Meet The Team
TCRG, Founder and Director
Lizzy began Irish dancing at the age of 4 with the John O’Keefe School of Irish Dance in Connecticut. She competed at the Regional, National, All Ireland, and All European levels. In addition to her competitive Irish dance career, Lizzy has participated in many stage productions, performing with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, Grammy Award-winning artists The Chieftains, John Whelan, and on local television networks. She student-taught with the John O’Keefe School and then continued teaching at local dance studios in the New York area while attending Manhattanville College. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Dance in May 2011 from Manhattanville College. She achieved her Teagascóir Choimisiúin le Rinci Gaelacha (TCRG) certification in December 2013. She taught with the O'Rourke School of Irish Dance in New York from 2013-2016. In 2016 she relocated to Baltimore, Maryland and started teaching with the Hurley School through 2021. In 2021, she left Baltimore and moved her family to South Carolina in order to finally make the life ong goal come true: founding The O’Keefe Academy!
She is excited to bring her enthusiasm and passion for Irish dance to the Low Country!
Lizzy is a certified member of An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha.
Director of Operations
Chris met Lizzy in 2015 and quickly learned that Irish dance was her life. After Lizzy invited him to his first competition, on his birthday (the 2016 National Championships in Providence, Rhode Island), Chris started learning about all things Irish dance! Since that first competition, Chris’s love for the sport has only grown, with Lizzy as his guide. He was brave enough to help Lizzy during quarantine in 2020 as a "student example," as she taught Zoom classes in their living room. He quickly ‘hung up his shoes’ once Lizzy got back to in-person classes and has settled into his role as “Director of Operations.” Chris and the Animal Assistants, Spike, Belle, Potayto and Dasher (Animal Assistants) are the ever-reliant support staff to Lizzy. Originally hailing from Massachusetts, Chris is at the ready to answer any question in layman's terms or to share a funny story of his introduction to this fast-paced exhilarating sport.
Spike, Belle, Potayto, Dasher
Animal Assistants, Support Staff, Mascots
Every school needs a mascot and the O'Keefe Academy has four! Spike, Belle, Potayto and Dasher are three wonderful chihuahua's and a kitten we love so much. Spike has been attending classes as ‘Director of Morale’ since 2014 where he was most often found in a dancers lap taking a break or greeting all who enter the studio. Potayto has been studying for her TCRG since 2020 but has decided being Lizzy’s assistant is her career of choice. Belle has strolled into one lone dance class and was not invited back due to ‘excessive cheering’ and now helps Chris with operations duties. All three chihuahuas can be spotted donning their O’Keefe sweatshirts around town, at events or parades ready for a friendly pet or photo op! Dasher the kitten also helps Chris as Assistant to the Director of Operations.