Irish dancer James River Richmond VA



An ongoing list of questions that may arise…

Dances (Syllabus)
Videotaping is Prohibited
Differences between WIDA and other Federations
Attire/Determining Levels

What dances will be offered for each level?  See the Syllabus page for additional information.

Beginner  – Reel, Slip Jig, Light Jig, Single Jig, Traditional Treble Jig, Traditional Hornpipe, Traditional Set (St. Patrick's Day), Premiership

Primary – Reel, Slip Jig, Light Jig, Single Jig, Treble Jig, Hornpipe, Traditional Set (Jockey to the Fair or Blackbird), Premiership **Note for Treble Jig and Hornpipe at this level, dancers may choose to dance either Beginner or Intermediate/Open speed for their steps.

Intermediate – Reel, Slip Jig, Light Jig, Single Jig, Treble Jig, Hornpipe, Traditional Set Dance ( Job of Journeywork, King of the Fairies or Garden of Daisies), Premiership

Open – Reel, Slip Jig, Treble Jig, Hornpipe, Traditional Set Dance (The Hunt, Three Sea Captains or The White Blanket), Preliminary Championship, Open Championship

Ceílí Dances - Ceílí dances will be done in accordance with Ar Rinci Foirne (blue cover 2003 edition) as published by An Comisiun.

Premierships/Championships - These are additional rounds competed.  Dancers compete 2 dances in the Premiership/Championship rounds and scores are combined for an overall score.  Dancers may only participate in one Premiership/Championship at a feis. Dancers may only participate in Premiership or Open Championship if they danced at least 2 solos in the grade (regular) competitions.   Dances for each level: Beginner & Primary Premiership - Reel & Light Jig; Intermediate Premiership - Reel & Treble Jig; Preliminary Championship - Reel or Slip Jig & Treble Jig or Hornpipe (Dancers' choice); Open Championship - Reel or Slip Jig & Treble Jig or Hornpipe (Dancers' choice). 

Blind Treble Reel Competition - This competition is open to any/all dancers regardless of level.  Competition will be 16 bars of treble reel danced down the line.  Dancers will be judged on rhythm and timing only! We will end with the rally bang/3-3-1-1-3 step at the end (right side only, started by last competitor after conclusion of his/her step). 

Family Dance Competition - This competition is open to any/all dancers regardless of level.  Any number of family members (parents & children, sibling groups, etc.) may dance a soft or hard shoe dance no more than 48 bars in length.  Music and costuming are up to you!  However, costumes and music must be family-friendly.  No exposed midriffs, no profanity.  Have fun!

What are the speeds for the dances?
Beginners: Reel, Slip Jig, Single Jig - 121, Light Jig - 116, Treble Jig - 85
Primary: Reel, Slip Jig, Single Jig - 113, Light Jig - 116, Treble Jig - 85 OR 73, Hornpipe - 138 OR 113
Intermediate: Reel, Slip Jig, Single Jig - 113, Light Jig - 116, Treble Jig - 73, Hornpipe - 113
Open: Reel, Slip Jig, Treble Jig - 73, Hornpipe - 113
Please see the WIDA Rulebook for information on traditional set dances and how much of the set is danced for different types of events.

Ceílis - Ceíli dances will be done in accordance with Ar Rinci Foirne (blue cover 2003 edition) as published by An Comisiun.  Please see the WIDA Rulebook for information on ages of dancers on a ceili team and to what part of the ceili it must be danced.

How do I register?
Registration is handled by WIDA online.  You must create an account at  For a detailed guide on how to complete your registration, view the Online Entry FAQsThe early registration deadline is February 2, 2017.  Registration will close for the late deadline on February 10, 2017.  You are responsible for all feis fees once you submit your registration in the online system.  All fees must be paid by February 10, 2017!

What are the fees to compete? For WIDA Members: $7/solo dance, $14/Premiership, $20/Prelim/Open Championship, $7/ceili dance.  Special dances are $10/dance. For non-WIDA members: $8/solo dance, $16/Premiership, $27/Prelim/Open Championship, $8/ceili dance.  There is also a $7 WIDA administrative fee per dancer.

When can I register? Register at, WIDA's online entry system.

Who can compete? WIDA feiseanna are open to ALL Irish dancers, regardless of affiliation. We are proud to say that our feis is open platform – everyone is welcome! In addition, dancers of all ages – yes, adults, too! – are able to compete.

