25 Years of McGahan Leeshttps://www.mcgahanlees.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/WhatsApp-Image-2021-07-29-at-22.35.41.jpeg12411754Isabel YorkeIsabel Yorkehttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/d5a2aa5d086a4759173a250592ca87d3?s=96&d=mm&r=g
The Date: August 1996
The Place: The Dream Carnival Cruise Liner somewhere in the Caribbean…
Frances McGahan picks up a satellite phone (no such thing as a mobile back then) and calls the CLRG office in Dublin to find out if she has passed her TCRG examination taken some 2 months before.
Taking her teaching examination whilst organising her wedding, working full time in the City, and teaching a small dance class at weekends would simply prepare Frances for the 24-hours-a-day and 365-days-a-year it would take to create and run a successful Irish dance Academy.
Thankfully the honeymoon wasn’t spoilt. Frances passed her TCRG exam, and McGahan Lees was born.
Move forward 25 years – Frances and McGL now look to commence celebrations of their Silver Anniversary.
So many amazing memories have been created; so many lifelong friendships have been made. Through its share of tears and laughter, the McGL journey has created so many life opportunities for its dancers and teachers.
There have been so many people involved in this journey. Frances’ family who inspired and supported her dream, her own teachers, those who helped her through her TCRG examinations, and the friends who have been there in good times and bad, providing great advice or simply a sounding board or shoulder to cry on.
There have been the obvious highlights, but being a successful dance academy cannot just be judged by titles (of which there are many). McGL is a family and community, bringing together those with a common interest that becomes a major part of their lives, with so many creating future careers from a simple pastime.
Seeing the “Friends of McGahan Lees” still going and looking to support the Academy’s dancers at their 20th North American Championships in Montreal next year is testament to McGL being so much more than just dance classes. The Academy is rightly proud of its reaction to the Covid pandemic and the way it reacted to the continual changes of class restrictions and lock-downs. We kept everyone engaged. We ran some amazing events but above all provided some stability for our dancers and families in what was a testing time for all.
Over the next year, McGL will celebrate this journey with numerous special events, sharing many memories along the way.
For those of you who have been part of the journey: thank you! And to those who think it’s something they’d like to get involved in, please get in touch.