Class Descriptions

Class levels are defined by a dancer’s ability to perform the requisite skills appropriate to that level, NOT by a dancer’s number of years of experience. Practice outside of class is highly recommended in order to make studio instruction time more beneficial… and therefore more fun! Students are encouraged to make use of Teelin’s “Practice Makes Perfect” DVD (available for sale within the Teelin Gear section of the website), and to use the online Step Notation database located within the “Student Info” section of the Teelin website (password required) for reminders of the steps they have learned in class.

For dancers who choose to compete, upper level classes will offer an intensified focus on the details of performing Irish dance in competition. Students will find that their progress is greatly enhanced by consistent practice outside of class. Effective independent practice sessions are required for participation in the Champion classes. Private lessons are not a substitute for independent practice.

See the Dance Shoes page of the website for information about purchasing appropriate footwear.

TINY TOES – This introductory class offers an abbreviated session for students age 4- or 5-years old (“pre-K” age; must be old enough to be entering kindergarten next year). Irish soft shoes are encouraged but not required; bare feet or ballet slippers are also fine.

ADULT CLASSES – For adults, or for older teens who are new to Irish dance. Abbreviated sessions for Adult Beginners will be added to the schedule if studio space and teacher availability permit.

BEGINNER – For students new to Irish dance, or students who are repeating a Beginner class to build a better foundation for their training. Irish soft shoes are necessary for this class.

BEGINNER II – Prerequisite: Students have participated in at least one Beginner level class, and are working to master the basic technique, rhythm, and timing of Beginner level reels and light jigs. Irish soft shoes are necessary for this class.

LEVEL 1 – Prerequisite: Students have demonstrated clear understanding and execution of hop-1-2-3’s, 7’s & 3’s, and the basic rhythm & timing of beginner level reels and light jigs, and have been introduced to slip jigs.  Irish soft shoes are necessary for this class.  Students will learn additional reels, light jigs and slip jigs while focusing on the techniques of crossing, turnout, toes and posture/arms.  When the students master two slip jig steps, along with mastery of their reels and light jigs, then they will begin learning basic hard shoe skills and the traditional speed (fast tempo) treble jigs and hornpipes.  Hard shoes may be necessary midyear for some students, but not all students.  (Check with teacher before purchasing hard shoes.)

LEVELS 2&3 – Prerequisite: Students have demonstrated clear understanding and execution of the Level 1 techniques and the rhythm & timing of Level 1 reels, light jigs, slip jigs, and have mastered at least one traditional speed treble jig (hard shoe) dance. Irish soft shoes and hard shoes are necessary for this class. Students will learn intermediate level soft shoe dances and hard shoe dances.

PERFORMANCE CLASS – Prerequisite: Students have demonstrated clear understanding and execution of at least AB/N level skills, and are interested in performance-oriented Irish dancing. This class is recommended for intermediate to advanced level dancers who prefer not to compete. This class will perform two numbers in the Teelin Spring Show – one soft shoe number, and one hard shoe number. (Note: Although this class is recommended for dancers who choose not to compete, students who choose to compete may select this class as a second class option, provided that they meet the prerequisites. This class is NOT open to any members of the Teelin Irish Dance Company.)

ADVANCED BEGINNER COMPETITION CLASS (AB) – Prerequisite: Students have demonstrated clear understanding and execution of the Level 1 techniques and the rhythm & timing of Level 1 reels, light jigs, slip jigs, and have mastered at least one traditional speed treble jig (hard shoe) dance. This class is recommended for students who are actively competing in Advanced Beginner Grade. Irish soft shoes and hard shoes are both necessary for this class. Students will focus on advancing their skills and techniques, and working to perfect the traditional tempo hard shoe dances.

