Bridie (nee Bransfield) has been dancing throughout her life since she was just 5 years old, performing at many Feis’ and peaking when she became a World Champion as part of the Terry & Nancy Bowler's world-beating all-girls junior figure team. She went on to win further silver and bronze medals at Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne (the World Irish Dancing Championships).
She recalls starting her first class at St Andrews Primary school in Streatham with only three pupils; Anne-Marie, Gerrad and Bernadette McCarthy. As it turned out, the McCarthy family had a lot in common with Bridie’s, as both Mums were Donegal girls and both Dads were Cork men – a coincidence that brought the families together and has forged a strong bond ever since.
In 1990, Bridie met her husband and they were married in Melbourne Australia in 1993. Alan provided great support to Bridie in her dancing and teaching career and helped at many class feis’. Alan worked in the IT business, so was able to pool his IT skills and built a website for the Conor Academy of Irish Dancing – the academy being named after their first son Conor: In 1997, the academy was the first Irish dance school in the UK and Ireland to go online (18 years is a lifetime in internet terms) and today, although targeted at our own academy, www.irishdance.co.uk “Home of the Conor Academy” attracts several hundred web visitors every month.
In line with the rules of An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, Bridie has completed an approved course in "Safeguarding & Child Protection"; she is "First Aid trained" and holds an "Enhanced DBS (CRB) Disclosure".