SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- During the 2019 North American Irish Dance Championships in Vancouver, Canada, Meghan Mahaffey of the Union Catholic Class of 2021 placed 22nd out of 140 girls in North America, qualifying her to dance at the 2020 World Championships in Dublin, Ireland in April.

Meghan Mahaffey has been dancing for the Marie Moore School of Irish Dance in Scotch Plains since she was four years old, and for many years, Meghan has participated in local, regional, and international competitions as a soloist and as part of a team.

To train for the World Championships, Meghan will attend 3-4 two hour classes per week and will compete in local competitions on the weekends. These rigorous classes will focus on learning choreography, practicing steps, and building stamina.

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Mahaffey says that competitive dance has taught her many life skills.

"I have learned to be confident to perform in front of hundreds of people at a time," said Mahaffey, a junior this year at Union Catholic. "This has given me confidence that I will take with me throughout my life. In addition, I have learned to work well with others. Whether it be in a team dance or supporting another dancer's solo performance, I have learned to help those around me."

"Overall, I have learned great responsibility from Irish Dance. I have had to balance school, dance, lacrosse, debate, and my social life. Dance has taught me to manage my time well."

Meghan balances these activities all while serving UC as a Student Ambassador and engaging in volunteer work at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church in Scotch Plains.