Passion for Dance

Freshman Daniel Murtagh Devotes Long Hours to Irish Step


Aisling McLaughlin

Abington freshman Daniel Murtagh came in 1st in the New England Oireachtas Regionals on November 16, 2018 held in Hartford at the Convention Center.

Mia Scarpelli , Contributor

Daniel Murtagh has not always attended Abington Public Schools. From kindergarten to 7th grade, Murtagh went to St. Francis of Assisi School in Braintree. Although somewhat new to the Abington Schools, Murtagh is not new to Irish Step Dancing. At 14-years-old, Murtagh, a freshman, is also a regional champion Irish Step Dancer. He has been dancing since he was 9 years old.

Murtagh says “I have dance practice five times a week, and I make time to practice at home. As well as stretching and working on my routine.” 

Murtagh puts passion and heart into everything he does, from participating in Irish step dance at Dunleavy Boyle Bremer Academy in Hanover for upwards of two hours every day, to spreading kindness to many peers. Freshman Riley Ceurvels said that “Daniel has always treated me with respect and kindness every since I met him. He was an outgoing individual in 8th grade with a warm personality. When he first met me, he shook my hand. He’s very respectful.”

Murtagh is an honor roll student who strives for good grades, despite the added stresses of dancing every day. He said, “School always comes first. I always finish my homework to the best of my ability, and then I practice at home or at the studio.” The freshman has managed to keep up his good grades even with traveling for Irish step.  

He has traveled far and wide, as far as Glasgow, Scotland.  Murtagh said, “I went to Scotland in March of 2016. I didn’t have my best performance and ended up getting 36th in the world.”

Although there are highs to being such a talented dancer, Murtagh explained the lows: “everything must be perfect. It’s a sport that is determined by judges, so it’s never certain what [score] you will get.”

I have dance practice five times a week, and I make time to practice at home.

— Daniel Murtagh

Murtagh is currently preparing for the 2019 World Irish Dancing Championships to be held April 14-21 in Greensboro, NC. His goal is to place in the top 10 in the world this year. Throughout Murtagh’s entire Irish step dancing career, he has been to many feises which he explained as “small competitions which you usually compete with people in your region,” Murtagh said.

Murtagh’s peers at Abington High School wish him luck at the Championships!