For as long as they could stand on two feet, Delia and Mary (both 14) have been Irish stepping. It’s in their blood. Mary McKenna and Delia Doherty have been dancing since they were three years old at the Woods School of Irish Dance. Taught by their mothers – Roseann (Woods) McKenna and Peggy (Woods) Doherty – these inseparable cousins have natural talent and are both disciplined and dedicated when it comes to Irish step dance.
Just a week ago, both Mary and Delia traveled to the World Championship of Irish Step Dance in Belfast, Ireland. Considered the Olympics of Irish dancing, the best dancers from around the world compete. But Mary and Delia are no strangers to competition of this caliber. Both have competed in the World’s before. In 2009, Delia competed in Belfast; both Mary and Delia competed in Philadelphia, PA in 2010; and in 2011 Mary competed in Dublin.
Up against 160 dancers from all over the world, Mary danced a slip jig and a heavy jig; Delia danced a reel and a hornpipe. Mary, along with 50 other competitors, got called back to dance one more dance. She placed 26th overall and 11th for the United States.
The scoop on the girls:
More like sisters than cousins, Mary and Delia do just about everything together. They are best friends and living next door to one another makes it all the more convenient to spend every waking moment together. According the Mary’s mother Roseann, “They finish each other sentences and make each other laugh louder and harder than any other person could ever do.” Both girls attend the Southfield School in Brookline and are in the eighth grade. For both of them, math is their favorite subject. When asked what their favorite movie is, they both answered enthusiastically, “The Hunger Games.” Team Peeta or Team Gale? Mary couldn’t decide and Delia answered with a confident, “Peeta.”
Mary Rose McKenna
- Daughter of Roseann Woods and Stephen McKenna
- Youngest sister of Stephen and Brendan
- Favorite restaurant: Mirasola’s
- Role model: My parents
- What do you want to be when you grow up? Pediatrician
- Favorite place in Southie? Sidewalk Cafe
- Daughter of Peggy Woods and Shaun Doherty
- Big sister to Sean Doherty
- Favorite Restaurant: Sal’s
- Role model: My parents
- What do you want to be when you grow up? Lawyer
- Favorite place in Southie? The beaches
Answer the following:
Having a big family is great because:
Mary: there is always something fun going on
Delia: holidays and events are always fun
My favorite song is
Mary: Want To by Sugarland
Delia: Starships by Nikki Minaj
Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Both: Team Jacob
River Dance or Lord of the Dance?
Both: River Dance
Jeans or a dress?
Delia: a dress
Pizza or Chinese food?
The best thing about Irish Step is
Mary: you get to travel a lot.
Delia: the competition.
Delia and Mary are both a breath of fresh air and ray of sunshine combined into one. They are smart, beautiful, kind and extremely talented. The World Championship of Irish Step Dance will come to Boston in the spring of 2013, and we are confident that Delia and Mary will be center stage once again with a hometown advantage. And it when it comes to representing our town of South Boston, we couldn’t pick two finer examples of outstanding young women.
Photography by Deborah McCarthy