Forum: Irish / Irish

Irish Dance Organisations and Associations 2014 (karma: 2)
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 23, 2014 02:38 PM
Edited by reel_faerie85 (220924) on 2014-04-23 14:49:29

Most schools will belong to a governing body or association. Here are the main ones around the world:

AIDA - Australian Association of Irish Dance ( )
The largest Association in Australia. AIDA is a branch of CLRG.

An Cohmdhail. ( . . .)
An Comhdhail, state that their purpose is to foster, encourage and promote the art and practice of Irish Dancing and to protect and defend, as well as improve the rights and conditions of its members. All teachers and adjudicators are fully qualified , TCRG or ADCRG. An Comhdhail feiseanna are closed to non-members in the UK and Eire excepting at the Derry feis which is run jointly between CLRG and An Comhdhail and in the USA where all their feiseanna are Open Platform.

CAID - Celtic Association of Irish Dance. ( )
The Celtic Association of Irish Dance was formed with the emphasis on Enjoyment and Fun, and actively promotes this in its dancing and feiseanna. It is open to both qualified and non-qualified teachers. It has schools throughout the United Kingdom, mainly in the South East and in Eire. Most of their feiseanna are by invitation only however some are completely open platform.

CCE - Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (
Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music. They provide music, dance and language classes.

CIDA/CDA - Celtic and Irish Dance Association Inc. ( is a small, completely Open Platform organization in South Australia which began in 2001 as a response to offering Irish Dance alternatives. CIDA believe that all parents are entitled to dance options and choices that do not require large financial output nor extreme glamour and glitz.. Originally started as CDA, the organization has altered its name to CIDA. In the CIDA friendly environment dancers aim to achieve the best they can recognizing that the love of movement is innate in everybody. Performance attire is purposefully noted as being traditional and sophisticated. At the CIDA feiseanna all competitors are commended with participation certificates.

CLRG -An Comisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha (Irish Dancing Commission) ( . . . )
An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha was established by Conradh na Gaeilge � The Gaelic League � in the 1920's as a commission for the purpose of examining the organisation of Irish dancing. An Comisiun was the first organisation to establish standards for teachers and adjudicators. It also published a handbook on Ceili dances and established the Oireachtas an Rince. CLRG has nine regional councils throughout the world and is the biggest organisation. CLRG is closed platform and does not allow dancers from other organisations to dance at their feiseanna or any of their dances to dance with other organisations, with one exception the Derry Feis, hosted jointly between CLRG and An Comhdhail.

CRG - Cumann Rince Gaelach
The CRG was founded over 20 years ago to promote the great spirit and high standard of Irish Dancing as well as keeping it both fun and competitive. They run one feis each month and endeavour that all competitors will go home with medals and/or trophies which is extremely encouraging and rewarding for all. For more information on the organisation or to find out more about any of their events please contact Linda at:

CMFA - Cead Mile Failte Association ( . . .)
The organisation covers dancing schools in Hertfordshire, Kent, Essex, Sussex and Wiltshire, UK. As an organisation they hold monthly feiseanna run by member schools. Two of the CMFA teachers hold the annual open platform competition - The Hemel Open, usually held in July. .

CRDM - Cumann Rince Dea Mheasa ( )
CRDM was founded with the intent of preserving the history of Irish dancing and promoting its future. It teaches both step and ceili dancing. It aims to make Irish Dancing accessible to all. It names itself as the organisation of goodwill.

CRN - Cumann Rince Naisiunta (
CRN was founded in 1982 by a group of 12 teachers. Its motto is:" Do not do to others what you would not like done to you"CRN operates an open platform and all dancers regardless of schools or organisations are welcome at their feiseanna. CRN has stayed more traditional than other organisations, and focuses more on footwork and timing, rather than jumps and tricks.

FDTA - Festival Dance Teachers Association (
The Festival Dance Teachers Association (FDTA), was formed in 1971. They have been organising and participating in Festivals and Championships ever since. They currently have schools throughout Northern Ireland and offer a relaxed and vibrant atmosphere in which to learn, dance and compete. Festival dancing is very traditional and different to that seen at other feiseanna but there is continuing cross-over of styles between the two and their member schools can dance open platform feiseanna if wished.

FIDTA - Festival Irish Dance Teachers Association
England based Festival style organisation. Contact Catherine Bartlett: for more information.

IMDA - Irish Music and Dance Association ( )
The Irish Music and Dance Association is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit cultural and educational organization. It was set up to support, coordinate, encourage and promote high quality activities and programs in irish music and dance.

IDTAC - Irish Dance Teachers Association of Canada ( (
The Canadian branches of CLRG - split into Eastern and Western regions.

IDTANA - Irish Dancing Teachers Association of North America (
The Irish Dancing Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) was born in March, 1964 when Mae Butler, Fedelmia Davis, Kevin McKenna, Peter Smith, Cyril McNiff and Anna O�Sullivan met at the Irish Institute in New York City. They came together with the goal of assuring teacher and adjudicator competency, as well as standardizing the ever growing number of feiseanna throughout North America. The IDTANA consists of seven regional branches: Mid Atlantic, Mid America, Western US, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, New England and Southern US. They come under the CLRG umbrella.

