What is taught in Beginner Irish Dance
Beginner Irish dancers learn how to clap hands to the beat of music, how to stand ready to dance, how to point their toes, and how to push up onto their toes in a movement similar to what ballet dancers call "releve". From there, our future Riverdance stars learn the most basic movement of Irish dance, which is called the "1-2-3". This is how Irish dancers move forward direction on a dancefloor! It is then learned in reverse, which is how the dancers move backwards. The next lessons are in how to move to the left and right, while crossing our feet and dancing up on our toes! At each stage, mastery of these movements teaches young learners physical fitness, balance, coordination, timing, rhythm, and patience through repetition. Classes at the beginner levels use lots of games and music to teach these concepts and skills, so that their minds and bodies are challenged in a positive, engaging way! Friendship is also a focus, as the classmates learn to help one another and encourage one another as they learn their first steps as an Irish dancer. Older beginner dancers are progressed rapidly through these first movements, so that they can move into a class that fits their age, ability, and provides an enjoyable social environment.
What do beginner dancers wear/bring?
Beginner dancers are encouraged to wear shorts or yoga/sweatpants, with a tank top or close-fitting t-shirt, as loose pants/shirts can be distracting and sometimes cause injury when the children are moving around in class! Socks must be worn. Dance shoes are not required, but if a dancer would like to wear ballet slippers or borrow used Irish dance shoes from our collection, they are welcome to do so! Dancers should also bring a water bottle.
My child is shy, can we try class first?
We encourage any interested dancer to email us and schedule a time to try the class for free. If a dancer needs a few trial days prior to deciding, that is ok too! As parents ourselves, we understand that children need time and encouragement and should be allowed to have that before making a decision to join a class. There is no commitment or pressure, because beginner class is all about fun and a positive dance experience for your child.
What ages are appropriate for beginner classes?
Dancers ages 4-6 are the perfect fit for our 5:15pm class. If your dancer is 3 but interested in class, we welcome and encourage you to bring them and see how they do! If your dancer is 7 but feels more comfortable with younger friends, it is ok to have them come to 5:15pm class, as the age limits are merely a guide and not a strict rule.
Have an older dancer interested in learning to dance? Our 6pm class features dancers from 7+, with several dancers who are 10+. A motivated older dancer can schedule private lessons in addition to class time, and move to a more advanced older class as soon as the basic movements are learned. We are proud of how we are able to work with each individual student to provide the class environment and extra support needed to succeed as they start learning to Irish dance with us!
We are not sure about the competitive aspect, will my child have to compete?
No child is required to compete. While the majority of students in our advanced classes do compete in both teams and solo events, we have dancers who do not compete and focus more on the performance aspect of Irish dancing. There is a wealth of performance opportunities available to our dancers year-round, including the St. Patrick's Day parade! There are many fun camps and classes offered both at our school and by outside organizations which focus solely on the art of performing Irish dance. Deciding not to compete does not hold a dancer back from advancing through our classes to the highest level of class.
Should your child express an interest in trying a competition, or "feis" (fesh), we provide the support, encouragement, and team atmosphere that they dance with joy and a positive attitude. We work hard to ensure that parents and students are prepared with the skills and information they need to enjoy the experience in a healthy way.
What is the schedule and commitment for beginner classes?
Our beginner classes are Wednesdays 5:15pm (ages 4-6) and 6-6:45pm (ages 7+). The classes run year round. During the school year, beginner classes are cancelled during school vacations. There is NO registration fee, and NO commitment. Cost is $45 per month, with convenient online payment and autobilling available. Boys dance FREE for the first YEAR.
You can stop and start beginner class as often as you need in order to accommodate busy family schedules and other extracurricular activities.
Refer a new dancer to us? You can receive the value of their monthly tuition off of your bill for up to 4 months !