Irish Dance School Has Kept Part of Ireland in Newtown Square for 60 Years


The McDade-Cara Irish School of Dance in Newtown Square grew out of Maureen McDade McGrory’s desire to maintain the region’s Irish culture, writes Janelle Burre for CBS Philly.

“My mom started the school in 1962, and she found herself surrounded in this area by immigrants from Ireland,” said Sheila Sweeney, who took over the school when her mom died and has run it for 25 years. The school has about 150 students, some as young as three years old.

Student Emma McGuinn says dancing has helped boost her confidence and make friends. 

“I met some of my friends who I will have for hopefully the rest of my life, some of the best people I’ve ever met,” she said.

The students perform at competitions and parades, taking classes several days a week to perfect their form.

“I feel happy when I’m doing it, and it just makes me smile,” said student Caitlyn Breslin. “It just puts a smile on my face to make other people feel good.”

Read more about the McDade-Cara School of Irish Dance at CBS Philly.

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