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Meet the Coaches
Meet the Coaches
Are you ready to join a team of coaches changing lives through performance workshops?
Ana Lau Neve
Ana Neve originally from Mexico, lives in Birmingham UK where she moved some years ago to complete her professional education and improve her irish dance technique. She has been a dancer since she was three years old. She started with ballet classes, moved into Irish dancing at the age of ten, and has practiced other dance genres along the way. She knows through experience that being a dancer requires a lot of emotional resilience. She has been working with children and adults in different settings for 10 years now, and it has become her passion to see them grow their confidence, enjoy the process, and achieve their goals. It is precisely for this reason, that she got interested in learning the Dancing Minds program. Her mission is to help creatives, performers, and athletes get rid of self-doubt and the feeling of “I could have done better”. Looking back, her path to becoming a Dancing Minds coach has been set up mostly by lived experiences as a dancer, a student, and as a professional.
Ana graduated from Birmingham City University with a BA Honours in Business Administration and a MA in Events Festivals and Exhibitions Management. She has also completed several certificates in dance for health and volunteers at Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies. She is fiercely committed to helping people, specially those within the creative and performing arts, reach their goals and their maximum personal potential with unshakeable confidence and self-belief. “Knowing that I am giving someone tools for life, lights me up!”
With her education and experience, she helps small and medium creative businesses with their business plans, admin, marketing, and digital media strategies, along with mind coaching. She also delivers dance and movement sessions for older people and small children. She believes this program allows her to combine her passions for athletic/artistic competition, performance, and helping others, with her professional education. She also wants to make sure every person, artist or athlete she works with, feels confident and ready to deliver as soon as they step on stage, whatever this may be. “ I love that this program works for everyone and can be adapted in so many ways to so different fields.
Clíodhna Walsh Biography Growing up in Cork, Ireland, Clíodhna Walsh was born into the love of Irish dance. A competitive Irish dancer for many years, she learnt from a young age the dedication, resilience and hard-work that was intertwined with her beloved art form. Graduating from University College Cork with a BSc Mental Health Nursing, Cliodhna’s strong passion and enthusiasm for helping those around her flourished. Along with developing factual and versatile resources for mental resilience, Cliodhna continues to dedicate herself to nurturing the well-being and mindset of those she helps. A qualified TCRG registered with CLRG, Cliodhna now teaches alongside her parents in their academy. Her insight as both a dancer and a teacher will prove to be of benefit to those working to overcome personal obstacles in their performance. Cliodhna looks forward to interlinking her previous knowledge with Sean’s psychological strategies to deliver his highly successful ‘Dancing Minds’ programme. Aiding all creative individuals and professionals around the globe and playing a part in making each person feel like the champion that she knows is inside of them.
Follow along on Cliodhna’s journey on Instagram @the.performance.mindcoach
Sean Connolly ‘Dancing Minds’ Coaching Programme Testimonial:
‘The Dancing Minds’ coaching programme not only taught me what I can do to help others build themselves, but also challenged me to build myself throughout the process. It has provided me with the tools one would need to have the ability to work under stress or in the face of any challenge that presents itself. Sean’s distinct level of knowledge and experience makes this programme so enjoyable. His pure passion and belief in ‘The Dancing Minds’ programme motivates you each week to continue to build your understanding and confidence of the various tools and strategies. I am so looking forward to beginning my journey as a ‘Dancing Minds’ coach and hope I can deliver Sean’s high successfully programme to many more individuals across the globe. - Clíodhna Walsh. Cork, Ireland.
Brenna McDonnell is originally from Vancouver, Canada, but has recently relocated to Dublin, where she will spend the next few years developing and growing as a mental performance consultant through the Dancing Minds program. Brenna has been an athlete for most of her life. She was an Irish dancer for 15 years, dancing at the World, International and National level before deciding to shift her focus from dancing and athletics to academics during her first year of university in 2015. Brenna was also a provincially ranked swimmer and soccer player throughout her dancing career. When she retired from dance, she also decided to take a step back from swimming, as an athlete, to pursue her coaching career and has been a competitive swim coach ever since.
Academically, Brenna spent two years at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, working towards a degree in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology before moving across the country to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, to finish her undergraduate degree at St. Francis Xavier University. While attending StFX, Brenna fell in love with the concepts behind human behaviour and the science behind the genetic and environmental predisposition to crime. She graduated with her BA Honours Psychology degree with a sub-focus in Forensic Psychology in 2018. This past year, Brenna, received her MSc in Psychological Science from the University of Huddersfield, England. Her dissertation entitled, "More than a Sport: An Exploration of Post-Athletic Transition Implications between Current and Retired Elite Athletes,” aimed to evaluate the relationship between depression and post-athletic transitions of current and former elite athletes.
