Michael Farrell comes from a large Irish family with roots deep in Irish Dance. Michael started Tap and Jazz dancing at the age of 5 at the Paul’s Dance Studio in Woodside, Queens. His Irish dancing career started at age 13 under the tutelage of Cyril McNiff and the McNiff School of Irish Dance. Michael competed in various feiseanna in the US, Canada and Ireland. Michael became a certified teacher (TCRG) and eventually opened his first school in 1974 in Ozone Park, NY. He opened his College Point and Woodside schools in 1975.
Michael ventured north to open a school in Albany, NY in 1986 and, thanks to the persistence of Mary Cashell, into East Durham in 1988. Michael became a permanent resident of East Durham in 1994 when he married his wife, Jeanne, and together they raised 2 beautiful daughters. Many of Michael’s dancers have competed at feiseanna both in the US and Ireland, and on the National’s and the World’s stages.
Michael recently celebrated 40 years of teaching Irish dance with a huge party where he had the opportunity to reminisce with many of his former dancers. Many of his former dancers have their children involved in Irish dance, in part because of their fond memories and experiences of Michael and their time spent with the Farrell School of Irish Dancing.
Michael currently teaches in 5 different locations, East Durham, Albany, Schenectady, Oneonta and Newburgh. His students continue to compete and perform at various feiseanna and festivals, including the East Durham Irish Festival where his students have performed since 1985.