Our instructors


Our world-class instructors will teach your dancer proper form and technique, as well as many other life skills that go beyond Irish dancing.


Tim O’Hare

Tim O’Hare started his dancing career at the age of 5 in Detroit, MI. His first National title came at the age of 10, followed by six additional National titles and two Regional titles. His most noted competitive successes came in 1976 and 1977, when he won two back-to-back World Championship titles!

After an unparalleled competitive career, Tim opened the O’Hare School of Irish Dance in 1979 in Plymouth, MI. In 1984, he opened two more locations in Cleveland and Akron, OH. In 1996, he further expanded the school to Chicago, IL. Tim’s professional career in Irish dance is highlighted by his 1976 tour with the Chieftans, an appearance in the Disney feature film MAFIA in 1998, and a performance at the White House on St. Patrick’s Day in 1999.

Tim’s students have won many Regional, National, All-Ireland, and World Championships, and many have performed in the stage shows “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance.” Tim recently served two terms as President of the IDTANA and is an An Coimisiún Le Rincí Gaelacha representative in Dublin, Ireland.  He travels all over the world adjudicating Irish dance competitions in addition to teaching classes at our Michigan location. Tim’s dedication and commitment to excellence in teaching Irish Dance makes the O’Hare School the success that it is today.


Veronica Lilja

Veronica Lilja began Irish dancing at the age of 3 and had tremendous competitive success at a young age. Under the instruction of Tim O’Hare, she competed at her first Regional Championship as a solo dancer at age 8, her first National Championship at age 9, and her first World Championship at age 11. Veronica became a two-time Regional Champion and a two-time World medalist.

After her competitive career, Veronica performed with the Baltimore, Fort Worth, Ottowa, Knoxville, and North Carolina Symphonies in the show "Celtic Celebration". In 2013, Veronica was awarded the esteemed TCRG certification in Limerick, Ireland and brought the O'Hare School to Lake Forest, IL. In 2017, she further expanded the school by opening another location in Libertyville, IL.

In January 2019, Veronica opened her own O'Hare Irish Dance studio in Lake Bluff, IL. She is excited to continue growing the school and sharing her passion for Irish dance. It is our privilege to have her talent and expertise to offer our students!


Michael Belvitch

Michael Belvitch began dancing at the age of 8 with the O’Hare School of Irish dance in Plymouth, MI. He took first place at six consecutive Regional Championships and two North American Championships. He also won the All-Ireland Championships and back-to-back World Championships. He greatly distinguished himself in 1999 by winning all of these titles in the same year!

After his competitive career, Michael toured with Riverdance for three years. He then opened the Michael Belvitch School of Irish dance in Flushing, MI, upon his graduation from college and his receipt of the TCRG certification.

After relocating to Chicago, he joined the O’Hare School of Irish Dance as a teacher in 2006. In May 2015, Michael earned his adjudicating certificate (ADCRG). In addition to teaching at our Chicago location, he now adjudicates Irish dance competitions all across the country. We are fortunate to have Michael’s experience and knowledge to share with our students!