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Welcome to

McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy (McGL)

The Academy was founded by Frances McGahan, in 1996. We are registered with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha — one of the governing bodies of Irish dance based in  Dublin Ireland. In its 25 years the Academy have grown into a World renowned Irish Dance Academy taking dancers on a journey from  complete beginner to the stages of London’s West End. Also in this period our Dance Academy are proud to have produced 6 World Champions, 7 All Ireland Champions, 22 Oireachtas and Major winners, and 22 qualified TCRG’s

Multiple locations across SE England & Europe

The Academy hosts classes in Essex, Kent, North & SE London, Oxford as well as classes our European classes in Prague, Warsaw, Moscow and Kazakhstan.

Classes for All Ages and Levels

The Academy hosts classes from the absolute beginner (taking students from 4 years of age) to Open Championship World Medal holders. We are proud of our ability to be able to take a dancer on a journey from their hop 1-2-3’s onto the World Stage then to the West-End.

Only the Best Instruction

Our teachers have been on the journey, and have experienced the highs and lows only to return and teach within the Academy. They are experienced by qualification and experience and live for the moments when their students follow their own experiences.

From Beginner to Champion

Not everyone goes to the Worlds or becomes a member or lead of an Irish Dancing Troupe. Far from it and at McGL we treat everyone as equals. Classes are specifically aimed at the appropriate student level. If a dancer demonstrates a willingness and ability to develop we will provide them with the opportunity.

Support from Within

McGL are proud of their ability to support dancers from within via the “Friends of McGahan Lees”. No dancer showing an aptitude to progress will be hindered by finance. McGL also takes is responsibility to support the outside community donating thousands of pounds to Charity every year.

Interested in finding out more about McGL?

Interested in finding out more about McGL?

“ Mol An Óige Agus Tiocfaidh Sí ”

Praise the young and they will blossom.

Interested in joining the McGL Family

McGL is more than just a Dance Academy. We are a community who support one another. We provide a dancer with the opportunities to develop a love for our art-form by challenging their ability to excel. Many just dance for the love but some do excel and find themselves travelling the globe creating memories that will stay with them a lifetime.

The start of your journey,
a Beginner’s experience.

Beginners will all dance in a class together. Beginners are grouped in similar ages in classes no more than an hour. Classes are relatively cheap with a dancer only needing comfortable sports attire (t-shirt, shorts or leggings) and plimsolls or pumps.  The only other thing we ask is the hair tied back. No need for formal class costumes, or shoes at this stage. Beginner’s classes are all about learning the basics of Irish Dance is a fun and non-competitive environment. The only other cost relates to the annual registration fee payable annually with each dancer receiving a t-shirt, shoe bag or other McGL branded attire such as a water bottle.

All taster classes are free and the Registration Fee is only payable when a dancer returns for their second month. As time progresses parents may want to invest in a pair Irish Dance pumps used in soft shoe dancing. Heavy shoes are only required when a child progresses and 2nd hand ones are always available.

Beginners are actively encouraged to enter our 2 annual class competitions. One is hosted in the summer and the other at Christmas.  These are fun with the whole family encouraged to come along (and in some instances take part). The emphasis is on fun and a chance to see how your child is developing with no one walking away empty handed.

Find a local class near you

Competition Classes

If you consider yourself ready and would like a chance at competing, this is for you.

Once a beginner progresses and looks to compete at local events they will be encouraged to attend another longer and slightly more advanced class. These classes are aimed at competitions. It’s not for everyone. We’ll let you know when the time is right but there’s no obligation.

As dancers advance through their competition grades (Novice, Primary, Intermediate, Preliminary Championship and Open Championship) McGL has a complete class structure created to ensure everyone’s personal goals and expectations can be met. This structure has been developed by experiencing success at the very highest level of Irish Dance.

If you are competing at any level and have a desire to continue your progression please visit our class listings here.

An Coimisiun le Rince Gaelacha Grades Structure

All dancers are encouraged to register and take part in the CLRG’s grades exams.

Meet Our Teachers

Our teachers are accomplished by both qualification and a wealth of experience.
Click their portraits to learn more.

Class Schedule

See all our Classes and Locations

Interested in competing?
Speak to your teacher or find details of local Feissina here.

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The year Frances McGahan established McGL
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The year McGL had its first world qualifiers
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The year the Academy had its first World Champions
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The Marion Flanagan Academy joined McGL
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World Champions
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All Ireland Champions
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Registered TCRG’s
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Of Qualifiers

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