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Irish Step Dancing

Posted by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:44 PM
  • 12 Replies

Does anyone have their kiddos in this? I am interested inmaybe putting my girls into it, but I am not familiar with it much, and any organized sport or group. I never did anything like that growing up, so it's a little foreign to me. I am just curious to what it's like from a parents and childs perspective. Like average cost for lessons, clothes and competitions ect... My girls love dancing, but so far all they've tried is a little gymnastics. But I wasn't happy with that gym, so I took them out.

by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:44 PM
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Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Platinum Member on Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:49 PM
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My dd danced 11 years. Jazz, tap, ballet and modern. Last studio she learned and danced Lord of the Dance at each recital. She liked it. They danced it with tap shoes. Never danced in competitions. Dance is expensive just to take lessons and be in a recital. Over $1000 a year.
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bamababe1975
by Gold Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

 No, mine aren't, but I know from the other girls at the school who do dance that it's very expensive to keep up the cost of lessons, costumes, etc. They do have fundraisers, but that money only goes so far. Plus, it's a major time commitment for both the kids and for you.



MJP76
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 5:01 PM

My daughter is in dance. She did Irish step for 4 years, but I put her in it only because she asked, and when she was done, she told me. She mainly focuses on Jazz, hip hop and lyrical now. If your daughter is first starting out and has not specifically asked for Irish step, I'd start with a combo class, or gymnastics.

studio prices vary, but my daughtes dance studio charges by the time spent at the studio, for example 1 class, 45 minutes, 38.00. The price goes down, the more time spent at the studio, for example my daughter is in unlimited dance, which is 170.00 a month... She can take as many classes as she wants.. Unlimited at our studio goes into effect after 7 (wwekly) classes. 


EDIT: oh I forgot about prices for costumes and such.. That depends again on the studio, but our studio is 75.00 per costume, and that does not include if they need extra shoes...shoes are a seperate cost. We pay well over 3,000 a year for dance.

laetissima
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM
2 moms liked this

I started Irish dance at age 17 and am pregnant with my first (so, can't tell you what it's like from parent's perspective).  But I LOVE it, and I know lots of girls who started at age 4 and crave it too much to ever stop, plus a lot of parents who started themselves after they saw their kids having so much fun.

I try to find non-competitive, performing-only schools - with those, classes range from $20-50 per month, depending on your location, number of classes/week, etc. Because it has a strong cultural as well as athletic and artistic elements, there's often a lot of opportunity to perform in the community (retirement homes, local fairs, Christmas festivals, St. Patrick's Day everywhere, schools...).  Costumes depend entirely on the school, but unlike some ballet studios, you wear the same one for most performances year after year.  At the 2 studios I've been at, beginners had ~$40 kilts, and more advanced dancers had school dresses ($100-200).  One of the studios encouraged wigs (~$20-70), the other doesn't.  

With competitive schools, your kids will probably be encouraged to practice harder, spend more time there, and they'll improve faster.  Most also do community performances too.  Watch "JIG" for an idea of competitive Irish, though that emphasizes the really advanced, hardcore dancers.  The people I know who did it competitively as kids say it helped them in a lot of ways (dedication, dealing with victory and defeat, socially, etc), but it's ridiculously expensive once you reach more advanced levels (that's mostly why I do performance-only):  think $500-5000 for a solo dress, travel costs around the country, really good shoes (more on this later), fee, etc.  But you can choose how involved you'll be - some kids go to a feis ("fesh", competition) once a month, others once or twice a year, and there are usually local ones.  

Shoes:  Irish requires softshoes and hardshoes.  Some schools don't start you on hardshoes until you've gotten the hang of softshoe.  If you're not competing, you can probably get away with ballet slippers in class and at some performances for a while, but for more serious competing and performing, they'll need real softshoes (called ghillies).  Ghillies range from $15-80ish ($15 is fine for beginners).  Hardshoes (or heavies, jig shoes, etc.) are usually $50(used)-$200(new and high-tech).  But you can probably use tap shoes for a while, if you're not competing.  There are often shoe trades within schools, so when your kids outgrow their first pair, you can sell them in-school and buy another student's outgrown ones for cheap.  Lots of schools (competitive and not) require poodle socks, which aren't really that much pricier than normal socks.  Some do black tights instead.  