NAFC - North American Feis Commission (
The North American Feis Commission (NAFC) is an organisation of Feis Managers responsible for the organising of Feiseanna for CLRG in Canada and the United States. Its primary role is the development and promotion of Irish Culture, through the medium of Irish Dance and Music, as a principle component of the Irish Identity.

NSID/NIDTA - Nordic Society of Irish Dance/ Nordic Irish Dance Teachers Association ( purpose of the society is to promote and support Irish dance in the Nordic countries and to encourage relationship between dancers of Irish dance in those countries and beyond. This is, among other things, aided by the hosting of the Nordic Feis.

RTN - Rince Tuatha Nua (
Rince Tuatha Nua was founded in 2013 by a group of teachers looking for a way to collaborate with other Irish Dance instructors and create a robust and different type of Irish Dance Organization. Rince Tuatha Nua (Rink-a Two-a New-a) roughly translated means "A New Irish Dance Community."

RTME - Registered Teachers of Mainland Europe (
All teachers of RTME are registered with CLRG, and RTME is its sole mainland European affiliate.

TIDANZ - Traditional Irish Dancing Association of New Zealand ( . . .)
New Zealand Branch of CLRG.

WIDA - World Irish Dancing Association (
The objective of WIDA is to preserve the history and promote the future of Irish Dancing including Step Dancing, Ceili-Dancing and other team dancing as well as the culture, language and music of Ireland.

Previous Organisations and Associations.

AFC/AAIDT - American Feis Association/American Association of Irish Dance Teachers.
AAIDT was founded in 1998 when several Mid-Atlantic teachers sought an alternative to the established dance community. This organisation has now been disbanded..

BAID - British Association of Irish Dance. UK based organisation from operating between 2000 - 2010.

FIDT � Federation of Irish Dance Teachers. A North American grass-roots organization. No longer operating.

IDN � Irish Dancing Net Open Platform that began as a movement to counter commercialization, property and power interests, and the pressure to achieve, yet aimed to ensure quality and values Irish Dancing

NAIDF - North American Irish Dance Federation motto was to promote the love of Irish Dance. NAIDF strove for fairness and honesty as well as achievement and leadership and aimed to foster strong teachers and dancers. NAIDF offered Open Platform feis, and their World Level Competition was held in conjunction with WIDA. The NAIDF offered seasonal Open Platform �Distance� feiseanna via electronic submission. As of August 2013, NAIDF disbanded

PIDTA - Performance Irish Dance Teachers Association
An association for those schools, teachers and dancers who are not interested in the competitive side of Irish Dance.

S.P.I.D.A - St Patrick�s Irish Dance Association - Organisation based in the South of England in the 1990�s. Many of the schools now belong to either CAID or CMFA.

Which organisation and school is right for me?

For prospective dancers I would always say to try out different schools in your area. Don�t be swayed by organisation. Meet with the teacher, watch some dancing, try some lessons. Many schools offer a free taster and this will give you some idea of what the school focuses on. Do you want one that is highly competitive or one that focuses on performances? How often are classes held and how often can you attend? What is the cost?
These are all questions you will need to think about before finding the school that is right for you, and very often dancers change schools to find one that suits them at different levels. Be aware when doing this that some organisations enforce bans on competing.
Always attend the school that school that suits you the most and where you get the most satisfaction. Regardless of Organisation this is the school for you.

There are constant arguments between members of organisations who believe one is better than the other, but they all have something to offer and you should find the one that is right for you. Bigger doesn�t always mean better, smaller doesn�t mean you will get 1-1. The choice is yours.

Closed/Open Platform - what does it mean?

Basically most schools are registered with an organisation (some are completely independent). The Closed Platform organisations are CLRG and An Comhdhail, CAID, CMFA and FDTA (excepting their Open Platform events). This means that only dancers registered with one of their schools can dance and compete at one of their feiseanna. It is frowned upon to liaise with other schools or organisations and to dance with them.

Open Platform schools recognise all dancers from all schools and organisations and open their events to everyone, even those without schools or teachers. They are also open to those from Closed Schools which can cause controversy as some of the closed organisations see it as trying to get dancers to break rules and dance outside their own organisation.

All organisations have good and bad bits as do schools. None of them are perfect.

4 Replies to Irish Dance Organisations and Associations 2014

re: Irish Dance Organisations and Associations 2014
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Apr 24, 2014 04:40 PM

IDG - Irish Dance Germany - disbanded when WIDA started growing in Europe. Thanks Rosalinde for that one.

Claire x
re: Irish Dance Organisations and Associations 2014
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Apr 25, 2014 02:19 AM
I think this is a bit confusing as it lists regional boards of CLRG as well as CLRG. It implies there are 20+ governing bodies when really there are only (only!) twelve (twelve!). It would make more sense to list bodies like AIDA and IDTANA under CLRG since they all operate under the rules of CLRG and are not separate in the way that (e.g.) CLRG and WIDA are totally separate.
re: Irish Dance Organisations and Associations 2014
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:49 AM
I'm guessing schools in Australua won't say they are CLRG they would say AIDA.

Either way its clear they are CLRG.
re: Irish Dance Organisations and Associations 2014
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:35 AM
They would say they danced under Coimisiun, not AIDA. It and the other bodies listed are essentially sub-committees of one governing body (CLRG). It's already as clear as mud and probably incredibly daunting for new parents to have to figure out what the deal is with all these organisations, without further expanding the list unnecessarily.


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