Jeannie Thornton was born in Connecticut, and moved to San Diego when she was 10 months old. Jeannie’s mother was born in Belfast, County Antrim and wanted her children to Irish dance, like she did as a child. The San Diego Irish community was small and there was only 1 certified teacher who was a long driving distance away. Jeannie’s mother began teaching her basic steps she remembered 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 so excited and thrilled to learn more. Soon after Jeannie started attending feisanna and quickly moved up the levels. At the age of 13 Jeannie attending her first regional Championship-the Oireachtas and placed 2nd, qualifying her to dance at the World Championships. By 15 Jeannie was training under Ron Plummer, ADCRG of Derry. She was 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 5 straight years Jeannie was in the top 5 at the North American Championships. Jeannie is a North American Champion in Ceili dancing as well as in her solo competition.
Jeannie’s obvious passion is teaching but she loves sharing stories about Ireland with her pupils. She loves to teach them about Irish history and geography. Jeannie honor’s her mothers wishes by keeping the Irish traditions alive through dance.