It's energetic, graceful, powerful, and just tons of fun.  It's not very expressive, though, for the most part.  There's a lot of focus on steps and technique.  So you don't have to worry about your kids doing overly-adult moves, because there aren't any, and the costumes are way less revealing than your average leotard, but it's not like ballet or modern where there's a really personal element to it.  You just get to smile a lot :)  It's easy to make friends, and Irish dance is inherently social (figure dances, anyway).  The injuries you'll have to worry about are shin splints, if you don't stretch well enough, ankle/foot injuries if you land wrong (there's a lot of jumping), joint issues if you dance on concrete and bad floors too often.  It's not bad.

Oh my goodness, I'm just so excited about this stuff.  This must be way more than you wanted to know, but message me if you're still curious.

MJP76
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 7:32 PM


HOLY COW! Where is the world did you find soft shoes for 15.00!! That's pretty awesome.  For my DDs soft shoes I pd 40.00 (and that was the cheapest I could find on ebay!) her hard shoes cost me 65.00.

Quoting laetissima:

I started Irish dance at age 17 and am pregnant with my first (so, can't tell you what it's like from parent's perspective).  But I LOVE it, and I know lots of girls who started at age 4 and crave it too much to ever stop, plus a lot of parents who started themselves after they saw their kids having so much fun.

I try to find non-competitive, performing-only schools - with those, classes range from $20-50 per month, depending on your location, number of classes/week, etc. Because it has a strong cultural as well as athletic and artistic elements, there's often a lot of opportunity to perform in the community (retirement homes, local fairs, Christmas festivals, St. Patrick's Day everywhere, schools...).  Costumes depend entirely on the school, but unlike some ballet studios, you wear the same one for most performances year after year.  At the 2 studios I've been at, beginners had ~$40 kilts, and more advanced dancers had school dresses ($100-200).  One of the studios encouraged wigs (~$20-70), the other doesn't.  

With competitive schools, your kids will probably be encouraged to practice harder, spend more time there, and they'll improve faster.  Most also do community performances too.  Watch "JIG" for an idea of competitive Irish, though that emphasizes the really advanced, hardcore dancers.  The people I know who did it competitively as kids say it helped them in a lot of ways (dedication, dealing with victory and defeat, socially, etc), but it's ridiculously expensive once you reach more advanced levels (that's mostly why I do performance-only):  think $500-5000 for a solo dress, travel costs around the country, really good shoes (more on this later), fee, etc.  But you can choose how involved you'll be - some kids go to a feis ("fesh", competition) once a month, others once or twice a year, and there are usually local ones.  

Shoes:  Irish requires softshoes and hardshoes.  Some schools don't start you on hardshoes until you've gotten the hang of softshoe.  If you're not competing, you can probably get away with ballet slippers in class and at some performances for a while, but for more serious competing and performing, they'll need real softshoes (called ghillies).  Ghillies range from $15-80ish ($15 is fine for beginners).  Hardshoes (or heavies, jig shoes, etc.) are usually $50(used)-$200(new and high-tech).  But you can probably use tap shoes for a while, if you're not competing.  There are often shoe trades within schools, so when your kids outgrow their first pair, you can sell them in-school and buy another student's outgrown ones for cheap.  Lots of schools (competitive and not) require poodle socks, which aren't really that much pricier than normal socks.  Some do black tights instead.  

It's energetic, graceful, powerful, and just tons of fun.  It's not very expressive, though, for the most part.  There's a lot of focus on steps and technique.  So you don't have to worry about your kids doing overly-adult moves, because there aren't any, and the costumes are way less revealing than your average leotard, but it's not like ballet or modern where there's a really personal element to it.  You just get to smile a lot :)  It's easy to make friends, and Irish dance is inherently social (figure dances, anyway).  The injuries you'll have to worry about are shin splints, if you don't stretch well enough, ankle/foot injuries if you land wrong (there's a lot of jumping), joint issues if you dance on concrete and bad floors too often.  It's not bad.

