Forum: Irish / Irish - Beginners

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re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By missingAcastlePremium member
On Fri Oct 13, 2006 09:44 AM
^That sucks! I would hate it if someone else had my exact dress!

re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By FuzzyChanny
On Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:26 PM
Posted by danca1991:

"btw i think im to late to start aswel as im 14 ."

Not at all. I was 18 when I started Irish dancing. It's amazing and will soon take over your entire life though...
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By IrishEyes4
On Fri Oct 20, 2006 09:17 PM
Really Really great! Thanks! This is a HUGE help on those trying to find more info about EVERYTHING for ID!! Thanks again!
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By Suki1
On Thu Nov 23, 2006 07:35 PM
Wow... I was already wondering where I could find "easy" information about all this.... I'm an ID who lives in SouthAmerica and it is really impossible to get information here... I'd also like to know if you could explain "easily" how timing works... I've heard about 6/8, etc.. but don't understand anything...
My congratulations for taking your time and explain to all of us these more than important terms!

re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By dance_freak12
On Mon Nov 27, 2006 02:38 AM
thanks that was very helpful, i dont do irish dancing but i like to learn more about dancing whenever i can!
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By Allianamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:06 PM
Edited by Alliana (159753) on 2007-01-03 22:25:14 Edited to add the last sentence
Edited by Alliana (159753) on 2007-01-03 22:25:36
omg i have been dancing for 9yrs (in elementary grade now) and have been slowly driven mental about all the rules on how to go up a grade in Australia and overseas.

It was great to finally find this information in a simple yet informative manner.

thank you thank you thank you

if I could karma yet, I would karma this post!

ETA: also does anyone know how you move out of Elementary (in Australia) I think you need to place 1st against 5 (or maybe 8?) other competitors... which is a little worrying, because there is only about 2/3 girls in my age (21's) in elementary! If anyone knows that would be great thanks!
Great Post
By Scott06
On Sat Jan 06, 2007 02:47 PM
Hey Sammy, I've just read your post and i must say, it is fantastic. You really put the basics of Irish Dance into simple steps. Well i'm 20 years old and am looking to take up Irish dance however i am finding it extremely hard to find a class that will take me on. I live in London. I would be really grateful if you could give me some tips on what to do, Many thanks,

re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By HollyRealta
On Thu Jun 14, 2007 08:40 AM
Thanks for posting this you have made it clearer for me to understand, I now understand some of the terminology used!
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
On Sun Sep 16, 2007 06:20 PM
danca1991 wrote:

btw i think im to late to start aswel as im 14 .

I started dancing Irish at 39. You are never too old! I have 3 children who dance and I decided to try it too. So that's where we ended up as a quartet! Unfortunately my ID teacher is not certified and we cannot take my son to fiesanna. I think he would do well..BTW he does dance in a kilt and he looks pretty sharp! I prefer it to the black shirt/pants that has become the standard wear! If I knew how to post a picture I would!
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By polka_dot_ballet
On Mon Oct 15, 2007 03:30 AM
This was really interesting to read! I did irish dancing for about 5 years, non competitive, and then gave it up. I think I might give it another go! xx
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By GanAinmmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:20 PM
Wow, thats a great post!
I would just like to add a little about the An Cohmdhail Grades if that's OK, as a few DDNers will dance for other organisations.

The Grades Are as follows:

Beginners: When you first start to dance at feiseanna, you will be in this grade. You usually do an "A" Reel [Easy reel] "B" Reel [Hard Reel] "A" Single Jig [I think you get the point about the As and Bs!] "B" Single Jig, Light Jig ans sometimes a Heavy Jig, Hornpipe, St Patricks Day, Slip Jig and "C" [Harder] Reel and Single Jig. To move out of beginners, it is recommended you win at least three firsts, but it is really your teachers choice. When you win a dance you are out of it forever.

