The McGinley School of Irish Dance began in 1999 when Lena McGinley, ADCRN, started teaching six students. What originally began as a small performance troupe has grown to be a successful Irish Dance School in Central Pennsylvania. Over the last sixteen years, Lena along with her sister, Annie McGinley, ODCRN, have taught hundreds of dancers ranging in age from 3 through adulthood.
The goal of the school is to promote Irish heritage and dancing while striving for excellence in our innovative performances and perfection in dance and technique for competitions. The school promotes an environment in which children are encouraged, motivated and challenged to excel in Irish Dancing and in life. We hope that our students will form an appreciation of Irish dancing, culture and heritage that they can in turn share with others in the community.
The McGinley School of Irish Dance began as a performance Irish dance troupe over a decade ago in January 2000. The group was created with six original members and focused solely on teaching and performance. As the dancers progressed and the school grew, Lena searched other avenues to challenge her students. In August 2004, the school became a Cumann Rince Náisiúnta (CRN, Dublin, Ireland), sanctioned school and began to implement CRN’s curriculum. Lena has built the school based on core values such as discipline, hard work, and dedication and by not losing sight of why we continue to do this: for the kids.
As a member of CRN, dancers from the McGinley School of Irish Dance participate in Feiseanna (Irish Dancing competitions) at the local, national, and world level. Dancers compete in both solo and team competitions. The school prides itself on always striving for excellence, whether it is through performance or competitive avenues. Because of this, dancers from the school have been very successful in their competitive efforts.
Dancers from the McGinley School of Irish Dance have performed with world-class entertainers such as Cherish the Ladies, Eileen Ivers, Frank Patterson, Gaelic Storm, The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, The Prodigal, Searson, and Trinity Irish Dance Troupe in venues that include An Grianan Theatre (Letterkenny, Ireland), Carlisle Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Eisenhower Auditorium (PSU), Dancers from the McGinley School of Irish Dance have performed with world-class entertainers such as Cherish the Ladies, Eileen Ivers, Frank Patterson, Gaelic Storm, The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, The Prodigal, Searson, and Trinity Irish Dance Troupe in venues that include An Grianan Theatre (Letterkenny, Ireland), Carlisle Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Eisenhower Auditorium
On a local level, the school is known for their crowd pleasing and entertaining performances throughout Central Pennsylvania. Throughout the month of March, dancers from the school can be found performing at local Irish Pubs and restaurants. During the summer months you can find them at the local Irish Festivals.
Please feel free to check out our Performances Page for upcoming events.
We are proud to announce that in November 2007, the McGinley School of Irish Dance purchased a 2800 square foot building in Lemoyne, PA, and converted it into a new dance studio for the group. With much help from dedicated parents and students, along with the many hours put in by our contractor, the new building opened in January 2008. The new studio boasts a 1300 square foot dance floor that was engineered and designed by one of our dedicated fathers and constructed by some great dads and friends of the group that again dedicated their time and talents to our school.
If you would like more information about our school, whether you would like to book a performance or join the school as a dancer, please email Lena directly or call (717)439-2991.