Teaching Staff

Learn about the teaching staff at McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance.

John Grimes A.D.C.R.G.

John Grimes was born in Dover, New Hampshire and started Irish dancing when he was 11 year old. His parents put John in classes after he started copying his sisters practicing Irish dance at home. After watching a clip of "Riverdance - The Show" on the PBS Television program, "Out of Ireland", dancing became his passion which led to John competing at the World Championship level.

John was a three-time New England Regional Champion, two-time Eastern Canadian Regional Champion, and a four-time top 10 medalist in the North American Irish Dance Championships earning a 4th place and 5th place, in addition to a recall at the All-Ireland Championships held in Killarney, Ireland. John was also a member of several top level ceílí teams which won many regional titles and a 3rd place finish at the North American Championships.

However John's biggest dance achievement was being asked to join, "Riverdance - The Show" in 2009. John has completed multiple tours with Riverdance, as well as dancing in the NBC Television Special: "Riverdance On Ice."

See videos from RiverdanceRead New Hampshire Chronicle (WMUR) - TV Special on McDonough-Grimes
Photo of John Grimes in Riverdance
Photo of John Grimes teaching

John is now in the next chapter of his Irish dancing journey: teaching the next generation of dance champions in his home state of New Hampshire. In 2010 John passed his Irish dance teaching certificate, the TCRG, and he is a certified teacher with The Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin, An Coimisiun Le Rince Gaelecha. John has also passed the ADCRG, which is a certification that also allows him to judge Irish dance competitions worldwide.

Riverdance was a great place to broaden dance horizons, from the show's choreography to bouncing ideas off other dancers backstage. It's that type of environment McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance embodies, a spirit of learning and experimentation, seeing what's possible for each dancer. McDonough-Grimes's focus on the competitive experience, coupled with an emphasis on performance, will benefit our dancers tremendously.

Brandon McQuilkin

Brandon McQuilkin began dancing at the age of 4 after spending countless hours watching and imitating Riverdance on VHS. His parents enrolled him in lessons near their home on Long Island in New York, and he continued lessons after they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2002.

He danced competitively for over 25 years. His competitive accomplishments include a 5th place ceili team medal from the CLRG World Championships, 10th place in Senior Men at the North American Irish Dance Championships, and Senior Men Champion at the Mid America Oireachtas.

Photo of Brandon at awards from a feis in the early 2000s.
Photo of Brandon as the Mid America Oireachtas senior men champion in 2022.

Brandon began as an assistant teacher with McDonough Grimes Irish Dance in 2023, and is currently studying for the T.C.R.G. exam to become a certified teacher with CLRG. Outside of dance, Brandon works full time as a software engineer. He lives in Barrington, New Hampshire, with his wife and their 3 cats.