Joni Muggivan, TCRG
At the age of 4, in a time when Irish dancing was virtually unknown in New Orleans, Joni Muggivan began dancing under world-renowned dancer, Paul Tynan. Because local teachers were scarce, she attended workshops all over the country in order to cultivate her talent and gain knowledge and experience in the world of competitive Irish dancing. Her list of teachers includes dancing superstars such as Jean Butler and Colin Dunne. At home, she danced under, and would later teach with, Mary Ann McGrath Swaim, TCRG, who she credits with fostering in her a true love for the search for, and acquisition of, knowledge and expertise in competition, performance, and teaching alike.
Under Swaim, Joni represented the New Orleans School of Irish Dancing in regular performances with such artists as Legacy, Danny O’Flaherty, and The Celtic Folk. In addition, her celebrated talent landed her performances in various venues, such as the North Texas Irish Festival, Notre Dame University, Celtic Cruise Lines, and Galveston’s Grand Operi House. She was heard on the radio with her hard shoes, appeared on multiple television programs, including the Angel Hill Show, and was even featured on the Poor Clare’s Album “Change of Habit.”
Perhaps the only thing more impressive than her performance record is her achievement in competition. She has competed all over the United States and in Ireland at the Championship level, having achieved open championship status at the age of 14. She competed in two Mid-American Oireachtas, during which she performed her own choreography and placed in the 80th percentile. She also competed in three Southern Region Oireachtas where she was awarded two seconds and a third place. In 1998, she became the first dancer in Louisiana to compete at the World Championships in Ireland, where again, she danced her own choreography. In recognition of her talent, unceasing effort, and outstanding personal initiative, Joni received two awards for achievement in dance, one from Loyola University, and one from the Irish Cultural Society as a worthy recognition for one of the most impressive young performers and teachers in the state.