McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy

Irish Dance classes in Essex, Kent, Oxford, North and South London

A new way to raise funds for McGL dancers – at no cost to yourself!

A new way to raise funds for McGL dancers – at no cost to yourself! 810 450 Isabel Yorke

McGL are proud to announce they are using easyfundraising to raise funds for our talented young dancers to travel to international competitions.
You can help raise funds for McGL simply by doing you online shopping via
This doesn’t cost you a penny more, but as you make purchases the online retailers make a donation to the dance school.
All you do is register and start shopping! There are over 3000 shops and sites on board, ready to make a donation including Amazon, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and TheTrainline.

For example, simply by doing your weekly online Sainsbury’s shop via Easyfundraising could raise up to £2.50 each time!

There are no catches or hidden charges and McGL dancers are very grateful for your donations.

How to:

  • Every time you shop online, go to first to find the site you want and start shopping.
  • You can install a simple plug-in for your browser which will remind you to go through easyfundraising when you start shopping on a partner site.
  • There is even a smartphone app!
  • After you have checked out, the retailer will make a donation to McGL for no extra cost whatsoever.

Thank you for your support!

Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2018, Glasgow

Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2018, Glasgow 2560 1600 Isabel Yorke

This year’s World Championships, or Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne was held once again in the prestigious Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. As always, the competitions were large and extremely tough, with some age groups comprising as many as 150 qualified competitors.

It’s a week of fierce competition, but also of celebration, as dancers, families and teachers are reacquainted with friends from across the globe.

This year, we were lucky enough to gain five world medals, including the U16 Boys World Champion, Liam Costello.

McGL dancers also achieved many personal bests, whether that be dancing on the World stage for the first time, recalling, or coming in the top 20 or 30 competitors. Training for a World Championships is an enormous commitment, and we are so proud of all our qualifiers that undertook this journey in 2018.

Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2022

Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2022 1015 1015 Isabel Yorke

After a very long week in Belfast, we are reflecting on our time at the Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2022 (WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS). We can’t begin to put into words how proud and delighted we are with every dancer that represented MCGL. What an absolute dream it has been … Having entered 22 UK, 1 Australian and 9 Mainland European dancers. We came home with 9 World Medal Holders, 7 Recall Medals, 2 Aisling award winners … AND 2 GLOBES 🌎🌍🥳🤩 😀

U20 🌍 Liam Costello 1st WORLD CHAMPION WMH 🎖
U16 🌎 Ellie-Kate McCarthy 4th WMH 🎖
U18 🎖Mary Conway, 6th WMH 🎖
Senior Ladies🎖Ellie Arthurs, 6th WMH🎖
U15🎖Olivia Delaney, 7th WMH🎖
U12 🎖Eilis Gaughan, 10th WMH🎖
U13 🎖Ava Folan, 12th WMH🎖
U17 🎖Freya McMahon, 16th WMH🎖
U14 🎖Ciarra McCarthy, 21st WMH🎖
U11 Ellen Leavens ~ 25th
U12 Ella-Rose Hursit ~ 23rd
U14 Callum Schroeyers ~ 19th
U14 Ryan Maddison ~ 31st
U15 Jayda Nsajja ~ 49th
U17 Lizzie Anderson ~ 30th
U18 Louise Fitzpatrick ~ 24th

Day two recalls for:
U14 Isobel Haynes
Senior Ladies Mary Owens
Our two Aisling award winners
U19 Maria Krawczyk
Senior Men Maciek Skwarek

Special mention to Nathan O’Sullivan, Lucie Peters, Amaia D’Souza, Alice Craig and Maria Maddison
Who all gave fantastic performances on the day.

We are so proud of our mainland European dancers that did themselves so proudly this week… Lukas Matera, Dominika Plaska, Tuua Rinne, Maria Gavlakova, Marie Viktorinova and
Kateřina Srbová.

Finally, we are truly thankful to have such an amazing team at MCGL that allowed us to be both at the event and back home keeping classes going and supporting us. We are simply a second family to each other 🥰🤍 A big thank you to our fan club (MCGL dancers & parents) at home who spent their week glued to FeisTV – for your energy and support – thank you!

🌍 Time to get back to work and start our preparations for Montreal 2023. 🌎

25th Anniversary Open Feis – Thank yous!