We are a performance-oriented school.
Why should we start competing? Well, for one thing, competing is fun! We have found that adding the element of competition has been a strong motivator for our dancers to improve their technique and learn harder steps, which makes for better performances, too.

How do I determine my dancers’ levels if this is their first WIDA competition?
Your first source is WIDA. Contact WIDA on their Facebook page or the contact page on their website for guidance.  Otherwise, a general rule of thumb would be:

WIDA Beginner = CLRG/RTN Beginner and Advanced Beginner
WIDA Primary = CLRG/RTN Intermediate and low Novice
WIDA Intermediate = CLRG/RTN high Novice/Prizewinner
WIDA Open = CLRG/RTN Preliminary and Open Champion

What should I wear? WIDA attire requirements are fairly specific and restrictive:

  • For complete details including permitted skirt colors, please read the WIDA Rulebook here.
  • Beginner dancers competing under age 12 (ie. they compete at U12 or under) must wear a white polo shirt and a solid-colored skirt (females) or black pants (males). There may not be any embellishments made to these items. 
  • Beginner dancers ages 12-14 (ie. they compete U13, U14 or U15) must wear either a WIDA Beginner costume or a class costume.
  • Dancers competing age 15 and up (ie. they compete U16 and older) may wear any costume regardless of level.  Costumes are suggested to be level- and age-appropriate.  WIDA Beginner costumes or class costumes are encouraged at Beginner and Primary levels.
  • Primary and Intermediate dancers who are females under the age of 12 (i.e. they compete at U13 or under) must wear a white polo and solid-colored skirt or a school dress. 
  • Intermediate dancers age 13-15 (ie. they compete at U14, U15 or U16) may wear a solo dress.
  • Males at the Intermediate level may wear a colored shirt instead of the white polo shirt. 
  • Dancers  age 15 (U16) and older or dancers competing in the Open level may wear solo costumes. 
  • Dancers age 14 (U15) or under in Beginners, Primary and Intermediate competitions may have natural hair or wear bun wigs in competition. Full wigs are not allowed and may result in a dancer being dropped from the top three of a result if this rule is not followed.
  • Tiaras may be worn at the Primary level and higher. 
  • No makeup is permitted on dancers age 10 and under (U11 and under).
  • No shoe buckles or diamante socks are permitted. 

May I videotape my dancer?  Unfortunately, no.  In order to protect the integrity of each school's steps and to comply with WIDA rules regarding the videotaping of competitions, no videorecording of ANY kind is permitted inside the feis venue.  Electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and video cameras may only be used outside of the competition space (ie. in the lobby or public spaces of the school).  Anyone who is found to be videotaping inside the auditorium will be escorted out of the room and will not be permitted to return until the conclusion of the event.

Must I be present for the awards? Yes.  We cannot ship medals, ribbons or trophies to you!  After the scores for the solo dances are tallied, awards for solo dances are posted at the awards table in the lobby and medals may be collected there.  Awards for Premierships and Championships are announced onstage. After the awards are given for his or her level, you are free to leave; however, you are encouraged to stay and watch the higher level dancers compete. It’s a good way to inspire your younger dancers to excellence!

What are the differences between WIDA, RTN and CLRG or CRN rules? Here are a few, but go to the WIDA Rulebook for the full list.
  • Costumes are much more restricted - see above.
  • Treble Reels are only competed as a special.
  • Levels are different and more dances are available at the Beginner level.
  • No going onto the toes during preparation/introduction is allowed.  Dancers must start with one toe pointed and the other foot FLAT on the ground.
  • All levels are danced via the "pick up" system.  That is, dancers prepare to dance and start immediately following the previous dancers' steps.  There is no waiting period between dancers.  Only Beginner-level dancers are counted off.  All others must count off themselves and start at the correct time!
  • WIDA rules are fairly restrictive on what movements are allowed at the Beginner and Primary levels.  If you are an open platform dancer, we STRONGLY suggest that you consult the WIDA rulebook online and with your teacher to ensure that your steps comply with WIDA regulations!

Is there an admission fee? There is a $5 admission fee for all observers ages 4 and up; however, competitor dancers and teachers are free.  

What is there to do in Richmond after the feis is over?
There are a lot of things to do in Richmond - just take your pick! We have history, museums, parks, plays, restaurants, sports, and much more. If you’re a history buff, check out Agecroft Hall, a Tudor mansion. Like the outdoors? Check out Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden or Maymont. Check out Visit Richmond for more ideas!