How to become an Irish Dancer

Finding a teacher

Firstly, you will need to find a licensed Irish dancing teacher. There are plenty of Irish dancing schools no matter where you come from all around the world and there should be plenty of schools advertised on the internet or your local business directory book. Usually you will attend the class and just watch or you can join in if you wish too. The first class is usually free but usually dance lessons range from £4+ per lesson, depending on the number of hours in a lesson and the fee of the hall that the class is held in.

If you don’t wish to attend dance lessons and just want to learn some basics then there are plenty of Irish dancing videos/DVDs which take you step by step through the basic steps of Irish step dancing. The videos/DVDs can be purchased on the internet on most Irish dancing merchandise websites.

Basic steps

Teachers, will teach a new Irish dancing pupil the basic steps of Irish step dancing. Firstly, it is essential to keep arms straight down by your side at all times (with the exception of group dancing), feet must be crossed and turned out at all time and posture must be straight. So your top half should be stiff but not forced and you legs should be doing all the work!

Beginner dancers will be taught individual steps such as hops, skips, kicks and once mastered these; jumps will be taught. These steps will be put together to form a dance.

There are light dances and heavy dances. Light dances will be taught to beginner dancers and heavy dances will be taught to the more experienced dancer, depending on how quickly the dancer learns.

The dances a beginner dancer will learn is the easy reel, single jig, light jig and slip jig. As the dancer progresses the steps will be more advanced and heavy dances will be taught.



When a dancer has progressed, they are able to attend competitions. Competitors are sorted by grade and age. There are four grades: Novice (beginner), primary, intermediate and open. When open grade is reached dancers can compete in championships.

Beginner dancers will dance in novice grade, they will dance the beginners reel, single jig, light jig and slip jig in this grade. Only basic steps are allowed in this grade. A 1st, 2nd or 3rd are needed to move up into primary grade. Once in primary grade, dancers are allowed to dance all light dances and all heavy dances and steps can be as intricate as wanted. To move up to Intermediate a 1st is needed and the same goes when moving into open grade.

When open grade is reached, dancers will dance in championships which will consist of one light dance (either slip jig or reel) and of one heavy dance (either heavy jig or horn pipe). If recalled then the dancer is required to dance a set dance of their choice which is a heavy dance.

 – Becky Ford (My Girlfriend)


September 6, 2007 at 10:51 pm Leave a comment

This site now has a new domain

September 4, 2007 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

The power to persuade #2

Dear Friend,Let me tell you a story.

There once was a man who was a failure in everything he did. He managed to get a decent job though, but his co-workers continued to belittle and mock him because he can’t seem to get anything right.

On the contrary, his boss was a persuasion expert. Instead of scolding the man, his boss motivated him and made him a much better person.

Whenever the man made a mistake, his boss would say, “It’s ok. We all make mistakes all the time. I know you will learn from this experience and you’ll do much better next time.” This act boosted the man’s ego.

Whenever the man did something right, even if it’s the littlest thing, his boss would praise him and say, “You’re very much improved. Good job!”

His boss would sometimes even assign him good qualities that he may not even possess yet.

Because the boss expected the man to be capable of doing great things, and by assigning him qualities that he may not even possess at that moment, the man became highly successful.

The reason?

If you expect and assign good qualities to someone, that person will exert voluntary effort to live up to your expectations.

Can you feel the power of persuasion? If you want to become a persuasion wizard and get anything you want by motivating and persuading others, then you must go to:

To Your Success,
Thomas Dean

P.S. Having great persuasion skills has become a necessity in today’s world in all aspects of our life where we intend to “get what we want” from others in a win-win situation. Discover its power at:

September 1, 2007 at 10:42 am 1 comment

The power to persuade

Dear Friend,

Imagine getting anything you want from others, where everyone wins. Imagine having the power to persuade anyone to your way of thinking.

How strong is your desire to possess that one special skill to make it happen?
If you want to achieve overall success just like the many people who have mastered this extremely powerful skill, then check this out:

Please make sure you use this super skill for everyone’s good, ok?

To Your Success,
Thomas Dean

August 31, 2007 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

Starting Irish Dancing


The average age of starting Irish dancing is around about 5+ but more and more beginners are starting as adults and so, there are more adult classes available.

