Mary began Irish Dance classes in County Clare, Ireland while on an eight week summer stay visiting her Grandmother. The eight weeks developed a love for the art that has remained with her to date. Upon returning from Ireland she began lessons with the Dennehy School of Irish Dance in Chicago. Mary's classmates included her brother John, Michael, Patrick, Thoma and Liza Flatley, Kathy and Dennis Dennehy, Michael, Mary and Peggy Mullane, and many more friends that are still teaching and involved in Irish dance today.
Mary advanced fast into a champion dancer and then started teaching in 1980 with her brother John. She became a certified Irish dance teacher with CLRG in 1982.