General Overview of Lesson Program

Most students enter the Teelin School lesson program either through the Summer Camp program, or by enrolling in an entry-level class at the beginning of the school year. Students with previous Irish dance experience may interview for possible transfer into our program.

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. In May of each year, students are given a recommended class placement for the following year. For students who compete, class placement is determined by a dancer’s current appropriate competition level.

Teelin teachers give a lot of thought to these recommendations. Their goal is to place each student in a class that offers sufficient training for a solid foundation in Irish dance. Teelin students may transfer into competition level classes midyear, if deemed appropriate by the teacher.

(Note: Conferences with teachers are very difficult to do “on the fly” due to the fact that Teelin studio space is limited and classes are scheduled back-to-back. To arrange a meeting with an instructor, please either call or email the teacher to establish a convenient day and time.)

Students may sometimes be asked to repeat a level in order to better support their dance training. Classes progress at slightly different paces each year, and new steps are added to the lesson program on a regular basis. Therefore, even if a dancer is repeating a level, the material taught in class will not necessarily be the same.

This cannot be stressed enough… PLEASE read the class descriptions! Prerequisites and expectations are listed in the description of each class.

The pace of each student’s progress through the lessons program varies. Some students advance more quickly than others. Usually this is because of a combination of diligent attendance and attention in class; effective independent practice outside of class; participation in summer camps; and participation in as many as possible of the extra classes provided throughout the year.

Students in Teelin Summer Camps learn a LOT of Irish dance in a short period of time. Due to this intensity, students who participate in a summer camp are often able to advance more quickly.

“Extra Classes” are supplemental opportunities for Teelin students.

Independent practice is recommended for every student who is interested in competing, and is required of all advanced level students. Some tips for effective independent practice are included in another section of this handbook. Step notation (the written order of movements for a step) and some video resources are offered on this password-protected page of our school website –

Teelin has published a DVD entitled “Practice Makes Perfect” which includes steps and drills unique to Teelin School of Irish Dance. This DVD is a very valuable resource for students working to develop effective independent practices. Information about purchasing a copy of this DVD is available on the Teelin Gear page of the website –

Private lessons are a supplemental opportunity for a student to receive more individualized instruction and feedback from a teacher. Private lessons are meant to support (not replace) a dancer’s class instruction and independent practice. Because time and studio space are limited, priority is given to those dancers who practice independently and will therefore be able to maximize the productivity of their private lesson time.

All private lessons must first be requested through the online Private Lesson Request form, per the guidelines listed on the Class Schedule page. Maureen must approve any private lessons or coaching sessions given by a Teelin Student Assistant prior to scheduling. Review of lesson plan prior to and after the lesson are also required.

The following chart offers a broad overview of the lesson program at Teelin School. Class descriptions and offerings may change from year to year.

Inclement Weather/Emergencies: If the weather is questionable, please check the school website, check your email, and/or call 443-629-7808 to hear the school message. We will not always follow the public school closings.

Absence: If you miss a class, you may attend another class at the same level (or a level below), with advanced permission, and preferably within 2 weeks of your missed class. Send an email to to schedule a make-up class.

Other “General Information and Policies” for Teelin School of Irish Dance are listed on the registration form. Consent to these policies is required at the time of registration.