Irish dance classes in Richmond, VA

"Dance with your heart and your feet will follow."

- Author unknown

Dancer Resources & FAQs

This page is for our dancers!  We will compile resources and answers to questions here as they arise.  If you find a good resource that should be on this page, just drop us a line!

Click here to go the password-protected area of our website.

How do I lace my ghillies?

  1. First, start by pulling the laces through the top center tab (aka "finger") of the ghillie so that there is an even amount of lace on both sides.
  2. Next, pull the laces down through the first set of side fingers. The laces are now forming an upside-down "U".
  3. Pull the laces through the remaining fingers in a criss-cross fashion like you would a pair of tennis shoes.  Stop after you get to the last finger!
  4. Cross the laces over the top of your foot (make an "X").
  5. Send the laces around the sides of your foot and through the elastic tabs on either side.
  6. Now send the laces through the tab on the back of the shoe, at your heel.  The laces from both sides of your feet will need to go through this loop!
  7. Bring the laces back around the sides of your foot and up over the top of the shoe.
  8. At this point, there are several options, depending on how much lace you have left and how snug you like your shoes: you may tie them in a knot or bow, you may cross them over each other and around underneath your foot another time before tying, or you may have side eyelets to thread your laces through to provide extra 'pull' or tightness in pulling the shoe up to the arch of the foot.
  9. When in doubt, bring your shoes to class and ask your teacher!


What is good music to practice to?

Music by these musicians is available on iTunes, CDBaby.com, and through various other outlets:
Mark Arrington, Dean Crouch, Olive Hurley, Marney McCague, Daniel Nelson, the Culkin School's CD "One More Time."

Also, we have set up a YouTube playlist with good pieces of music that you can use!


I want to compete!  What is involved?
In order to compete, you must have your instructor's approval first.  You will need to know 2 steps each of at least 2 soft shoe dances before you can compete at a feis.  You will also need to have a school costume.

Next, you will need to pick the date and location of the feis you wish to compete in!  It is always a good idea to start competing at our own feis, Jig By the James, which we hold in March each year.  If, however, our feis is too far in the future, then take a look at the WIDA USA Events page and see what feiseanna are coming up.  You should also check the WIDA Facebook Page for events.

Once you've picked your feis, you'll need to register online here.  FeisKeeper is WIDA's online feis registration system.  You or your parents will need to set up an account and select the feis for which you wish to register.  When you register for the first time, make sure to select your school and enter the proper level for each dance.  CHECK WITH YOUR INSTRUCTOR BEFORE REGISTERING!!!  She will tell you what level to register as (usually Beginner) and what dances you should select to compete in.  When you are a Beginner, the dances can sound a lot alike and you don't want to accidentally register for ones you don't know! 

Before you leave, you'll need to make sure you have everything packed that you will need.  Check out our New to Feis-in' packet for a quick and handy starter packing list and some information about what to expect when you arrive at the feis!


I want to advance to the next level - how do I do that???
Advancement is by individual dance.  If you wish to advance to the next level of competition, you will need to place first in a dance and there must be at least 5 people in your age group.  Once you place first in a dance (reels, for example), you would then move up to the next level of competition FOR THAT DANCE ONLY.  For more information on advancement, visit the WIDA Rules page.


I want to go to the US Open, Europeans and Worlds!  How do I qualify?

As of July, 2016, any dancer may compete at the US Open.  To compete at Europeans, a dancer must compete 2 solo dances and a premiership or open championship at an Oireachtas.  To compete at Worlds, a dancer must compete at Europeans.  European and World Championships are held on back-to-back dates near Easter.
 

Blogs, magazines and other resources of interest

Shelly Hathaway's blog on Irish dance
Irish Dancing Magazine