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Irish Dance Curriculum

Irish Dance

All class ages are based on general information. If a student is more advanced than is stated for their age group, please contact the Dance Arts Supervisor at 217-819-3920. Students will be placed at the discretion of the instructor.


Ages 6-12
In Irish 1, dancers will learn basic soft shoe/ghillie technique. This includes how to turn out one’s feet, stand on their tip-toes, point their toes, lift their feet up, cross one foot in front of the other, stand with their shoulders back, their arms in, and their head up. This will be incorporated into the dancers’ steps. The dancers in Irish 1 are not required to have soft shoes (ghillies) and may wear socks or jazz shoes to class. If students wish to continue dancing, it is highly recommended that they purchase brown-bottom soft shoes after the first half of the year.



Ages 6-12

The Irish 2 class will learn the Light Jig, the First Reel, and the Hop Jig, as well as promenades, and will be required to prove their proficiency in these before being promoted to the next level of classes. Another soft shoe dance and ceili group dances will also be taught. This level will also begin to learn hard shoe technique, although hard shoes will not be required until after the first half of the year.


Ages 8-15
The dancers in the Irish 3 class have proven they have mastered all of the dances described in Irish 1 and 2. Because of their proficiency in those basic dances, the Irish 3 level will be presented with more difficult dances. Furthermore, Traditional Set dances will be covered. A higher emphasis on technique will be also be expected in this level.


Ages 11+
Irish 4 is for students who have demonstrated a thorough understanding and skilled execution of the technical training provided in all of the previous levels. The dancers in this level have mastered all of their old steps in the Irish 1, 2, and 3 classes. Since these students have proven their mastery, they will be challenged with more difficult dances and dance moves. These dancers, while in Irish 4, must further refine their technique and will be challenged to push past any errors in carriage. Dancers will have more freedom to focus their energy into creating a dance of their own that showcases their individual talents.

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