25th Anniversary Open Feis – Thank yous! 510 540 Isabel Yorke

🎉🎊 2️⃣5️⃣ 🎊🎉
We had a fabulous and emotional weekend running our 25th Anniversary Open Feis in March! So much hard work and effort went into the feis this year and it was so worth it.

This post is a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone involved in our 25th Anniversary Open Feis this year. We are so lucky and grateful to have such a fabulous team of people that made the event such a huge success!

T H A N K    Y O U . . .

💛 To our fabulous judges and musicians, some of whom stepped in at literally the last moment to jump on a flight after COVID struck us again… Virginia Travis,
David Smith, Mairéad Ní Bhriain, Brian Corrigan, Darina Corrigan-White, Michelle Greene, Annie Kidd, Isabella Fogarty, Lauren Stapleton, Andrea Field, Aidan O’Neill, Majella Collins Brooks, Dean Crouch.

🖤 To our sponsors that allowed us to give out some beautiful awards to all the competitors:

CDL Building Contracts – SBS LTD – Trainor Stone- O’Neil Joinery – The Jones family – Hutchinson Telecom – Newmay electrical services – Clonmel – Seetec – Ardentide CIS contracting- Essex farms – Cobra Lifting Services Ltd – The feis Shop – Carberry contract services – The Reid Rooms – The Allen family – NP Crystals – Michaels fabrics – The McGahan Family – Dartford Irish Club Function Hall – The Majilton family.

💛 To our vendors Melaine Murphy and The Feis Shop.

🖤 Feis Mark for all our tabulation.

💛 To our colleagues Aaron Crosbie Kevin and Helena at McCarron Dance for helping us to run stages.

🖤 Stage Time production for sound system/back drops.

💛 Alistage Ltd for staging.

🖤 IDesign by Etain for our gorgeous mugs/water bottles.

💛 Doherty trophies by Marie Connell.

🖤 Printwear for our printed chair covers.

💛 Safety Signs for the back drops/podium fronts.

🖤 Bryson for their donation of canteen/welfare supplies.

💛 D Advanced for cleaners and car park attendants.

🖤 Chelmer Valley High School especially Cliff and Dave.

💛 Evoq Design for our beautiful artwork.

🖤 Fiona Morley for our sashes and Crystal Champion of Champion awards.

💛 Parents/dancers/family members new and old, we appreciate you more than you know. The hours of prep and organisation does not go unnoticed.



Our 25th Anniversary Feis Sponsors

Our esteemed adjudication panel and musicians

World Down Syndrome Awareness Day

World Down Syndrome Awareness Day 2048 996 Isabel Yorke

We had so much fun celebrating an early world Down Syndrome Awareness Day with Candles – Down Syndrome Support Group in Colchester this March. If you need some extra joy and happiness today, check out this FANTASTIC video of our MCGL dancers and our Candles family.

This was such a heartwarming event and the children were so adorable!
Thank you for having us!

Read about our other charity/fundraising events here

25th Anniversary Open Feis Update

25th Anniversary Open Feis Update 768 1024 Isabel Yorke

Following the recent publication of the syllabus for our 25th Anniversary Open Feis we are now delighted to provide you with a feis update and detailed timetable for the event.

The timetable includes for the Open and Preliminary Championships to alternate in the same hall, the 9 adjudicators rotating between halls, a 100% recall, and awards being provided within a timely fashion in a separate dedicated awards area.

Sunday is “Grades Sunday” and we’ve loads planned to make this a special day for the stars of the future. Not only will ALL grade dancers get to perform on the championship stages; they’ll ALL receive one of our newly designed 25th Anniversary “Olympic sized” medal, and ALL dancers will get their own adjudicators’ comment cards.

We are also delighted to announce that Lauren Stapleton, ADCRG, will be joining our esteemed panel of adjudicators.

Finally, many of our overseas entrants have requested our International banking details which are as follows:

Account Number 61557912
Sort Code 40-18-04
IBAN Number GB52HBUK40180461557912
Branch Identifier HBUKGB4103U

Please email us if you have any other issues with payment and we will be happy to assist!

All this information is available, including a guide how to enter online, on our dedicated website page.

As you can tell we are so excited about this year’s event and we are pulling out all the stops to make it a special weekend for all involved.

“Grades Sunday” – a day dedicated to our stars of the future!

Detailed Provisional Timetable



Welcome Ashleigh!

