It is with broken hearts and unfathomable sadness that we share news of the passing of one of our beloved teachers, Elaine O'Grady Greenan, TCRG, who went to her eternal rest after a courageous battle with cancer. This profound loss will be felt most profoundly by her beautiful family, her husband Chris, their daughter Victoria, son-in-law Mike, granddaughters Casey and Kiera, and her sister, Carmel, but so too will the McLoughlin School be forever altered and diminished. Elaine was a shining light who made lasting and positive impacts on all she encountered.
To walk into Elaine's class was to be greeted by her most glorious smile, to be met with an enveloping hug, and then, to get down to work. With a keen eye and a guiding hand, Elaine would make sure her dancers kicked their butts at the end of a click, assured they would work for every ounce of sound from their heavy shoes, and would practically chase them around the floor to make sure they were moving enough. She did it all with an air of such positivity and encouragement that dancers couldn't help but flourish, whether advancing from beginner to novice or preparing for a major championship.
Elaine's beautiful energy extended to everyone who came in contact with McLoughlin, and was so evident when we were able to celebrate her 25-plus years of teaching last May at our annual school ceili. Her biography from that day reveals just how multi talented she was:
"Born in London to the late Joseph, from County Galway, and Kathleen Feerick of County Mayo, the family moved to New York and set about building a lasting connection to their Irish heritage for both Elaine and her sister Carmel. They learned Irish dancing from the famed Peter Smith and Irish music from the legendary John Glynn and his daughter Maureen. Elaine excelled in anything she tried, winning at feisanna in the local area and in New England; winning three MARO Championships: Elaine was privileged to attend the first Oireachtas held in NYC, and to count the early founders of IDTANA among her mentors and friends. She also traveled to Dublin Ireland four times for solos at the Worlds and then four times for choreography competitions.
“After graduating from Marquette University from the College of Journalism, Elaine married Chris Greenan, and settled in Riverdale, New York. Following a 10-year stint at Saks Fifth Avenue, Elaine began her teaching career in both Education and Irish dance. Their daughter, Victoria, brought Elaine back into the Irish dance world, taking lessons from Jimmy Early in Riverdale and Patsy McLoughlin in Woodlawn and New Jersey. Elaine and Karen Early Conway earned their TCRGs together in 1995, officially joining the school. Victoria became an accomplished champion dancer in the school, earning several top solo and ceili placements at local feisanna, regional, national and overseas competitions and a solo world medal."
Wake is Sunday, January 8th from 2pm-6pm at Van Emburgh-Sneider-Pernice Funeral Home, 109 Darlington, Avenue, Ramsey, NJ 07446
Mass is Monday, January 9th at 10am at Guardian Angel Roman Catholic Church, 320 Franklin Turnpike, Allendale, NJ 07401
Condolences can be sent to: Christopher Greenan at 617 Brookside Avenue, Allendale, NJ 07401
She was our "Miss Congeniality." She will be forever missed. We love you Elaine and we hope you rest easy in God's hands.