New Beginnings: Fiona Mackey captures the experience of joining the McGL Family
I have been teaching Irish dance in Finchley, North London, since 2012. Irish dance helps children to develop confidence, fitness, coordination, concentration and friendship. The emphasis is on enjoyment with a mixture of traditional and contemporary Irish music and easy-to-learn steps. Classes are suitable for all levels/abilities from age 4 upwards.
I have been friends with Frances McGahan TCRG/ADCRG/BCRG for many years and I have always hugely admired and respected her teaching technique and beautiful dancers. I asked Frances to join McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy in March 2021 in the hope that she would bring her skills and knowledge to North London. I was delighted when Frances accepted me and my dancers. At the same time, friends of mine asked me to start a class in Winchmore Hill, which has proven to be very popular. We now run traditional Irish dance classes in Winchmore Hill for beginners and advanced dancers. Our beginners start learning light shoe dances before progressing onto heavy shoe dances (Irish form of tap dancing).
During the pandemic, I felt very concerned about the impact that it would have on dancers and how they would feel returning to live classes. Now we had the added nervous anticipation of joining McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy. I did not need to worry as we have been welcomed with open arms by McGahan Lees teachers, parents and dancers alike. Our dancers have settled in so well and we love the team spirit, values and school ethos. McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy cultivates a family identity with the emphasis on tradition which gives children a sense of belonging and togetherness. It really does feel like a family and the transition has been seamless thanks to the amazing support provided by Frances and the other teachers.
The children have already benefited greatly from the direction of their new teachers and their diverse skills and experience. Firmly supported by Frances and her fantastic teaching staff, who have made the very successful transition from dancer to teacher, the dancers are provided with a wealth of knowledge and expertise. The children are so excited about the prospect of returning to feises after working so hard on learning their new steps. This has been challenging for them but the hard work, patience, and encouragement from their teachers has made it fun and rewarding.
Alongside attending classes in Finchley and Winchmore Hill, our dancers now have the option of travelling to other classes, where they are taught by Frances and the other McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy teachers. The dancers love attending Frances’s classes. Cecily Brennan, ADCRG, and I also run regular workshops in Finchley on Sundays and during the holidays which are very popular. Cecily and I will continue teaching in Finchley on Wednesdays and Saturdays in September.
The school motto “Mol An Óige Agus Tiocfaidh Sí” which translates to “Praise the young and they will blossom” is evident from the progress and developments that the children have made in the short time since we joined the Academy. The dancers and I are so happy and feel incredibly lucky to be a part of the McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy.
Come, join us and you will see what a lovely Irish Dancing Academy it is!
Spaces are available for new dancers of all ages in our class in North Finchley on Saturday at 10.30am Finchley and on Tuesday at 4.30pm in Winchmore Hill. Please contact us directly for details and to book your first free class. Fiona Mackey can also be contacted by phone on 07985415421.
Being one of our several Irish Dance hubs, our Dartford classes are now open and ready to welcome back Irish dancers at all levels.
Whether you are a competitive Irish dancer or simply looking for beginner Irish dance lessons, our classes located at the Dartford Irish Club has something for everybody.
Be part of the vibrant atmosphere of the newest Saturday morning beginners’ class in our school. Through our beginners we build the foundations of one of the most successful Irish dance schools in England. By mastering traditional Irish dance techniques at beginner level, we give our dancers the tools needed to progress to a world class standard and fulfil their full potential.
Our newly refurbished venue is home to classes for all standards in the school, with our competition level dancers training at the Irish Club midweek, and our beginner level dancers on Saturday mornings. The facilities provide specialised harlequin dance flooring which can be found in some of the world’s leading dance venues such as the Royal Opera House, the Paris Opera Ballet and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. These excellent facilities contribute to the growth and development of our dancers at all levels.
As we come out of lockdown, a great way to make new friends and take on new challenges is through our Covid-safe, traditional Irish dance classes. We currently have availability in Dartford (Saturdays 10.00am – 11.30am), so get in contact for your free first lesson!
Let’s “make every step count!”
If you are looking to learn traditional Irish dance in Oxford, check out McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy and their recent success stories.
Live classes for traditional Irish dance in Oxford are now back in full swing. If you live in Oxfordshire, our COVID-safe classes are now taking place near you. Our Oxford based teacher, Marion Flanagan, has been teaching in Oxford for over 30 years and she delights in sharing her knowledge of tradition and technique with all her dancers.
Beginners start learning light shoe dances before progressing on to heavy shoe dances (Irish form of tap dancing).
This is a key class for one of the most successful Irish Dance schools in England. Classes are being held at St. John Fisher Primary School, Sandy Lane West, Littlemore, OX4 6LD, in a spacious hall with new harlequin flooring. Dancers are trained from beginners to World Championship standard, to compete in competitions both nationally and internationally. Since we have been back competing after lockdown, we have had some fabulous results from beginners up to Open Championship. We are so delighted that all the hard-work throughout lockdown has paid off.
Spaces are available for new recruits of all ages in our 6pm Monday and Thursday Classes. Contact us direct for details and to book your first free class. Marion can be contacted by phone on 07971 035797 or by email email@example.com