Lady of the Dance: The newest leading lady in Michael Flatley's 'Lord of the Dance'
Not long after her success at the North American Championship, Maggie retired from competitive dance, but found she was not quite ready to hang up her shoes. “You realize that it’s a part of who you are. I think that’s what really started my thinking about going professional.”
After graduating from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maggie went to England to begin rehearsals for Michael Flatley’s production "Celtic Tiger," inspired by the economic boom in Ireland.
Touring with the show brought Maggie to unfamiliar places, performing everywhere from Budapest to London and also reunited her with some familiar faces. The cast included dancers from all over the world whom Maggie had encountered in various competitions early in her career. With the new adventure of touring and the competitive heat behind them, the cast was able to bond and form a family.
“I like the fact that I am now good friends with so many dancers that I used to watch in competition,” Maggie said.
After a successful run with "Celtic Tiger," Maggie joined the touring troupe for "Lord of the Dance."
“I first started dancing with 'Lord of the Dance' two years ago and I made it a career goal to audition for lead. I did not stop smiling during the audition, which I think helped me a lot.”
Surpassing the goal of just auditioning, Maggie landed the coveted part of Saoirse. She shares the role with three other dancers, Tracey Smith McCarron, Siobhan Connolly and Louise Hayden, and plays opposite the male lead, a role played rotationally by Ciaran Connolly, Jason Gorman and Don McCarron.
Newest to the role of Saoirse, Maggie will dance primarily in matinee performances in the upcoming North American tour.
“It was a dream come true, cheesy as it may sound. I worked really hard leading up to the audition, and my cast mates were so helpful and supportive throughout the whole process.”
Adjusting to the Michael Flatley Irish dance style
While competitive Irish step-dancing involves its fair share of theatrics, bouncy wigs and intricate costumes included, Flatley’s shows utilize an entirely new style, unnatural at first for most competitive dancers.
“For a long time my dance captains had to remind me to loosen up and perform for the audience more. It took me a while to get used to moving my arms and my upper body while dancing, something which traditional Irish dancing forbids.”