With the diverse nature of the sports she has competed in, Brenna has also experienced a variety of injuries and the subsequent mental and physical rehabilitation associated with those injures. Considering this, she can appreciate the degree to which sport can impact a person’s life as well as, the multitude of positive attributes and life skills developed through the participation of sport. Additionally, Brenna's transition from athlete to coach required a significant amount of coach development and through her experiences thus far as an athlete and a coach, she believes that the best coaches are the ones that know their athletes the best. Learning to coach, in her opinion, is a constant learning process that is most rewarding when approached with humility and intelligence. Brenna has been very privileged to have been a competitive swim coach for the past six years and she hopes to continue to work with a variety of athletes: Irish dancers, swimmers, crossfit athletes, etc in the near future as there is still a lot to be done in the field of elite sport in regard to mental health.
Brenna is absolutely ecstatic to be starting her journey of improving the mental health and wellbeing of athletes by delivering the Dancing Minds program in congruence with the extensive knowledge from her master’s research and coaching experience!
The Dancing Minds Consultant Programme has been such an invaluable learning experience. I think one of the most distinguishable aspects of the course, and that sets it apart from others, is how much self-development work participants within the course are required to do on themselves. I have full confidence in this work and in this programme because of the amount of time and first hand experience spent expanding my own personal development. I have learned so much more than what was just outlined in the course programme, Sean has SO much knowledge to share! Sean, goes above and beyond to ensure that all questions are answered and provides numerous resources to look at outside of the programme hours so that we felt comfortable and confident in practicing what we learned.
My name is Peter Loughrey and I grew up in Derry.
With an early background consisting of 2 years in Karate and 7 years in Jujitsu I then discovered my passion for running.
I continue to run today having completed 18 marathons, countless half marathons, 5 triathlons as well as smaller runs.
In 2003 I qualified as a clinical hypnotherapist and began to build my client base while simultaneously running my driving school. I continued my studies and investing in myself and studied for 4 years to become an accredited counsellor, before going on to do an advanced diploma in clinical hypnotherapy. Today I work full time as a compassionate, solution orientated mental health professional dedicated to providing exceptional care, devising creative treatment plans for fears, phobias, anxiety, advanced weight loss treatment plans, PTSD, OCD, to name just a few.
I split my time between a local GP practice, online therapy, 1-1 face to face therapy and group therapy. Over the years I have worked successfully with 1000s of clients to help them overcome difficult issues.
I was at a conference where I heard Sean speak, what struck me was how Sean had taken advanced therapies and simplified it for his clients.
When Sean announced that he was training coaches I jumped at the chance as I had done some 1-1 work with Sean. This is not only an investment in me but also my clients.
The tools for life in sport programme is a process that will help you to enhance your performance in your chosen sport but also help build strong essential life skills that will give you more choice, control and security driven by a strong self-worth.
I am looking forward to running workshops, empowering individuals to perform at their maximum potential under competitive and challenging circumstances. Not everyone will be a champion, but everyone can feel like a champion.
Michelle Lawrence ADCRG
I won 47 major titles in her career including 7 All Ireland and 7 World Titles. At the age of 19 I retired from competitive dancing. I had performed with the World renowned Bru Boru group from the very young age of 5 performing to audiences and appearing on many TV shows worldwide.
I became the Lead dancer of Magic of the Dance and performed at the
Cinema for Peace Gala in Berlin for stars such as Liam Neeson, Bob Geldof and
Leonardo DiCaprio before touring throughout Europe, Australia, Russia and Taiwan before moving home to become a teacher for An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha.
I opened the Lawrence Academy Dance Company (L.A.D.C) in 2010 in my hometown of Cashel, Co. Tipperary alongside my mother Carmel Lawrence TCRG. Within the first 8 years we achieved Munster, All Scotland and European titles and over 20 World Medals. I passed my adjudication exams with the An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha in June 2016 and adjudicated the World Championships 2019 in North Carolina, USA. My Mum and I opened our own Dance Studio on Main Street, Cashel in 2017. In 2021 to further my career and learn to teach both mind and body to work together simultaneously I qualified as a licenced Dancing Minds coach under Sean Connolly.
For the World Championships in Belfast 2022, I worked alongside my dancers using the dancing minds techniques and for the first time for the Munster school, their dancers became World Champions. Their dancers brought home two much sought-after World globes to Cashel, taking home first and fourth place.
I look forward to helping dancers become their best selves, not only physically but mentally using the Dancing minds program for years to come.