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How to Get Started in Irish Dance

If you, or your little one, is ready to give Irish dancing a try, then you’ve come to the right place! Here’s an overview of how to find a certified teacher, and what to expect from your first class.

Finding a Teacher

When starting to learn the art and sport of Irish dancing, it’s crucial to begin with a certified teacher. In order to become a certified teacher, individuals must pass a rigorous examination to prove their knowledge of the dance form and their ability to instruct it. CLRG offers several levels of certification, including TMRF (certified to teach team or ceili dancing), TCRG (certified to teach both solo and team dancing) and ADCRG (certified to teach solo and team dancing, as well as to judge dance competitions). Teachers must also pass a vetting background check every two years and are required to take child safety protection courses, to ensure the highest level of compliance for our industry. All teacher members of the IDTANA must be both certified and in compliance with these requirements, in order to be part of the organization.

Your First Class

While each Irish dance school is operated differently  here are some things you can likely expect when starting out:

  • Irish dance schools typically invite beginner students as young as 3 to 5, with no upper limit.
  • Sign-up periods vary by school. Many accepting new students year-round, while some hold registration at certain times of the year. Free trial lessons are common.
  • Students typically begin with soft shoe dancing. Through this, dancers are introduced to proper technique, like turning out their feet, holding strong posture, and counting to traditional Irish music. Commonly taught beginner steps include the Reel and the Light Jig.
  • Dancers can typically start in ballet slippers or even socks. Your teacher will instruct you on when to acquire a pair of Irish dance shoes.
  • Over time, you can expect lifelong friendships, great exercise, and a ton of fun learning this fast-paced, exciting, and unique dance form.

Ready to get started? Click here to find a certified Irish dance school and begin your journey!

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