A Lake Grove teen is taking the Irish dance world by storm.
Maggie Webber, 14, is the 2017 and 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Champion in Irish dancing and was crowned the 2017 North American National Champion.
“I've worked very hard since such a young age to achieve the goals of becoming a regional and national champion,” Webber recalled. “It’s incredible being rewarded for that hard work.”
She received a perfect 500 score in this year’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, a feat not pulled off by many. To get a perfect score, each judge needs to award a score of 100 to the competitor.
Webber is a freshman at Centereach High School. When she’s not playing on the school’s varsity field hockey team or spending time with friends, she’s practicing her technique at Mulvihill-Lynch Studio of Irish Dance, which happens to be owned by her mother, Debbie Lynch-Webber.
“To see any dancer be so passionate about Irish dance, and work at a level that exceeds any teacher’s expectation, is an indescribable feeling of pride and honestly, astonishment,” Debbie said. “To have watched my daughter enjoy these moments just fills my heart with pride like no other.”
The studio has been Webber’s second home since birth according to her mother. A dancer at her level practices every day of the week, spending three to four days in the studio, and the rest at home. Out of the studio preparation may involve cross training, stretching and maintaining a healthy diet.
She also got a taste of fame as “Irish Dance Magazine's” September cover girl. Webber was both shocked and humbled when her mom told her about the opportunity. “It was an amazing experience and I thank the editors for bestowing me with that honor,” she said.
Webber is now preparing for the All-Ireland Championships in Ireland, and the 2019 World Irish Dance Championships, which will be held in the U.S.
Irish dancing is a defining part of Webber’s life right now, and she sees herself continuing her mom’s tradition of teaching or adjudicating competitions in the future.
“It has become my biggest passion, and the people in my Irish dance community have become my family,” said Webber.