By Carina Livoti
McGough Academy School of Irish Dance stepped into Huntington in style last weekend with a grand opening celebration complete with a world-famous Irish step dancer.
The New York Avenue location is the academy’s third, but business owner Meagan McGough said that she had always intended to set up a studio in Huntington.
“I got started back in 2011 in Yonkers, then Scarsdale, because I had a job in the city, but I always wanted a place in Huntington,” she said.
McGough said she started teaching dance as part of a children’s cultural program.
“I wanted a cultural program. I had become a certified teacher; I thought I should put it to some use,” the fourth-generation Irish dancer said.
When 30 kids showed up at her first class, the cultural program McGough set out to create evolved into much more. Since then, the business has grown; McGough has opened three locations, which have produced regional champions. She said the academy sent a team to the world championship within the first year.
“I didn’t expect it to become what it has in the past three years,” McGough said of the academy’s progress.
According to McGough, she, Megan Di Base and Roisin Carlin, all of whom are world medal holders, handle most of the teaching. Five-time world champion Ciara Sexton comes in from the United Kingdom for quarterly workshops.
McGough may own the business, but she credits its success to the collaborative environment among the dance instructors and the variety constructive of feedback the students receive as a result.
“What I love about my business is that we are such a young group of women, all in their 20s; everyone has their own entrepreneurial area,” she said.
At the end of the day, the stars are the students; McGough said they had a great group of girls and boys, all of whom were talented and dedicated.