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.
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
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.