Sheila was born from Irish parents and is proud to call herself, first generation Irish-American.  At age 4, her mother started teaching her Irish Dance but soon after enrolled her in the well known, DONNY GOLDEN SCHOOL of Irish dance.  By age 9 she was representing her New York school and competing all over the country winning numerous titles.  By age 15, she achieved her biggest competitive title, 5th in the Nation and top 10 in the Irish dance world competition in Ireland.

By age 19, she was dancing as lead principal female with the Grammy award winning Irish group, “THE CHIEFTAINS”.  At age 25, she was invited to join “RIVERDANCE THE SHOW”, and became one of the first Americans to travel in a mostly European ensemble.  It was in Riverdance that she met her husband and acclaimed Irish musician and singer, Tony Davoren.  Together, they started the first ever, Irish Dance Summer Camp which to date, has hosted over 5,000 highly competitive, young Irish Dancers from around the world.  It has been operating for over 17 years and has become known as the best Irish dance camp for dancers. 

In 2003, after getting married, they moved to Lafayette, LA were they now reside with their 3 children. In 2004, Sheila opened The Ryan School of Irish Dance in Lafayette. The Ryan School of Irish Dance is both a competitive and non-competitive dance school based in Lafayette Louisiana.  They perform locally and around the state at various Festivals, schools and private venues.  Dancers also compete nation wide. 



A native ofNew Orleans, Joseph has over 18 years of experience in competitive Irish Dancing. He won back-to-back regional championships, and has competed at both the national and international level since age eleven. He has been dancing with the Ryan School of Irish Dance since 2009, having done countless performances and workshops with the school.



Holly Mergist began Irish dancing at age 10 with the Ryan School of Irish Dance. Over the years, she’s enjoyed a competitive career and become a Champion level dancer. Holly has also had the opportunity to compete at the Southern Region Oireachtas in both Solo and Traditional Set competitions. Even more than competing, she enjoys performing at local festivals and events. For several years, Holly has been student-teaching with the Ryan School and plans to take her TCRG exam soon. She is currently studying Audiology as a student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Holly also works year-round for Camp Rince Ceol Irish Dance Summer Camp.



A New Orleans native, Sara Adoue began Irish dancing at age 7. She has enjoyed a competitive career and was able to compete as a Champion level dancer. Sara has competed at the Southern Region Oireachtas numerous times, and has enjoyed performing at a wide range of events throughout the years. Sara began teaching at the Ryan School in 2017 and is looking to begin studying for the TCRG exam.