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McGahan Lees Family

The McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy holds dance classes all over the South of England including Essex, Kent, South East London and Oxford. In addition MCGL Europe hosts classes in Prague and Warsaw. The Academy also has long term workshop links with Goggin-Carroll based in Toronto, Canada and Scoil Rince Creer in New South Wales, Australia.

The Academy was founded by Frances McGahan (BDCRG), now an experienced qualified teacher, adjudicator and grade examiner in 1996.
All our teachers are fully qualified with An Coimmisiun le Rince Galelacha – the largest of the governing bodies of Irish Dance with registered dance schools all over the globe.

During its history MCGL has continued to support and develop literally thousands of dancers from beginners, onto national and international Champions, cast and leads in shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance as well as creating life-time opportunities for many former students who are now qualified teachers (TCRG) and adjudicators (ADCRG)

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide professional Irish dance instruction, instilling an appreciation of our art-form, its heritage, its creative potential in terms of classes, workshops, performances and competition in a safe, inclusive, high quality and fun environment.

We aim to be creative but within the bounds of our tradition allowing students to understand and learn the foundations and tradition of our dance technique in a respectful and social environment. In doing so, we aim to provide opportunities for students to develop their experiences by way of grade exams, Class and Open competitions.

The Academy has strong belief that finances should not be a boundary to development and in the “Friends of McGahan Lees” has a vehicle that can support a dancer’s development in terms providing the necessary resources to be their personal best and encourage students to test their skills by competing in highly selective competitions both across the country and overseas.

Our Mantra… “Mol An Oige Agus Tiocfaidh Si – Praise the young and they will blossom”

“ Mol An Óige Agus Tiocfaidh Sí ”

Praise the young and they will blossom.

Our Values

McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy is devoted to excellence in teaching, preserving the heritage of Irish Dance, and promoting health, wellbeing, and diversity. We cultivate a creative environment that respects and encourages freedom of thought and expression. Our community-oriented culture, akin to a supportive family, fosters peer support, nurtures lifelong friendships and takes its fundraising responsibilities to heart.

Meet Our Teachers

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

An Coimisiun le Rince Gaelacha Grades Structure

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


In its history McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy have nurtured, developed and produced 6 World Champions namely

• Caroline Gray
• Stephen Brennan
• Cecily Charlton (now Brennan)
• Ashton Canty
• Liam Costello

In addition the Academy has taught the following dancers who won the All Irelands – the oldest and most historic title in Irish Dancing

  • Caroline Gray
  • Stephen Brennan
  • Leanne Gray
  • Jessica Leach
  • Gavina Zucarello
  • Ashton Canty
  • Liam Costello

Over these years has produced many Great Britain, British National, All Scotland, American National and Regional Oireachtas title holders namely:

  • Caroline Gray
  • Stephen Brennan
  • Cecily Charlton (now Brennan)
  • Leanne Gray
  • Jessica Leach
  • Gavina Zucarello
  • Ashton Canty
  • Liam Costello
  • Ferne Turner
  • Abigail Monaghan
  • Niall Forrest
  • Ellie Kate McCarthy
  • Ava Folan
  • Lily Taylor
  • Isabel Yorke
  • Charlton Charlton
  • Liam Forrest
  • Ellie Arthurs
  • Nathan O’Sullivan
  • Allana Killarney
  • Danielle Rossiter
  • Rachael Ferguson
  • Ellen Leavens
  • Olivia Delaney
  • Ciara McCarthy
  • Seamus Daley
  • Niamh Brennan
  • Gabby Nurse
  • Mary Conway
  • Louise Sanders

Finally and most importantly the Academy is proud to have been part of the development of the following dancers who have now attained their TCRG and ADCRG – the teaching and adjudication accreditation’s awarded by CLRG the biggest governing body of Irish Dance worldwide.

  • Caroline Gray
  • Stephen Brennan
  • Cecily Charlton (now Brennan)
  • Leanne Gray
  • Jessica Leach
  • Isabel Yorke
  • Debbie McGahan
  • Amy Kingham
  • Danielle Haak
  • Natalie Haak
  • Adele Turner
  • Jennifer Marshall
  • Katie Smith
  • Ashley John
  • Ellena Barrett Bough
  • Lauren Stewart
  • Katie Holbrook
  • Brittany Silla
  • Rebecca Stewart
  • David Branton
  • Kathy Skerin
  • Heather Adlam

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