Jeannie Thornton was born in Connecticut and moved to San Diego as a baby. Jeannie’s mother was born in Belfast, County Antrim, and wanted Jeannie to Irish dance, like she did as a child. The San Diego Irish community only had one certified teacher but she was a long driving distance away. So, Jeannie’s mother began teaching her basic steps in their living room.
At the age of 10, Donna Means King, ADCRG, then a new TCRG, began a class at Jeannie’s primary school. From the first lesson Jeannie excelled and was thrilled to learn more. Soon after Jeannie started attending feisanna she quickly moved up the levels from beginner to open championships. At the age of 13 Jeannie attended her first regional championship, the Oireachtas, and placed 2nd, qualifying her to dance at the World Championships. By age 15 Jeannie was training under Ron Plummer, ADCRG of Derry. She placed 1st in the Western US Oireachtas and attended her first North American Championships, placing 5th. By the following year at age 16 Jeannie placed 1st in the North American Championships. During this time Jeannie attended the World Championships several times in Salthill County Galway and at the Mansion House in Dublin. For five straight years Jeannie placed in the top 5 at the North American Championships. Jeannie also placed in the top 2 for 7 years in the Western US region. Jeannie is a North American Champion in ceili dancing as well as in solo competition.
In 1990, Jeannie passed her T.C.R.G exam to be a certified Irish dancing teacher. She began a small class which quickly grew to 200 students. Clan Rince was born! Due to the high demand of her classes she opened her first very own studio. And adding a 2nd studio shortly thereafter. By 2016, Jeannie was an A.D.C.R.G.-a certified Irish Dance adjudicator and traveling all over the US, Canada and Mexico judging. In, 2017 Jeannie was named Irish Woman of the Year by the Irish Congress of Southern California. When Jeannie isn't teaching she enjoys hiking, pilates and is the busy mother of 3 children- Erin, Ryan and Cian.
Jeannie’s passion is teaching and judging but she loves sharing stories about Ireland with her pupils. She loves to teach them about Irish history and geography. Jeannie honors her mother's wishes by keeping the Irish traditions alive through dance.
Alisa Dosch has been involved in dance and music lessons since the age of 5. She took tap, jazz and ballet and studied the piano. So it wasn't a surprise that when she discovered Irish dance at the age of 18 it came so natural. In 1999 she joined Jeannie’s studio and felt like she finally found a dance form she truly loved. She was able to pick up the art form so quickly due in part to her dance and music background. Alisa quickly moved up into Open Championships. Alisa was top 5 in the Western United States for four years, reaching 2nd place in 2003. Alisa is a North American medalist and competed in the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in 2002. It was during this time that Alisa earned her B.A. degree in English from San Diego State University. Alisa retired from competition and began assistant teaching alongside Jeannie. In 2006, Alisa passed her T.C.R.G. and has been teaching full-time ever since. Alisa is a talented choreographer, and is instrumental in the Clan Rince annual recital being the great production that it currently is. In 2017, Alisa passed her A.D.C.R.G qualifying her to adjudicate competitions worldwide. Although not Irish by blood Alisa understands the story that is danced in the steps. So in theory she is Irish at heart.
Alisa lives with her husband, James, and their four dogs, in La Mesa, California.