A new dance studio that opened in September to offer a specialized style of dance in Greater Lansing has already moved to a new space to accommodate demand.
The McCartney Academy of Irish Dance
took up residence in early February in a 600-square foot facility at 7868 M-78 in Haslett. Before the move, owner Meghan Scott had sublet spaces in other dance studios. Now ensconced in her very own space, Scott will continue with her seven classes as well as add up to four or five more as interest jumps.
"This space is the ideal shape for Irish Dance," says Scott. "It's square—not rectangular—which allows dancers to move in a more circular motion."
Scott should know. Growing up in Lansing, she learned the intricacies of the traditional dance form through the Irish Dance Company of Lansing, then went on to compete and capture championship honors as a solo dancer. She later earned a dance scholarship to Mars Hill University where she helped the team win two national championships.
Returning to Lansing, Scott saw the need for an Irish dance academy and set out to fill the niche.
"I wanted to be able to offer my dancers something I would have wanted when I was growing up," she says. "Irish dance is a high-energy style of dance that's deeply rooted in tradition. It's a cool opportunity to learn something very graceful, as well as to put on hard shoes and make a lot of noise."
Scott's 60 dancers range in age from 3 to adult. While her classes began in September and will culminate in May with a recital at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, Scott is adding several 8-week classes in April so people can try it out.
"A lot of people are drawn to Irish dance because it's different," says Scott. "One of the reasons it's popular for adults is because many didn't have the opportunity growing up. Now they have a chance to try it. It can be really appealing to people who aren't necessarily drawn to other dance styles."
Scott will be taking dance groups on the road this summer, including a June performance at the Motor City Irish Festival.
While she currently teaches all classes, she hopes to add two to three instructors in the summer to help with growing demand.
Source: Meghan Scott, Owner, McCartney Academy of Irish Dance
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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