The McHale School of Irish Dance was founded to offer classes affordable classes to children five years old and older.  Classes offer a wide range of levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced. Class are currently taught in Lutherville, Maryland.

Students learn all the aspects of Traditional Irish Dancing in a fun loving environment.  Some students opt to compete in a FEIS (competition) while others love the performance opportunities.  No matter what a child's passion may be, we support each student's goals.

DANCE INSTRUCTORS

Linda McHale Poggi, TCRG

Born and raised in Baltimore Maryland, Linda always had a passion for dancing, but was not interested in Tap or Ballet.  Because her mother was born and raised in Co Mayo, Ireland, she decided to look into Irish dance. Linda started lessons with Peggy Thompson, TCRG, in Annapolis, MD, and quickly realized Irish dancing was more then a passion, it was her  life and she wanted to teach.  

In the early 1980's, Linda began teaching  Ceili, Set and Step dancing to adults in Baltimore  and loved every second of teaching from the start.  "I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to touch so many lives," Linda has proudly said. "Over the years, hundreds of people have taken my classes and had the chance to practice their newly found talents at their Weddings, the  Emerald Isle Club monthly Ceili's and local Pubs like the long gone Gandy Dancer and still at J. Patrick's Pub Locust Point."  

Later, Linda decided to branch out and teach children's step dancing. She took her teacher's exam, offered by the Irish Dancing Commission.  She received her certification from An Ciomisiun le Rinci Gaelacha (The Irish Dancing Commission) of Dublin, Ireland.   As a registered instructor, the School is subject to all the rules and regulations set forth by the Irish Dancing Commission. These are applied by The Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America, Southern Region.


The school no longer offers adult  Ceili, Set or Adult Step dancing.  Linda now places her  energy into children's classes, plus enjoys  family time on the side. Married with three children, twins Olivia & Nicholas  and a son Andrew, Linda and her family reside in a suburb of Baltimore. 

Beth Schell Balog

Beth was introduced to Irish step dancing at the age of four after seeing a performance at a local Irish Festival.  She spent the next thirteen years performing and taking part in competitions, enjoying every moment.  

 

While some dancers age out after they finish high school, Beth quickly realized her love of Irish dancing was huge part of her life.  She decided to change the focus to the next generation of young dancers.  Over twelve years ago Beth began assisting Linda McHale with her classes.  Today, Beth is a co-teacher, assists with choreography and takes part in all of our performances. Her enthusiasm and dedication to the next generation is obvious when you watch her with the students, who just adore her.

 

Beth finds teaching enjoyable and extremely rewarding.  Beth is married, works full time as an Occupational Therapist and has three daughters. 

Clare Brennan

Clare started taking Irish dance lessons with Linda when she was just ten years old and continued until she graduated high school. When she went away to Penn State, she had the opportunity to share her love of Irish dance with PSIDE, the Penn State International Dance Ensemble, where she continued to learn.

 

When she moved back to Baltimore for graduate school, Clare was so excited to help with Linda's classes and come full circle in the dancing world. 

 

Clare is now a French teacher by day and Irish dance teacher by night. She enjoys being able to work with the various age groups and showing them all how much fun they can have with Irish dance. 

Brigid Klein

Brigid is the baby of the family and comes from a long line of siblings that were all part of McHale School of Irish Dance at some point—a tradition of sort. Brigid was born dancing, patiently waiting for her turn to enroll in classes, and has been dancing with McHale for thirteen years.  

 

She graduated in May from Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville. During her four years at Mount de Sales, she was president of the 4H club, member of the Support the Troops Club, and she was on the tennis team for three years. Brigid also plays the piano. She is in her final year at Loyola College in Baltimore—yet another family tradition. Brigid will graduate in Spril 2018 with a degree in elementary and special education.

Student Teachers

We have students that assist with beginner classes. This helps to break-up groups and provides a better pace for individual students to learn. It also allows us to keep those advancing quickly challenged.

The younger students enjoy spending time with the advanced dancers.  We find they become a role model and encourage the students to strive to learn more with the hopes that they too will someday help in a beginner class.

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