Grade Exams

McGL recently held a day of Grade Examinations in Oxford. These events offer an alternative path of progression in Irish dance and eventually count towards a TCRG (Irish dance teaching) qualification.

It looks like great fun too! Stay tuned for our next grade exam day – to be held on the 14th May 2017 (save the date!)


Preliminary Championship Winners

We wanted to say a special well done to our THREE prelim championship winners so far in 2017. It is a huge achievement and means they move up to the highest grade in solo Irish dancing – Open Championship.

We’ve also had a great number of seconds and thirds in the prelim grade. To those dancers: enjoy your successes, keep working hard and your day will come.

Congratulations Drew, Mollie and Lainey! 

Fab Feis Days! A great beginning to 2017

Congratulations to all our dancers who have been out in force at feiseanna so far this year. Thank you to all our dedicated parents, family and friends who give up their time on cold winter days to attend these events, supporting the dancers! From what you can see below, it has really paid off. Dancers in all grades have really performed their best and achieved personal goals.

Congratulations everybody!

2016 – A great year in review

As the dancing year comes to an end it’s time to look back on what’s been an amazing 20th anniversary year for McGL.


The Academy managed more major titles and qualifiers then in any other of our previous 20 years.

Overall we managed to achieve:-

3 All Ireland Champions
2 Great Britain Champions
3 British National Champions
3 All Scotland Champions
1 North American Champion
6 SR Oireachtas Champions
26 SR Qualifiers & 11 European Qualifiers

The Academy continues the thrive in Essex, Kent, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and our London classes in Balham are really starting to take off.

This year has also seen a significant improvement in our European classes. The Academy now conducts classes in both Prague and Warsaw twice monthly and the results at the European Oireachtas speak for themselves with 11 dancers qualifying, 10 of which all appeared in the top 5.

The Academy also held its annual Feis in Welling this year. As part of this years Feis we were able to celebrate the Academies anniversary by giving each entrant a specially commissioned enamled medal. The Academy also hosted its annual Charity Feis in Oxford raising funds in aid of Helen and Douglas House raising over £2000.

The Academy continues to be supported by a dedicated group of parents who as the “Friends of McGahan Lees” continue to raise funds to support dancers travel expenses to overseas competitions as well as supporting the Academy at grass routes level with funded workshops and external teaching support such as fitness and mind coaches.

We look forward to the continued support of our dancers and parents throughout the next year wishing them and all of our colleagues around the world a very happy Christmas.


Christmas Class Feis 2016

We love the Christmas Class Feis anyway, but this year we had great fun. We saw remarkable talent, great friendship (with a competitive edge) and we hope that every dancer enjoyed getting up on stage for their moment to show off what they have learnt this year. There were some priceless reactions to winning trophies, medals and presents from Santa in the awards ceremonies. Here are some photos!


Oireachtas Results

Now that we have had time to recover, we have our final results together from the SER Oireachtas (below). Plus here are a few highlights in pictures:


We had 6 Oireachtas champions:

Gavina Zuccarello u17
Liam Forrest u20
Ashton Canty u10
Ellie Kate McCarthy u10
Ellie Arthurs u18
Ava Folan u7

Lily Taylor u20

Ciarra McCarthy u8
Callum Schroeyers u8
Jacob Browne u9
Liam Howe u14
Beth McGillicuddy u14

Christopher Gaine u8
Erin Rothwell u11
Mary Conway u12
Lucie Peters u6

Maddison Humphreys u10
Jodie Upton u20
Molly O’Neill SL

Oireachtas trophy champions

Drew Shannahan u10
Hannah McKay u13
Mary Owens SL

Congratulations to our 26 qualifiers in total! What an achievement.

Freya McMahon u11
Louise Sanders u11
Catherine James u12
Louise Fitzpatrick u12
Betty McAdden u13
Eden Hartzell u13
Megan Horsley u14
Alice Craig u16
Kelly McGillicuddy u17
Niall Forrest u20
Lauren Cooke SL
Gabby Nurse SL

Thank you to all our remaining dancers for dancing your absolute best and making us so proud of you.

*Daria Hudson* Lola Barker* Charlie Dench* Jayda Nsajja* Niamh Gillen* Ursula McAdden* Lainey O’Sullivan* Ella Turton* Leah Macdonald* Hannah Canty* Mabel Williams* Hannah Mathieson* Amaia D’Souza* Annie Clarke* Katie Cuddy* Georgia Schroeyers* Emilie Stewart* Blaise Fellows* Niamh Ayres* Mollie Harris* Rowan Fellows* Emma Freeman* Sarah Cuddy* Mary Owens* Lindsey Forrow*

A huge well done also to our two dancers who competed in the Midlands Oireachtas:

*Freddie Jones * Nicole Jones*

It’s Oireachtas Season… Good Luck!

We want to say a huge good luck to dancers all over the world competing at their regional Oireachtas this winter. These are the main qualifying events for the World Championships next spring. Whether you are going for experience, aiming to secure a qualifying place, or aiming to be crowned regional champion, don’t forget to enjoy performing.

A special good luck to all of our McGL minions competing THIS WEEKEND! We know you will support each other whatever the results. Be fearless and aim for the stars! Even if you don’t quite reach your aim this time, you know your friends, family and teachers will be there for you.

#teammcgl #blackandyellow


Two Times All Ireland Champion!

It is one thing to win a major title once, but to retain it for a second year running is a different ball game! How amazing that our Gavina has done just that, becoming two times All Ireland Champion! Here is the moment in pictures:


Gavina’s amazing moment! Shared with teachers Siobhan and Frances, John Whitehurst (U17 boys champ) and Dara O’Shea (a former winner of the prestigious trophy)