Bella Yerina - TCRG
Founder and Owner
Bella is originally from Tremor Ireland where she danced with the Troy School of Irish Dance and moved to the US in the 1960's. She founded the O’Connor School of Irish Dance in San Francisco, California in 1978. Since then Bella has shared the passion of Irish dancing with hundreds of children and adults. She has also served the Western U.S. Region of the Irish Dance Teachers' Association of North America as treasurer. Bella has three children and seven grandsons.
Joell Poppen - TCRG
Instructor and Director
Joell started dancing at the age of 4 under the direction of her mother, Bella Yerina. She competed for many years and moved through the levels to ultimately finish her competitive dance career in Open Championships. Joell is the mother of two very athletic sons and they had grown up and moved away to school Joell began helping her mother teach a few dance classes in her spare time. Joell continued teaching because she loves watching young dancers learn and achieve a new style of dance.
“I love The O'Connor School of Irish Dance because it is a family-based dance school that truly cares for each individual dancer that takes classes. I love to see the smiles on their faces when they perform and compete. Win or lose they keep trying, and I am so proud. The most rewarding part of teaching is the friendships created with the parents and children. At O’Connor we are a family and we love and support one another in and outside of dance”
Amelia began her love for Irish dance at the age of 7 after her mom won a raffle basket that had one month worth of free Irish dance lessons with the O’Connor School of Irish Dancing. 18 years later Amelia has competed at the regional, national and world levels in both solos and teams and is currently studying for her TCRG exam. Amelia works full time as a Civil Engineer and assists with the championship and intermediate dance classes.
“A huge part of who I am today was developed through my experience with The O’Connor School of Irish Dance. I learned discipline, dedication, mental & emotional fortitude and teamwork all while creating lifelong friendships and memories. It is a privilege and blessing to be a part of the O’Connor School family and have the opportunity to help create a similar experience for the current students”