Pre Open: When you progress from Beginners, you go into Pre Open. In Pre Open, the most common dances are Reel, Slip Jig, Heavy Jig and Hornpipe, but there are also sometimes Traditional Set Dances and a Treble Reel. At most competitions there is a Non Cup Holders [NCH] which is a sort of championship in which you only dance your reel. If you win a dance you are out of it for the rest of the year, but back in on the 1st of January. To progress from Pre Open, most dancers win at least two firsts.

Open: When you move out of Pre Open, you progress to Open. In Open, the dances are more or less the same as Pre Open, but there is a Championship. In the Championship, you dance a Light Round [Reel] and Heavy Round [Hornpipe or Heavy Jig] in front of three judges [not three times, the judges all watch the same stage]. To win the championship, you must get the most points overall. If you win an Open dance, you are not out of it, you are back in it at the next Feiseanna, making it very difficult to beat the "top" dancers in your group. Most dancers stay in Open till the end of their dancing careers unless they stop competing.

If you win your championship, you are out of Pre Open.
You can dance in a maximum of two grades at once, and the combos need to be either Beginners/Pre Open or Pre Open/Open.

Hope you don't mind me adding this!
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By irishstepdancer1
On Wed Nov 28, 2007 06:46 AM
Yes,It's really helpfull!!!!
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By Beautiful_Ballet
On Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:32 PM
Wow, this post is really good- I am so glad to hear that you can start at any age because I really want to do irish, but my mum says I have to stay focused on ballet.
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By irishandballet
On Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:28 AM
That was a great post! I've just stared ID and i've always wondered what all the levels were and how to move up in them all!


re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By lilirishdancer
On Tue Feb 19, 2008 01:44 PM
Wow this really helped :D I am a beginner and didn't know that much but know i do!!
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By JessiDancer4Life
On Wed Aug 06, 2008 05:34 PM
Wow, thanks(: This was so helpful! There's an Irish Dance school right down the street from my house and I always wanted to try, but didn't know enough about it.
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By irishgirl26member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Sep 18, 2008 05:33 PM
what a great post! very helpful to a beginner dancer.
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By feisamerica
On Wed Oct 15, 2008 07:44 PM
I love this and it's exactly the kind of thing we'd like to see published in Feis America, North America's new family magazine for Irish dance enthusiasts! Email me at or go to our voy forum 218110 and learn more! Your ideas are great!

Kathleen O'Reilly-Wild
Feis America LLC
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By clarabel
On Fri Dec 19, 2008 08:20 AM
this is a fantastic post and my mum would have probably benn made up to read this when I started
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By beaton
On Wed May 27, 2009 08:27 PM
Coming from a Highland background,I know zilch about Irish dancing,except for being able to identify the colourful intricate outfits and to know that I enjoy watching the dances. I am finding this post most interesting and informative. I especially love the fact that age is no barrier to learning the ID. This has been a very fun way to spend an on to watch the videos!!!!!
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By Katja144member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Aug 22, 2009 06:08 PM
So, something I've always wondered...are the curls mandatory, or just in style? If a dancer wears her hair in a bun or something, is that against a dress code, or does it just make her different?
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By wralwaysdancing
On Sun Oct 04, 2009 09:44 AM
After 9 years we have discovered the world of team sports. be careful you don't get caught uup in yhe dance competetion and miss out on other life endearing events you can have in other arenas
re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Mar 20, 2010 02:08 PM
clai wrote:

Maybe I didn't read it all, but could someone clarify comps for me.

"move from Intermediate to Open (Mean to Ard) one must place first in a competition of 5 or more. Again, you only move up the dance you won."
Does that mean you can be in beginners in one dance and in open for another?

When I danced years ago we only had primary intermediate and open, i managed to get into open for everything except the slip jig and hard jig! Now ive started dancing again after a 10 yr break and back down into primary (dance teacher wont put me in beginner much to my disgust lol i wanted it easy at my 1st feis)...and we used to pronounce it fayesh too?!

Comment #9381502 deleted
Removed by hummingbird (128773) on 2010-12-29 10:29:12 Star farming

re: A Guide To Irish Dance!
By celticmomof3
On Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:08 AM
Thanks for the post. The information is very helpful for us.
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