Inishfree Austin is under the direction of former Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames Lead Dancer, Patrick McCarthy, Championship Dancer, Pierce Beach, and World champion Neill Reagan. Kathleen McCarthy is our guest teacher and is also a former Lord of the Dance Lead Dancer. Emily Touzin and Leslie Touzin Middleton are guest teachers from our sister school in Dallas, Texas.
Patrick McCarthy, ADCRG
Patrick is a native of Belfast, Ireland and has over 20 years of competitive dance experience. He has five years dancing globally as part of Michael Flatley’s world touring and record breaking troupes. Patrick was a consistent top 3 competitor in all the major Irish Dance competitions. As well as being a qualified Irish dance instructor and adjudicator, Patrick also has an honors degree in Physical Therapy. Incorporating Irish Dance with his knowledge of injury and prevention is another reason Inishfree Dancers keep their bodies in tip-top condition. Patrick's main focus in class is to help develop the young dancers, choreograph material, and work closely with the Texan Champion dancers.
Neill Reagan, ADCRG
Neill is one of the first American competitors to win the World Irish Dance Championships as well as a whole host of other championships. Neill was the founding teacher at Inishfree Central Texas. Over the years Neill has taught many Regional and National champions. Neill is a qualified Irish Dance Instructor and Adjudicator.
Pierce Beach, TCRG
Pierce is a Regional Champion and has competed and placed in both solo and team dancing at the World Championships. Pierce was one of the very first Southern Region Oireachtas Champions. From the age of ten, until he retired, Pierce qualified for the World Championships in both solo and team dancing. Pierce works mainly with new dancers and over the last two years has developed a talent for this. Inishfree has some of the most talented young dancers in the region with three of our youngest dancers being crowned Regional Champions this year.
Kathleen McCarthy, TCRG
Kathleen has been dancing since three years of age, along with her brother Patrick, in Belfast, Ireland. She teaches at Inishfree, Ireland and brings a unique perspective to our class. Kathleen, as well as winning numerous championships worldwide, has danced the female lead role in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. On top of this, she danced alongside Michael in the Celtic Tiger production. Kathleen is featured in the most recent most recent production of Lord of the Dance 3D. Kathleen visits Texas numerous times throughout the year and has built a special bond with all our Texan dancers.
Emily Touzin, founding director of The Emerald School in Dallas, TX, was born in Dublin, Ireland, where she began Irish step dancing at the age of 4. She was the first teacher to bring Irish dancing to Texas, both in the Houston and Dallas areas. She has been actively involved in promoting Irish dance as a board member of the Southwest Celtic Music Association and participation in the North Texas Irish Festival since its beginning over 25 years ago.
Emily has taught Irish dance in many local schools for the students to perform in cultural fairs and talent shows. She has also taught Irish ceili dancing to many organizations and called many ceili dances for others, including the North Texas Irish Festival. Her desire to pass on her Irish heritage and love for Irish dancing to her students is evident in all of her classes and workshops.
Leslie Touzin Middleton, TCRG
Leslie began Irish dancing when she was 3 years old. She received her certification to teach Irish dancing, TCRG, from The Irish Dance Commission, An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha in Dublin, Ireland in 2000 and is a member in good standing of the Irish Dance Teacher’s Association of North America.
Her successful career in Irish dance includes many performances and competitions throughout the North Texas area including the North Texas Irish Festival, the International Festival, the State Fair of Texas, South Fork Ranch, television, weddings, parties, schools, festivals, conventions, and church retreats. She currently is the director of Inishfree Dallas.
Among her other accomplishments in dance, Leslie has experience in jazz and modern dance. She was a member of her high school drill team becoming an officer and Captain her senior year gaining extensive experience in dance choreography.
Along with her weekly Irish dance classes, Leslie also teaches workshops for schools, theater groups and other organizations.
As a commitment to child safety the Inishfree teachers complete and have passed a background check through the Irish Dancing governing body, An Comisiun Le Rince Gaelacha.