Our teachers are TCRG qualified and registered with An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha (International Irish Dancing Commission). They are also members of the Traditional Irish Dancing Association of NZ (TIDA), giving their students access to all NZ Irish Dancing events and opportunities.
Shannon Dilger, TCRG
Shannon danced for the O’Neill School of Irish Dance from age four to twenty-four, enjoying success both nationally and overseas. She also spent a gap year dancing for the Costello School of Irish Dance in Limerick, Ireland.
While Shannon’s main focus was competition, her passions are choreography and performance. She attended the Riverdance Masterclass in Dublin 2013, where she spent a week learning from and dancing with dancers from Riverdance; and in 2015 Shannon was fortunate to tour China for eight weeks as a lead dancer in the show “Flames of the Dance”. Shannon rarely turns down an opportunity to perform - you may have seen her busking in Re:Start Mall or Cathedral Square!
Shannon’s competitive career highlights include:
Winning the New Zealand National Championships many times
Placing 25th at the World Championships in solos in Philadelphia, 2009
Placing 23rd at the World Championships in a girls ceili team in Philadelphia, 2009
Placing 22nd at the All Ireland Championships in Killarney, 2011
Placing 13th at the North American National Championships in Anaheim, 2013
Placing 4th at the Australian International Oireachtas in the Gold Coast, 2014
Winning the prestigious Ulster Cup in 2012, 2014, and 2015
Being awarded the Rodney Walshe Tuition and Travel Scholarships
Like many Irish dancers, Shannon has managed to juggle studying alongside her competitive dance training and other hobbies. She has graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Education and is currently studying towards a Masters in Child and Family Psychology.
Shannon believes involvement in Irish dance is a fantastic way for children to create lifelong friendships and learn to work as a team while developing their coordination, athleticism, rhythm and choreography abilities. Shannon’s vision for Southern Cross Irish Dance is to create an inclusive environment where all students feel welcome and supported as they learn new skills and work to achieve their personal and team goals in dance.
Argene Flack, TCRG
Argene danced for the O’Neill School of Irish Dance from the age of eight to twenty two. Argene’s passion for all things Irish is apparent, with her not only having been a competitive dancer, but also an accomplished Irish musician. No stranger to the stage, Argene performs and teaches tin whistle and bodhran (Irish drum), and plays in a number of Christchurch-based bands ranging from Emeralds & Greenstone (Celtic-Maori folk fusion), Ceollu (Irish music duo with a twist) and Catharsis (traditional Irish band).
When the opportunity to spend a gap year living in Ireland arose in 2005, Argene leapt at the chance to be closer to the Irish culture she had surrounded herself with back here in NZ. During her time there and in preparation for competing at the World Irish Dancing Championships that year, Argene attended dance classes with Fegan Academy of Irish Dance.
Argene’s Irish dance and music career highlights include:
- Placing 58th at the World Championships in solos in Ennis, 2005
- Releasing a debut album with Emeralds & Greenstone, 2008
- Emeralds & Greenstone’s album being nominated for Best Folk Music Album, 2009
- Releasing an instructional DVD on how to play the bodhran, 2009
- Releasing an EP with Whistle & Strum & Then Some, 2014
Since qualifying as an Irish Dancing teacher in 2007, Argene has taught classes as part of the O’Neill School of Irish Dance. From holding pre-school classes for 2-4 year olds at Bishopdale YMCA Preschool to after-school classes for 5-12 year olds, Argene thoroughly enjoys working with children of all ages.
Argene has graduated from University of Canterbury in 2012 with a Masters of Science in Psychology, focussing on parental stress relating to having a premature baby. She now works as the Admin Team Leader at the New Zealand Blood Service.
Argene has always enjoyed working with children and loves nothing more than to see kids grow and develop themselves through dance. She believes Irish Dancing provides a fun and friendly opportunity for children of all ages to challenge themselves and master new things. Her vision for Southern Cross Irish Dance is that children gain confidence in themselves, develop a passion for Irish culture and an ability to perform and share that passion for others to enjoy.
Shannon rarely turns down an opportunity to perform - you may have seen her busking in Re:Start Mall or Cathedral Square!
Her vision for Southern Cross Irish Dance is that children gain confidence in themselves, develop a passion for Irish culture and an ability to perform and share that passion for others to enjoy.