Every class begins with a warm-up. Dancers will then go through a variety of soft or hard shoe drills as well as drilling their choreography. Instructors focus on stamina, perfecting proper technique and correct rhythm throughout the class. Upper-level classes will also include dancer conditioning through the integration of strengthening exercises, barre work and stretching to develop the dancer's physical endurance, strength, flexibility, and coordination; improving the dancer's overall ability and preventing injury. Class finishes with a cool down and stretch before being dismissed by the instructors.
Classes offered include...
A 30-minute pre-beginner class for dancers aged 3-5 years old. Dancers will learn balance, timing, coordination, and the basic positions and movements at the core of traditional Irish dance. Instructors will play music and dance games with the students and even teach them a little Irish Gaelic. Irish soft shoes are encouraged, but not required; sneakers or ballet slippers are acceptable.
A 1-hour class for adults aged 18 years and up with little to no dance experience. This class will have fun learning traditional Ceili (group social) dancing and the basic beginner steps for solo dancing in soft shoe. Basic hard shoe steps will be introduced once the individual student feels ready. Irish dance shoes are encouraged, but not required; sneakers or dance trainers are acceptable.
A 1-hour class for dancers aged 5 years old and up with little to no dance experience. Beginners will learn the basic techniques of Irish dance; foot placement, body alignment, basic steps. Once the basics are established beginners will be taught their traditional soft shoe choreography and timing in the easy reel and light jig. Instructors will teach some Irish culture facts and language. Irish soft shoes and poodle socks are required for this class.
ADVANCED BEGINNER GRADE
A 1.5-hour class for dancers that have successfully learned the easy reel and light jig. Advanced Beginners will learn the single jig, easy slip jig and start their introduction to basic hard shoe skills. More time will be spent on understanding timing, proper carriage, and foot placement. Instructors will continue to educate the dancers in Irish culture and language. Irish soft shoes are required for this class; hard shoes are encouraged.
A 1.5-hour class for dancers who are actively competing in feiseanna and are ready to move on to the next level of soft shoe choreography. Primary dancers will continue to master their beginner hard shoe dances and be introduced to Team (Ceili) dancing. Dancers are expected to attend 2 classes per week at this level. Irish soft and hard shoes are necessary for this class.
A 2-hour class for dancers actively competing in the Primary and/or Intermediate grade and have already begun learning slow speed hard shoe dances. Intermediate dancers will learn how to strongly execute more challenging steps in both soft and hard shoe. Dancers will attend 2 classes a week for solos and be expected to compete in Team (Ceili) dancing.
CEILI TEAMS CLASSES
Competitive dancers in the Primary level and up are required to participate in teams. Teams are important for building well-rounded Irish dancers. It passes on the history of Irish Dance while creating SIDA team spirit and camaraderie! Students in Ceili classes will be selected most often for exhibitions, festivals & special events. SIDA will determine the dancers on each team. Dancers placed on a team are required to attend the Ceili Teams class 6 weeks prior to their feis. Dancers placed on a regional, national or world level team will be expected to be at the practices as scheduled.
PERFORMANCE COMPANY CLASSES
The Shannon Irish Dance Company is open to all ages and levels. Dancers in the Company will learn performance style choreography in both soft and hard shoe. They will also be taught stage presence and given the tools to perform confidently and freely in front of an audience. Company members will be invited to perform throughout the year for festivals, weddings, TV shows, corporations and other prestigious events. Company members are required to attend scheduled rehearsals outside their regular class times. Please check the current schedule. Company dancers are also required to attend the Company Summer Camp.