Oh my goodness, I'm just so excited about this stuff.  This must be way more than you wanted to know, but message me if you're still curious.



laetissima
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Well, it was 5 years ago, but here (Antonion Pacelli, discontinued classic style) they're 10 British pounds ($15), and here (Corrs economy/practice ghillie) they're $30 - yeah, they're low quality, but they were fine my first year or two, and we duct-taped the bottoms for traction anyway. :)  Hard shoes I've always gotten used from other girls at my school for really cheap.

Quoting MJP76:



HOLY COW! Where is the world did you find soft shoes for 15.00!! That's pretty awesome.  For my DDs soft shoes I pd 40.00 (and that was the cheapest I could find on ebay!) her hard shoes cost me 65.00

MJP76
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:16 PM


Oh ok, yeah our studio requires a certain brand... Their are usually two brands (maybe 3) that we are allowed to choose from, and mainly it's because (other than hip hop) all the students shoes need to look the same, because typically their class shoes are also their recital shoes... Shoes are such a pain in the ass to buy, until you kids stops growing..lol Dayanna has worn the same shoe size for the last two years, so that has helped A LOT in the domain of buying dance shoes... But before, it was a new pair every stinkin year!

Quoting laetissima:

Well, it was 5 years ago, but here (Antonion Pacelli, discontinued classic style) they're 10 British pounds ($15), and here (Corrs economy/practice ghillie) they're $30 - yeah, they're low quality, but they were fine my first year or two, and we duct-taped the bottoms for traction anyway. :)  Hard shoes I've always gotten used from other girls at my school for really cheap.

Quoting MJP76:



HOLY COW! Where is the world did you find soft shoes for 15.00!! That's pretty awesome.  For my DDs soft shoes I pd 40.00 (and that was the cheapest I could find on ebay!) her hard shoes cost me 65.00



MJP76
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM

^^ sorry for all the typos..

laetissima
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Oh, that makes sense.  My current place is really relaxed about matching (probably because everyone wears black tights and you can't see the ghillies anyway), but it's so cool when everyone's uniform.  And the outgrowing-shoes thing sounds annoying!  I'm sure I'll feel your pain in about 5 years...  Do they have shoe exchanges?


Quoting MJP76:


Oh ok, yeah our studio requires a certain brand... Their are usually two brands (maybe 3) that we are allowed to choose from, and mainly it's because (other than hip hop) all the students shoes need to look the same, because typically their class shoes are also their recital shoes... Shoes are such a pain in the ass to buy, until you kids stops growing..lol Dayanna has worn the same shoe size for the last two years, so that has helped A LOT in the domain of buying dance shoes... But before, it was a new pair every stinkin year!

MJP76
by on Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:32 PM


Shoe exchanges? Like do parents give away shoes that don't fit their kids any more? No.

there is a bulletin board where we can post "shoes for sale" but honestly over the years I've had more luck selling them on eBay .... Of course though for only a fraction of the price I pd. :(

Quoting laetissima:

Oh, that makes sense.  My current place is really relaxed about matching (probably because everyone wears black tights and you can't see the ghillies anyway), but it's so cool when everyone's uniform.  And the outgrowing-shoes thing sounds annoying!  I'm sure I'll feel your pain in about 5 years...  Do they have shoe exchanges?


Quoting MJP76:


Oh ok, yeah our studio requires a certain brand... Their are usually two brands (maybe 3) that we are allowed to choose from, and mainly it's because (other than hip hop) all the students shoes need to look the same, because typically their class shoes are also their recital shoes... Shoes are such a pain in the ass to buy, until you kids stops growing..lol Dayanna has worn the same shoe size for the last two years, so that has helped A LOT in the domain of buying dance shoes... But before, it was a new pair every stinkin year!



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