Choosing a Dance School for Your Child

So your child has seen Riverdance and wants to learn Irish Dancing, or you are of Irish descent and you want to get in touch with your roots. Now you have to find someone to teach her (or him). Click here for a list of the registered Irish Dancing Teachers who run schools in New South Wales.

Here are some questions you could ask the teacher ...

  • Does this school have TCRG qualified teachers? (registered with the Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin)

  • Can we watch a class before deciding?

  • Do your students enter Australian Irish Dancing Association competitions?

  • How many classes a week for beginners?

  • Are they arranged in age groups or are they mixed ability. (some children prefer one or the other method, some don't care)

  • How long are the lessons? - Mixed ability tend to be longer classes and relaxed - age classes are shorter and intense.

  • Will I get to watch a class from time to time?

  • Do I pay weekly or by the term?

  • Do you have a second-hand shoe pool? (Saves money)

  • Do I buy, or rent teams dresses? (rented ones are usually bought by the school through fund raising)

  • Will there be somebody to help us at our first competition? (You do need your hand held)

  • Are private lessons available if my child needs one-on-one attention at some stage?

  • Is the teacher available to talk with you if your child has questions later?

Things to watch

  • Listen to the way the teacher speaks to the students.

  • Watch how they respond to her.

  • Do all the children get attention?

  • The other parents in the school. Talk to them if you can to gauge their level of satisfaction.

  • Is the teacher patient with your efforts to understand the school's attitudes?


Things to consider

  • If the teacher isn't registered with the Commission in Dublin, your child will not be able to compete. She will of course be able to dance in displays just as any dance school can dance in shopping centres etc.

  • If the teacher is registered (the teacher will have a TCRG certificate), your child will be able to compete. But after the child registers as a dancer with that teacher she will not be able to move freely from one dance school to another.

  • If your child moves from one teacher to another she has to learn the new teacher's choreography before she can compete under the new school's name. The time it takes depends on how fast the child learns. Choreography is guarded closely by teachers; this is also why there is no video taping of dancing.


All the registered teachers will teach to a standard where your child can compete on an even field with other children.

Some schools are more focused on competitions than others. Other schools prefer to specialise in team dancing rather than solo dances. Other schools focus on the dance itself and learn many different dances rather than perfecting a handful for competition.

But some children don't get on with some styles of teaching. There are as many teaching styles as there are teachers. Some children need smiles and pats at all times, other need to be taught firmly to get the best out of them. You know your child best, so chose a teacher that fits his/her personality.