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About Dillon-Gavin

The Dillon-Gavin School has been happily introducing children and adults to the joy of Irish Dance since 1995. Our school has five certified instructors, Bernadette Dillon-Gavin, Maureen Dillon-Yawger, Rachel Dailey, Lindsey Kelly and Caitlin Yawger.

The focus and creed of the Dillon-Gavin School is to enrich our children's heritage through the wonderful experience of Irish Dance. We have dancers at all levels, from beginners to champions.

We teach both recreational and competitive Irish Dance. Our dancers are invited to perform with us during the St. Patrick's Day season, participate in our annual recital, and march with us in local parades and festivals. 

Our competitive dancers travel throughout the world for feiseanna (Irish dance competitions). At Dillon-Gavin, we have a vast history of accomplished dancers including Oireachtas Champions, National Champions, World Medalists and World Podium Placers. Each year, we qualify many dancers for the World Irish Dance Championships.

Bernadette Dillon-Gavin, ADCRG

Bernadette was a champion solo dancer during her competition days. She is a multiple Mid-America Regional 1st place solo champion. She placed as high as 2nd at the North American Irish Dance Championships and competed and recalled at numerous World Irish Dance Championships in Ireland. Bernadette had the privilege of dancing under the direction of great dance masters such as Dennis and Marge Dennehy, Michael Flatley, and June Butler.

In addition to teaching and operating the Dillon-Gavin School, Bernadette is also an ADCRG who travels throughout the world judging feiseanna. She judged the World Championships in 2012 in Belfast, Ireland, and the National Championships in 2015 in Providence, Rhode Island. Bernadette loves teaching and passing on the beautiful tradition and heritage of Irish Dance.

Maureen Dillon-Yawger, TCRG

Maureen began to Irish dance at the relatively mature dance age of 12. She learned and performed under the expert guidance of Marge and Dennis Dennehy. Maureen was proud to travel to World Championships, National Championships, and Midwest Oireachtas as part of the successful choreography and ceili teams with the Dennehy School.  In 2002, Maureen passed her TCRG exam and received certification from An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha.

Many of Maureen's fondest childhood memories involve summers filled with feisin', along with Bernadette and their mother, Sheila Dillon. She hopes to fill her students with the same joy and love of Irish Dance that Sheila bestowed upon her.

St. Patrick's Day

Rachel Dailey, ADCRG

Rachel started dancing at the age of 4, under the direction of her aunts, Bernadette and Maureen. Her favorite Irish Dance memories are from feising with her sister and cousins throughout the United States. She has competed at numerous National, All Ireland and World Championships. 


Rachel graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been teaching with the Dillon Gavin School since graduating in 2012. She passed her TCRG exam in 2015.

Caitlin Yawger, TCRG

Caitlin started dancing at the age of 4, under the direction of her mother Maureen and her aunt Bernadette. She cherishes the dance memories of competing across the United States and Ireland with her cousins and best friends. She has competed at the Regional, National, and All Ireland level. 


Caitlin graduated with her B.S. from Bradley University and received her M.Ed from The University of Minnesota. She has been teaching with the Dillon Gavin School since 2012. She passed her TCRG exam in 2017.

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