Welcome Ashleigh! 720 960 Isabel Yorke
We are delighted to announce that following her return to the UK Ashleigh John, TCRG, will be joining the teaching team at McGL. Ashleigh will look to develop our classes in the Oxford area alongside Marion Flanagan McCarthy.
Ashleigh began dancing when she was 4 years old in Auckland New Zealand after watching a video of the Riverdance Eurovision performance. She trained with schools in NZ and the USA before moving to the UK in 2015 and joining McGahan Lees. Her achievements include becoming New Zealand National Champion three times and placing at the North American Nationals and World Championships.
Ashleigh discovered her love of performing outside of the competitive world of Irish Dance when she joined her first professional show in 2010. After getting a taste for touring, Ashleigh took a break to complete her studies in Business and Marketing before picking up where she left off and touring USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand with various different shows. Her favorite memory was dancing Lead with Rhythms of Ireland in her hometown of Auckland with all her family in the audience. Ashleigh qualified as a TCRG in Dublin in 2017.
She looks forward to being able to pass on her experience and love of dance to her students, working alongside the other McGL teachers and all their dancers.

Ashleigh John, TCRG

Road Trips Galore!

Road Trips Galore! 1016 1016 Isabel Yorke

We love our road trips! We might only be 6 weeks into the new year but the McGL have been making up for lost time attending 7 Feiseanna in London, the Midlands, the North East and Scotland. All the events were superbly run and it was great to be reunited with so many of our feis friends from other dance schools.

Many of our open dancers contended with switching their dances due to the sad cancellation of the All Irelands; however, at least they can now look forward to their first Worlds since 2019!

It was also amazing to see out graded dancers enjoying for many their first road trip experiences.

A sincere thanks to the following Feis organisers, and we can’t wait to return in 2023!

*City of Birmingham*
*North East of England*
*Nadine Martin, Doncaster*
*Phoenix, Glasgow*
*Trainor, London*
*McCarron, Coventry*
*Kelly Hendry, Newcastle*

Interested in our next road trips? Keep an eye on our Feiseanna page for details of upcoming events!

Regional Oireachtas Season 2021

Regional Oireachtas Season 2021 1024 1024 Isabel Yorke

Some fabulous memories made by our dancers around the globe with no fewer than 10 regional Oireachtas winners from 4 separate regions.

We are so proud of all our dancers and totally overwhelmed by their beautiful performances this year of all years, after coming out of lockdown.

Bring on 2022!!

🥇U5 Champion Niamh Brennan
🥇U9 Boys Champion Seamus Daly
🥇U10 Girls Champion Ellen Leavens 🌎
🥇 U11 Girls Champion Eilis Gaughan 🌎 Midlands region
🥇U12 Boys Champion Nathan O’Sullivan 🌎
🥇U12 Prelim Champion Chloe Corrigan (9th)
🥇U13 Girls Champion Ciarra McCarthy 🌎
🥇U14 Girls Champion Olivia Delaney 🌎
🥇 U14 Girls Champion Dominka Plaska 🌎 European Region
🥇U15 Girls Champion Ellie-Kate McCarthy 🌎
🥇 U20 Mens Champion Liam Costello 🌎 NSW Region Australia

Dominka Plaska, European region champion 2022

Eilis Gaughan, Midlands regional champion 2022

Liam Costello, NSW State Champion 2022

🥈2nd U11 Girls Ella Rose Hursit 🌎
🥈2nd U12 Girls Ava Rose Folan 🌎
🥈2nd U13 Boys Callum Schroeyers 🌎
🥈2nd U17 Girls Mary Ellen Conway 🌎

🥉3rd U10 Prelim Matilda Majilton (11th)
🥉3rd U11 Prelim Bronagh Daly (12th)
🥉3rd U12 Boys Tristan Mathieson-Stott 🌎
🥉3rd Senior Ladies Ellie Arthurs🌎
🥉3rd Senior Men Robert Lynch🌎

🏅4th U13 Boys Ryan Maddison 🌎
🏅4th U16 Lizzie Anderson 🌎
🏅4th Senior Prelim Nicola Swales (15th)

🏅5th U18 Amaia D’Souza🌎
🏅5th U12 Prelim Poppy Hughes (14th)

6th U7 Paddy O’Sullivan
6th U8 Erin O’Neill
6th U9 Siobhéal McGovern
6th U13 Isobel Haynes 🌎
6th U22 Alice Craig 🌎
6th Senior Ladies Maria Maddison 🌎

