Mona celebrates 40 years in Crossmaglen

July 20, 2010

Mona began dancing at the age of 5 with the late Pat Matthews in Dundalk.  She went on to be one of the most successful dancers in the world at that time by winning every award in solo dancing.

Speaking to Mona this week she says ‘I began teaching in 1970 after getting my teachers certificate.  I have been very fortunate to have taught dancers who have been successful at local, provincial, national and international level over the 40 years.”

“The school was also very successful in ceili dancing and probably our most memorable achievements at this level was to win the Senior Ladies and Mixed Ceili competitions at the World Championships for the past four years in a row”.

On a non competitive level – Monday herself represented Ireland aboard at a number of celtic festivals in Brittany and Spain, and also toured the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Scotland and Libya.

With Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann the school also participated in festivals aboard in Brittany and Spain on many occasions.

The arrival of ‘Riverdance’ and ‘Lord of the Dance’ have certainly brought Irish Dance to the international stage and have brought a whole new dimension to this beautiful art form, but the basics have never changed says Mona and she is delighted to have reached this milestone.

Mona’s two daughters Ciara and Dearbhla (both lead dancers in the two shows) and Maria McCaul are now carrying on the tradition and are keeping the school flag flying proudly.

Mona’s first class was opened in Crossmaglen Rangers Hall on Whit Monday 1970.  The South Armagh class went on to produce dancers of the very finest calibre who won many Ulster, All-Ireland and World titles.  In fact some of Mona’s dancers have now become teachers and adjudicators and are very successful in continuing this fine tradition locally and nationally.

The celebrations will continue in earnest on August 14th in the Park Inn Hotel, Armagh Road, Dundalk at 7.30pm and Mona looks forward to seeing many of her former students on that night.

For further information tickets etc, contact Ciara or Dearbhla at 087 7538832 or Maria at 087 1261810