Photo credit: Rudy Milan Photography
Justin began dancing at the late age of 10 for Christina Ryan of the Ryan-Kilcoyne School of Irish Dance. Born of a Dublin Native/Champion Irish Dancer Maria McKnight, he was compelled to dance and to become active in his Irish Heritage. From there he became addicted; in a few years, through hard work and determination, he qualified for his First World Championships! He later went on to claim First place in the Eastern Regional Oireachtas, which is now the Mid Atlantic Regional Championships, as well as First Place in the North America Irish Dance Championships and Second Place in the All Ireland Championships.
In 2002, Justin was asked to join The Worlds Greatest Dance Show, "Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance," where he toured both nationally and internationally for 9 years! Over the course of his 9 year professional career he had the opportunity to perform in every state in America and over 20 countries worldwide on five different continents. Although highlighted with many great memories, two honors that stand out most in his career includes meeting and performing for President George Bush and his wife Barbara in their home state of Texas, as well as being selected by Michael himself to perform alongside him in the 2009 Feet of Flames Tour Taiwan!
2010 Justin passed the TCRG, which is the teaching certification that is conducted by the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, the highest governing body of Irish Dance. He is now registered with the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, and the Mid Atlantic Region.
Along with owning/operating and teaching at Kotelnicki School of Irish Dance in Hamilton, NJ with his sister Erinn, Justin works for the State of New Jersey Government, in regards to both State and Federal policies.
Justin's dream of being able to pass down his knowledge and love of Irish Dance is afforded to him through the Kotelnicki School of Irish Dance. He is determined that his students of all ages will have the opportunity to fall in love with Irish Culture and will have the chance to dance to the best of their abilities!
Photo credit: Rudy Milan Photography
Erinn began Irish dancing at the age of four under the instruction of the Christina Ryan School of Irish Dance. It was only natural that her mother, a second generation Irish dancer, was eager to carry on the family tradition with her children. Little did she know how Irish dancing would transform the decades that lie ahead for her family with the many achievements, memories, friends, and blessings that Irish dance would bring into their lives. From a young age, Erinn experienced much success as a competitive Irish dancer, qualifying and competing in her first World Championship in the Under 10 age category. During her competitive years, Erinn consistently maintained her status as a top-ten Mid Atlantic Oireachtas placer and World qualifier.
Erinn went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN and Master of School Counseling at The College of New Jersey. She is now enjoying her career as a middle school counselor working for East Brunswick Public Schools. In 2013, Erinn achieved her lifelong goal of becoming a TCRG and working along side her brother, Justin, at the Kotelnicki School of Irish Dance.
While Erinn is very proud of her accomplishments as a competitive Irish dancer, she knows that the best part of Irish Dance is being able to look back on all the friendships, experiences, and happiness that the Irish Dance community brought to her life. She hopes to instill her love of Irish dance in the heart every Kotelnicki School of Irish Dance student.