An Irish dance lesson is a costly endeavour as it's not only about the steps and moves but the costume and shoes depending on the type of dance you are trying to learn.

Because of the rising popularity of Irish dance as a cultural sport and the developing trend of dance events and contests on television and the internet, courtesy to Riverdance, more people than ever are taking Irish dance lessons for themselves or enrolling their children in dance classes.

Although some localities provide free dancing lessons, the majority of these dance programmes are fee-based. The cost of Irish dancing lessons varies depending on the genre of dance you want to learn and whether you want solo or group instruction.

Prices vary depending on where you take your classes; for example, you may learn to dance at a dancing company or a community centre.

It's possible that it will well spend the money spent on dancing classes. Enrolling your child in courses, whether for stepdance, reels, or jigs, will offer them a better understanding of Irish music and dancing.

Regular attendance instils ideals of discipline and aids in the development of confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Irish dancing fitness also aids in the development of flexibility and coordination. It also helps them connect with Irish history.

The cost of learning to dance and improving your footwork varies depending on several factors. Continue reading to learn more about the factors that influence the cost of your dancing experience.

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Age and Levels for Irish Dance

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An account of a teenager riverdancer                                                                      Source - The New York Times

Irish dancing has no specific age limits. Most students begin at seven. There are, however, activities for both younger children and adults. To begin Irish Dance, a kid must be able to stay in class without a parent and follow basic dance training. Consider starting your child as a solo dancer at an early age if you want them to compete and win top prizes.

Irish dancing levels differ depending on where you live, but they typically correspond to beginner, novice, prizewinner, and championship levels.

Everyone starts with a light jig, then moves on to reels, slip jigs, and finally hard shoes. Your youngster will advance levels within each dance, rather than all dances at once. Skill, age, and experience all play a role in advancement. They may, for example, have the slip jig in novice and the rest of their dances in beginner.

A beginner is someone who has only recently begun learning Irish dancing.
The next year, a beginning becomes an advanced beginner.
If a dancer finishes first, second, or third in a competition, they will promote him or her to novice in that dance.
The first-place finisher in a novice dance goes up to the prizewinner in that dance.
The first-place finisher in a reel or slip jig, as well as a jig or hornpipe, advances to preliminary finals.
Any dancer who places first in two preliminary championships in the same calendar year shall compete in the open competition.

What are the other expenses?

Irish dance isn't about steps. It's about an identity. Source - Welsh Kalley School

Tuition Fees for Classes

As anyone grows in dance, it might get costly. Lesson costs, hard and soft shoes, solo outfits, hair items, feis (competition) expenses, and practise gear are all included in the price.

When considering a dancing studio, there are various factors to consider. To begin, determine the number of students in each class. Each student will receive more customised attention if there are fewer students in a class. Second, you must know about any potential hidden charges. Third, double-check that someone is present to answer your inquiries at all times.

The office personnel, which also doubles as full-time lecturers, may be overworked. Finally, talk to them about their competition participation and what additional activities are available to them during the year For example, how do they persuade their kids to dance in the community?

For one lesson each week, an Irish Dance class will cost between €50.00 and €60.00 per month. The overall amount of tuition you pay will be determined by the number of lessons your kid attends each month. If you sign up for many classes, you'll get a discount.

Monthly payments are accepted, although some studios may aggregate fees into four-year tuition instalments. They will also charge you €20.00 or €50.00, a one-time processing fee.

Competition Fees

There is a fee for each competition that a youngster enters during a feis. These costs may not appear to be significant at first, but they add up. Travel to and from the event, food, and possibly hotel accommodations are all factors to consider when calculating the cost of feiseanna.

A regional qualification, or Oireachtas, is held once a year for the higher-level dancers. National and international contests may be available if the dancer qualifies. Each of these larger tournaments has a somewhat higher registration price, ranging from €50 to €100. These excursions to major contests can be rather expensive.

Competition participation is encouraged but not required in studios. To take part in contests, beginning it does not need pupils to wear complete costumes. Each dancing school has its own unique attire that represents the school's spirit.

If they are competing in a non-solo event or if they are a newcomer, girls should wear a "team or school attire." A skirt or sweater with a white shirt with a peter pan collar are frequently worn. They wear blouses with short sleeves in the spring and summer, while they used those with long sleeves in the winter. This brings us to other important expenses -

Costumes and Shoes for Irish Dance

Soft shoes, also known as gillies, and hard shoes, sometimes known as heavy shoes, are used in Irish dancing. These are often gained a novice dancer has completed and has made a serious commitment to the dance form. They usually started Hard shoe dances of instruction, depending on the dancer's age.

They used wooden taps with metal nails on the first hard shoes. To extend the life of a shoe, it was a customary practice in the 17th and 18th centuries to hammer nails into the soles. Dancers used the noises made by the nails to create the hard shoe dance beats.

If only the feet don't grow so quickly. Both girls and boys wore Hardshoes or jig shoes. These can cost as much as €150. Boys' reel shoes may cost up to €100, while girls' ghillies can cost up to €70. Hard shoes cost roughly €180 and soft shoes cost around €90.

They required a school dress for females or an outfit for guys for grade-level Irish dancers. The cost of a solo costume for champion level Irish dancers (sometimes starting in the Open Prizewinner level) may be quite high. This might cost up to €2000 for a dress for the ladies. Fortunately, the lads can get away with black slacks and a waistcoat or vest, but even vests may cost upwards of €300. Even though this is a fraction of the expense for the girls, it can still be a financial strain for a family with a higher-level dancer.

Tips on how you can save money

Irish folk dance in contemporary Irish black shoes. Source - Istock

This may seem counterintuitive as a cost-cutting measure, but make sure your child is practising at home. They will get the most out of class if they arrive prepared, with content rehearsed at home. You invest in your child's ability to learn and to learn effectively. If students aren't practising their Irish dance routines at home, they spend additional class time reinforcing or even relearning information that has been taught.

Children should put what they've learned and apply it. If your kid forgets a step or motion, they will repeat it several times in class until it becomes second nature to them. After each lesson, they can write their steps in a notebook to assist them to remember what to do.

Whether it's for a school play or a solo performance, there are always secondhand costumes in excellent shape to be discovered. There are forums online with hundreds of solo gowns for sales with solo costumes. Look for ones that are in vogue right now so that you may resale the garment for a decent profit. A worn single dress might cost half as much as a new one. Used waistcoats for boys are a little more difficult to come by, but you may find them on places like dance.net, eBay, and even the Moms to Reel Boys Facebook page.

They should wear hard shoes as much as possible to break them in. Whether you're walking, jogging, dancing, or skipping, they must break shoes in. Bending the shoe repeatedly softens the leather as well. Some dancers use leather softener, such as Hot Glove cream.

Also, ensure sure the shoes are fitted properly. Nothing is more irritating than a shoe that doesn't fit properly. The shoes should have a tight fit at first to allow for probable leather stretching.

Whether many individuals at your Irish dance use the same shoes, it's a good idea to contact the manufacturer to see if a school discount is available. Consult your Irish dancing school's director beforehand. One of the shoe manufacturers offers a discount to our school. It benefits the shoemakers since the discount is significant enough that most dancers at our school will only buy shoes from the shoemaker, who offers a discount to our school.

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