Our beloved founder, teacher, and director, Mary McInerney-Zona TCRG, of the McInerney School of Irish Step Dance lost her battle with cancer on July 23, 2009. She was a certified teacher with An Coimisun le Rinci Gaelacha (The Irish Dancing Commission), IDTANA, and IDTANE and ta former Irish step dancing champion. She had been involved in Irish dancing since the age of 4, winning numerous Regional and National awards and attending World Championships in Ireland.
"Mary Mac" as she was known to all, began her study of Irish Step Dance in New York City under the instruction of Anna O'Sullivan ADCRG,TCRG. Mary danced with the O'Sullivan School of Irish Dancing through 1977. From there Mary moved to New England where continued her education in Irish Dance with the Michael Smith Academy in Boston now known as the Smith-Houlihan Academy.
Mary established the McInerney School in 1983 and had been teaching Irish dance in central Massachusetts for over 20 years. Her school currently has hundreds of dancers, many of whom compete at feiseanna throughout the country, and perform at events in the region year round. The McInerney School is proud to be represented at the World Championship in Philadelphia April 2009 and several of our champion dancers attended the National Championship in Nashville, Tennessee in July 2009. The McInerney School currently has dancers who are medal holders and a placement from National Championships in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Mary's accomplishments have been throughout the community and with her school has recieved many awards for her dedication to preserving the tradition of Irish Step Dance. Her awards include the St. Patrick's Parade Good Citizenship Award and the Worcester County Firefighters Pipe and Drum Award. We are proud to announce that Mary had been chosen to be honored as the Grand Marshall of Worcester's St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 15, 2009. Mary had taken a formal role within the New England Oireachtas serving as a Co-Chair Person in 2008 and she continued her role until July 2009. She had also served on the Adjudicator Committee for this past National Championship 2008.
Clare McInerney-Gentilucci TCRG, along with her sister Ann and brother Sean danced with Mary over the years. Former champion dancers themselves, they have helped promote the Irish tradition and have brought light-hearted enjoyment to many of our events. Clare has been assisting Mary in class, feiseanna, and performances since 1993 and recieved her TCRG in the fall. Clare's advanced and experienced McInerney dancers also assist her in many of the classes at each location to allow for more individualized attention at all levels.
The McInerney and Zona Family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.
Mary Mac and Bobby will always be "dancing in our hearts forever."
Mary's Legacy will continue through her Supportive Family
The McInerney School has the support of Mary's parents John and Bridget, her family, and many of her Open level dancers.