Margaret Cleary was born in London of Irish parents (Tipperary and Kerry), the eldest of five girls, all champion dancers. She commenced dancing at the age of 8, and during her competitive years won countless solo championships, including All-England title and All-Ireland awards. She was a member of the Kavanagh senior figure dance team that were World Champions three consecutive years. Margaret attained her teaching accreditation (TCRG) with the Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin in 1976 and subsequently taught children in London whilst studying for her B.A. in Business at a London university.
In 1984, Margaret moved to Los Angeles. In 1988, she resumed Irish dancing by offering classes for adults. Children’s classes were added in 1993. In addition to teaching both adults and children’s classes, Margaret is in constant demand to adjudicate Irish dance competitions throughout North America, has judged National events as well as overseas including the World Championships in Ireland. She has undertaken numerous choreography assignments for TV, film and commercials and has worked very closely with the Disney Corporation on various projects. In 1994, Margaret Cleary was recognized for her contributions to the Irish community in Southern California by Mayor Richard Riordan, as an Irish Honoree of the Year. In 2002 and 2003, Margaret had the honor of teaching at the most prestigious of Irish summer schools in the U.S., Gaelic Roots in Boston College. In 2005, Margaret successfully achieved the status of Irish Dancing Commission Examiner, one of 8 in North America, 32 worldwide. She has served five terms as an executive board member of the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA); three terms in the position of Western US Regional Director for the IDTANA and is currently a Vice President of An Coimisiun le Rince Gaelacha.
Margaret Cleary resides in Los Angeles with husband, Peter Dean and daughter, Katie Dean. Katie too is a champion dancer and now teaches with Margaret as a qualified TCRG. Cleary Irish Dance is a family run business and all dancers are welcomed as members of The Cleary Irish Dance family.