NOVICE / PRIZEWINNER 1-DAY CLASS (N/PW) – Prerequisite: Students are actively competing at either Novice Grade or Prizewinner Grade, and must be performing the slow tempo hard shoe dances (treble jigs and hornpipes). Irish soft shoes and hard shoes are both necessary for this class. Students will focus on advancing their skills and techniques, such as clicks, butterflies, rocks, slow drums, and working to perfect the advanced tempo hard shoe dances (also called slow tempo, which allows for more complicated footwork).

NOVICE / PRIZEWINNER 2-DAY CLASS (N/PW) – Prerequisite: Students are actively competing in either Novice Grade or Prizewinner Grade, and must be performing the slow tempo hard shoe dances (treble jigs and hornpipes). This is a 2-day/week course – hard shoe class on Monday, soft shoe class on Tuesday.

**Note: if a Prizewinner dancer has placed out of one shoe (i.e. – won firsts in both PW soft shoe dances, or won firsts in both PW hard shoe dances), then that dancer should discuss a transition plan with Maureen to see if they are eligible to join the Champion 1-Day Class. For example, if a dancer is competing in Prizewinner Grade and has earned a PW 1st place in both hard shoe dances (treble jig and hornpipe), then that dancer may be eligible to enroll in the N/PW Soft Shoe Class, AND also in the Champ 1-Day Class, if s/he knows at least two of their three champ steps for each dance for their age group.

CHAMPION 1-DAY CLASS – Prerequisite: Students have recently qualified for Preliminary Championships (or are eligible for this class per the note above), or are actively competing in either Preliminary or Open Championships. Important – to be eligible to enroll in this class students must KNOW at least two of their three champ steps for both their soft shoe and hard shoe dances.

PRELIM CHAMPION 2-DAY CLASS – Prerequisite: Students are actively competing in Preliminary Champion competitions. This 2-day/week course (hard shoe class on Monday, soft shoe class on Thursday) is a core curriculum within the Teelin Champion Program. Students must be sufficiently fit to participate, and commit to independent practice at least two hours outside of class.

OPEN CHAMPION 2-DAY CLASS – Prerequisite: Students are actively competing in Open Champion competitions. This 2-day/week course (hard shoe class on Monday, soft shoe class on Thursday) is a core curriculum within the Teelin Champion Program. Students must be sufficiently fit to participate, and commit to independent practice at least three hours outside of class.

DRILLS CLASSES

These abbreviated sessions are a great “second class” option for students who are looking for increased opportunities to improve their skills. NOTE: Students must also be registered in a “skills class” (meaning a competition class or a level class).

INTERMEDIATE DRILLS CLASS – recommended for N/PW dancers, or Adv Beg dancers Ages 10&Up

ADVANCED DRILLS CLASS – recommended for Champ dancers, or PW dancers Ages 10&Up

Additional Drills Classes may be added to the schedule on Fridays after Oireachtas. More information will be announced as soon as possible on the Extra Classes page of the website.

COMPETITION TEAMS

Enrollment the following class is by invitation only, and students must also be registered in a “skills class” (meaning a competition class or a level class). For more information regarding competition teams, please see the Feis Info section of the Teelin website.

OIREACHTAS FIGURE TEAMS – Enrollment is by invitation only. This abbreviated session is for the Oireachtas Figure Teams (4-Hand, 8-Hand, or Choreography teams) as they prepare for the Regional Championships. Additional sessions may be added if there are qualified teams who are also preparing for North American or World Championships.

PERFORMANCE TEAMS

Enrollment is by invitation only, and students must also be registered in a “skills class” (meaning a competition class or a level class). For more information regarding Teelin’s performance teams, please see the Teelin Irish Dance Company.

TEELIN IRISH DANCE COMPANY REHEARSALS – Enrollment is by invitation only, and is mandatory for all dancers who have accepted a position with the company.

OTHER SUPPLEMENTAL OPPORTUNITIES

IRISH MUSIC PRACTICE – Traditional Irish music session for intermediate or advanced level musicians – any instrument welcome. If interested, please talk to Maureen, or send an email to info@teelin.com.