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Irish dancing is a sister act for Phoenix family

Teelin Irish Dance Company and sisters, from left, Piper, 7, Lucy, 10, and Madison Laudeman, 13, all of Baltimore County, perform "Jump" in the front doorway of the store, Kashmir, at Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, on March 3. Members of the dance company, which is run by Towson University graduate Maureen Gately, will perform this Sunday, March 11, at Baltimore's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Pat McCarty and her husband, Javid Mahajan, from Kashmir, India, owners of Kashmir, said they opened the shop in July and wanted to host an event to celebrate the area's diverse culture.
Teelin Irish Dance Company and sisters, from left, Piper, 7, Lucy, 10, and Madison Laudeman, 13, all of Baltimore County, perform "Jump" in the front doorway of the store, Kashmir, at Shops at Kenilworth in Towson, on March 3. Members of the dance company, which is run by Towson University graduate Maureen Gately, will perform this Sunday, March 11, at Baltimore's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Pat McCarty and her husband, Javid Mahajan, from Kashmir, India, owners of Kashmir, said they opened the shop in July and wanted to host an event to celebrate the area's diverse culture.(Staff Photo by Jen Rynda)

When Madison and Lucy Laudeman first started Irish dancing six years ago, the sisters went to a branch of Teelin School of Irish Dance that was located in Timonium.

With its fun music and challenging routines, Irish dancing reeled them in and has remained a favorite activity for the whole family — younger sister Piper is now dancing — despite the fact that the school is now based in Columbia.

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"There was no getting out of it," said Mary Laudeman, their mother. "We were hooked."

The Irish family makes the most of the commute three times a week, packing snacks and homework into their routine.

"I think Irish dance helps us come together," said Madison, 13, a seventh-grader at Notre Dame Preparatory school in Towson. "We enjoy doing it and look forward to our … nights."

For Piper, 7, who has been Irish dancing since she was 3, the activity is challenging but worth it.

"I get to dance with my friends and go to different places," Piper said. "Some think the steps aren't too hard and the dances aren't too hard. I don't think they are easy."

"It's a sport, if you ask me," said Mary Laudeman of Irish dancing. "It takes strength, flexibility and a lot of rhythm."

The Teelin School of Irish Dancing has a dance company that gives its students chances to perform around the area. Last week, the sisters performed at The Shops at Kenilworth, and this week they are scheduled to march in Baltimore'sSt. Patrick's Dayparade on Sunday, March 11.

"I like to see all the people and the crowd clapping," said Madison, of performing. "They all seem to really enjoy it, though they might not know the steps.."

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Lucy, 10, echoed her sister Madison.

"I like performing in front of people at gigs," Lucy said. "I like all the forms of dances."

Mary Laudeman is happy her girls enjoy it.

"It's fun when the whole family can do it," Mary said. "We all head out together."

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