7th U7 Grace Partlett
7th U11 Lucie Peters 🌎
7th U11 Prelim Leila Dowley (17th)
7th U17 Louise Fitzpatrick 🌎
7th U18 Georgia Schroeyers

8th U9 Ava Vaughan
8th U12 Prelim Caitlin Parnaby (20th)
8th U14 Jayda Nsajja 🌎
8th U16 Freya McMahon 🌎
8th Senior Ladies Mary Owens 🌎

9th U11 Niamh McLellan
9th U16 Louise Sanders

11th U17 Poppy Allen

14th U9 Aoife Malaugh

17th U13 Violet Clark

18th U9 Freya Parnaby

19th U9 Niamh Haran

21st U11 Lily Brookes

22nd U10 Jasmine Springett

29th U14 Niamh Gillen

34th U13 Hannah Ferry-Walsh
*All dancers competed at the SERC UK Oireachtas unless otherwise stated.

25th Anniversary Feis 2021

25th Anniversary Feis 2021 725 1024 Isabel Yorke

We are pleased to announce our 25th Anniversary Feis, which will take place on 19th and 20th March 2022, at Chelmer Valley High School.

With our venue located just 25 minutes from London Stansted Airport, we look forward to welcoming dancers from all over the UK, Ireland, Europe, USA, Australia and worldwide in the build up to the next Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne (World Championships), which celebrates its 50th anniversary in April!

More information will appear on our dedicated Open Feis page as we approach the event. 




On the Great Britain Podium

Great Britain Championships 2021

Great Britain Championships 2021 1600 1600 Isabel Yorke

What a weekend at the Great Britain Championships! We are so proud of each and every one of our dancers who attended. Both your hard work leading up to the event and support for each other on the day was truly amazing. A weekend full of beautiful dancing, personal bests and making memories. The countdown for the Oireachtas is officially on!

Congratulations everyone!

🇬🇧🏆 Top 5 🏆🇬🇧

U9 boys – Seamus Daly 2nd

U13 – Ciarra McCarthy 3rd 🌍

U17 – Mary Conway 3rd 🌍

U14 – Olivia Delaney 4th🌍

U12 – Ava Folan 5th 🌍

U13 Boys – Callum Schroeyers 5th🌍

U15 – Ellie-Kate McCarthy 5th🌍

Senior ladies – Ellie Arthurs 5th🌍

🇬🇧🏅 Top 10 🏅🇬🇧

6th Niamh U5

6th Ellen U10 🌎

🇬🇧 Top 20 🇬🇧

11th Nathan U12 boys

11th Ryan U13 boys

12th Lizzie U16 🌎

12th Louise U17 🌎

14th Freya U16 🌎

20th Ella-Rose U11


4th in the adult ceili

🇬🇧15 Recallers🇬🇧

🇬🇧 4 Prelim Placers🇬🇧

Roadtrip sashes galore!

Roadtrips to Nottingham and Newcastle!

Roadtrips to Nottingham and Newcastle! 942 960 Isabel Yorke
Amazing roadtrips to Nottingham and Newcastle this weekend for our dancers. Fabulous dancing in preparation for the All Scotlands with some really great results – 7 champions and a further 10 podium places!
Feis Glendarragh – Nottingham
🏆 u13 Champion – Ciarra McCarthy
🏆 u15 Champion -Ellie-Kate McCarthy
U5 superstar- Niamh Brennan
U9 – Aoife 13th
U10 Prelim – Matilda 3rd (top girl)
U10 Prelim – Darcie 10th
U11 – Ella Rose 4th
U12 Prelim – Chloe 2nd
U13 – Violet 4th
U14 – Olivia 2nd
U14 – Jayda 7th
U16 – Freya 4th
🏆 u5 Champion – Niamh Brennan
🏆 u10 Champion – Ellen Leavens
🏆 u12 Champion – Ava Folan
🏆 u13 Champion – Ciarra McCarthy
🏆 u15 Champion – Ellie-Kate McCarthy
U11- Eilis Gaughan 4th
U14 – Olivia Delaney 2nd
U14 – Jayda Nsajja 4th
U17 – Mary 2nd
Keep up the good work everyone!
Music: Dear Autumn
Musician: @iksonmusic

Interested in competing in the next feis? Check out our Feis Information page and speak to your teacher.