New York Talk Show
  • "Donnie and Marie" - Television Pilot
  • Organizations - IKEA, Computer Associates, Bridgestone Tires, NJ Democratic Senate, Sun Rider
  • Celebrities - Frank Patterson (Tenor), The Chieftains (Band), Sinead O'Connor (Singer), Hal Roach (Comedian)
Dance Company Credits
  • New York City Ballet
  • Dance Ellington
  • Carlisle Project
  • Pennsylvania Ballet
  • Jazz Unlimited Dance Company
  • Trinity Dance Company
  • Footworks
  • Holland American Cruise Lines
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Radio City Music Hall - New York, NY
  • Dorothy Chandler Pavilion - Los Angeles, CA
  • Kennedy Center - Washington, DC
  • Shrine Auditorium
  • Ford Amphitheater - Los Angeles, CA
  • Wolftrap - Washington, DC
  • Filenes Center - Maryland
  • Redlunds Bowl - Redlunds, CA
  • Lincoln Center - New York, NY
  • Grande Theater of Chile
  • Symphony Hall - Boston, MA
  • The White House - President Clinton
  • Ireland - President Mary Robinson
  • Brazil - President Mary Macaleas

Sally Harney

Sally Harney came to the United States in 1957, bringing with her the customs, culture and traditions of her native County Donegal. Examples of these traditions are the Christmas Rhymers, Donegal Lancer Set Dance and also other dances not seen in other parts of Ireland such as the "turf dance", the "broom dance", and "over the tongs"As a teacher and assistant director of choreography for the Harney Academy, Sally has a deep commitment to pass on the traditions of Irish step dancing to all of our students. Her boundless energy and enthusiasm is felt every day as she prepares and coaches students for competitions and local performances.

She is the instructor for the Hanafin-Cooley Branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann and has prepared and presented weekly dance workshops for the past twelve years. Her contribution to the success of set dancing in the Boston area has been enormous. Sally continues to volunteer each year at the Comhaltas tent at the festival for the Irish Cultural Center where new people of all ages are exposed and intrigued by the fun of Irish music and dance.

Sally is a special honoree in the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Comhaltas on Friday, October 14, 2011 at the Waltham High School.

Norine Holleck Fetter, TCRG

Norine began her Irish Dance career at the age of three. As the youngest of four dancing sisters, she practically learned the jig as she was learning to walk! Norine grew up in the Chicago-land area where she danced with the Sheila Tully Academy. During her competitive years, Norine had the opportunity to dance across the United States, Canada and in Ireland. She was the Mid-West Regional Champion 7 times, and placed in the top three at the National Level. Norine’s favorite memories of dance however, were the ones where she achieved titles in team dancing with her dance classmates as well as taking part in performances where she was able to spread her Irish heritage with others.  When Norine was asked to join the Trinity Irish Dance company (TIDC) in 1997, she gladly accepted this opportunity to perform, which allowed her the  advantage of pursuing her collegiate endeavors while also being able to tour.  She spent 5 years touring with TIDC across the United States and parts of Europe where she was able to continue her passion to perform with a team and broaden access to the art of Irish dance and culture.

Norine became a registered TCRG with An Comisiun le Rince Gaelacha, and trained solo and team dancers with the Sheila Tully Academy in Chicago for over 10 years. Norine earned her degree in Special Education from Loyola University in Chicago and taught students with disabilities in grades K-4 until she 
moved out East after the birth of her first child. Now the mother of two, Norine is very happy that she is able to continue her love of teaching children, as well as Irish Dance, with the Harney Pender Keady Academy!

Sara Ann McLaughlin Flaherty

Sara Ann McLaughlin began step dancing at age four and since then has continued to give so much or her time, energy and love for dancing back to the Irish community. As a certified instructor (T.C.R.G) and regional champion, Sara Ann has been teaching Ceili and Step Dancing for several years as well as performing at a number of venues domestically and internationally.

Irish dancing has offered Sara Ann tremendous opportunities through performances and competition. She has performed with such talented acts as The Eileen Ivers Band, Barleycorn, Drop Kick Murphys, John McDermott, Dublin City Ramblers, and many others. She was honored to perform with Liam Harney and his dancers from Celticfusion at the Millennium Gala in Mainz, Germany. She also has the privilege of performing for Former Irish President Mary Robinson. Sara Ann has competed regionally, nationally, and internationally at the World Championships and most notably won the Senior Lady's Competition at the New England Oireachtas.

For the past eight years, Sara Ann has been teaching and sharing her love of step dancing with the students from the Harney Academy.

Colleen Lively, PT, DPT, TCRG

Colleen is one of Liam’s first students and has danced with the Harney Academy for over 20 years. Dancing at the Harney Academy has not only provided Colleen with many unique opportunities, it has also given her an appreciation of her Irish heritage, and the confidence, discipline, and drive to succeed in all other aspects of her life.

Over these 20 years, Colleen has had many accomplishments including Two-time North American Irish Dance Champion and eight-time New England Irish Dance Champion. She has also had the honor of winning multiple Regional, National and World titles as a member of Harney Academy teams.

Colleen has also had unique performance opportunities. She has toured with Celticfusion and the Liam Harney Irish Dance Company on both their US and European tours. It was also an honor to perform for two presidents including President William Clinton and President Mary Robinson of Ireland. Some of her other favorite performances include dancing with Dropkick Murphys, Eileen Ivers, John McDermott, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and in the MGM motion picture Blown Away

Not only is Colleen certified to teach Irish Dancing (TCRG), she has also earned her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Simmons College. Dr. Lively is currently practicing at Sports and Physical Therapy Associates, specializing in dancer’s injuries.

The tradition and love of Irish Step Dancing is something dancing at the Harney Academy has given Colleen; and something she strives to pass on to our current students. “The Harney Academy will always be more than a dance school to me, it’s a family.”

Seán Collins

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Seán started dancing, at the relatively late age of 13, under Patricia Kennelly at the Kennelly School of Irish Dancing in San Francisco.  Through hard work and the amazing, traditional, Kerry style taught by Patricia, he moved through the ranks and won his first North American Championship, four years after he started competing in 2002.  He continued to win two more North American Championships (2003/2006), place top five at the World Championships, 2nd place at the British Nationals, and also has numerous regional titles and world medals.

Seán was lucky enough to dance with some incredibly talented musicians: The Chieftains, Cherish the Ladies, Lúnasa (featured dancer at the Hollywood Bowl’s Celtic Connections Concert), Solas, Altan, Beoga, Eileen Ivers, Martin Hayes, and Andrew McNamara. One of his favorite moments was when he was featured also on Ireland’s TG4 Show, Féilte, where he danced a trad. hornpipe while his teacher, Patricia, a button accordion player, played alongside him.  That night, he felt, was what Irish dancing was all about: great music, a good traditional dance, and being surrounded by great friends.

Seán currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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