The average price for one dancing class is about £4+ (based in the U.K). The average number of classes per week is about 1 or 2 but could be more, depending on the teacher.

The dance teacher will start off by teaching the basics; hands must stay by their side whist dancing, feet crossed and pointed at all times and then will go on to the teaching of steps. Light dances will be firstly taught to beginners, the steps include firstly: the beginners reel, single jig, light jig and slip jig. These are all important factors to remember if wanting to attend competitions.



To attend competition’s it is essential that the dancer has been dancing for about 6 months to ensure that they do well in the competition and practice makes perfect! So practice practice practice! Competition’s are usually held every few months. Competition’s are grouped by age and grade. Beginner dances will dance in Novice group and if 1st, 2nd or 3rd place is achieved in one of their dances (as mentioned above) they will move up to the next grade which will be primary. When in primary you will learn more dances such as; the heavy dances (hornpipe and Heavy jig) and even set dances. The next group after primary is intermediate and a 1st place in each of your primary dances is needed to move to that grade. The highest grade is open which also requires a 1st place in each of your intermediate dances to move up to this grade. Once in open you can compete in championships and can compete in the Great Britain Championships. Set dances are needed to compete in championships.


Costumes and accessories

Image is very important in the Irish dancing world. For Beginner dancers a simple skirt and blouse will be fine or a Irish dance dress could be worn. I recommend a 2nd hand dress for beginners which can be purchased from competitions or ebay. Hair can be curled and poodle socks should be worn with light shoes (pumps) and heavy shoes. Light shoes cost around £18+ and heavy shoes cost around £30+. Boys can wear a kilt or trousers with shirt and tie is wished. Shoes are a bit different for boys and are a bit like the heavy shoes; with a hard heel but a soft toe.

When moving up grades presentation is everything for the girl dancers. Dresses worn by Intermediate dancers and open/ championship dancers are usually more elaborate and they usually have their dresses made by professionals which can cost around about £200 + depending on the size of the dancer and the detail on the costume. Wigs are also essential to be worn by the girl dancers at competitions and come in a variety of colours and shades so that it matches perfectly with your natural hair colour. They are less hard work than having your natural hair curled and less painful! Wigs cost around £50.

It’s an expensive hobby, but once you get into it, the rewards outweigh the financial part of it.

Written by my girlfriend Becky.


August 23, 2007 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

History of Irish Dancing

Irish dancing has a very long history. Today’s Irish dance competitions (Feisanna’s), date back to about the year 1100.In that time feisanna’s were trade fairs, political gatherings and cultural events. At these events there was music, sports, storytelling, and crafts. People known as step dance masters traveled from town to town and taught Irish dancing. They taught steps that fit traditional 8 bar Irish music. Competitions were held in which demonstrations of steps by masters were done on table tops or small stages. Dancing in limited space was an important aspect of style. Irish dancing developed even more during the war years (1919-1939). There was then an even larger increase after WWII because of higher income levels leading to more leisure time. Irish with higher incomes living in America also had more leisure time and and began dancing in America, leading to the popularity of Irish dance in America. In the 20th century, Irish dance evolved in many ways including costumes, locations of competitions, and dance techniques. Competing dancers began using larger stages and a lot of movement during competition became popular, unlike the dance masters who would dance in small areas. Children are also taught much earlier now and the tradition of teaching mostly boys has changed as many girls now are also taught. Costumes have also changed greatly since the beginnings of Irish dance and are a lot more glamorous now. In the 1800’s the traditional costume for boys was kilts, or pants and for females was peasant dresses. Today boys wear kilts or pants but girls wear elaborately designed dresses of many colors. Dance shoes known as softs or gillies were introduced in 1924. Another form of shoe known as hard shoes had evolved in styles, allowing dancers to “click”, in which they kick they’re legs, hitting they’re heels together and making a clicking sound. The shoes were made with hollow heels and fiberglass tips so the dancer can make more noise while dancing(while dancing hard shoe, being able to hear the steps as they are being done is essential.)

August 23, 2007 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

iPod Vids

Just a quick update; please check out

I own the little website there, but I got the affiliate links from clickbank.

Please check it out, got some cool stuff on there, including movies, music & games for your iPod. Also click some of the google ads if you could, thank you.

August 23, 2007 at 12:42 am Leave a comment

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