FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. How should I get started?
A. The best way to start is to register for a session. They are 3-4 months long. It takes that long to give the student a feel for the teacher, curriculum, and whether they enjoy it.
Q. When does the dance year normally start and end?
A. Our Beginner program is broken into 3 sessions - Fall (Aug-Dec), Winter (Jan-March), and Spring (April-June). New students may start at any time if we have openings, but often our sessions do fill prior to starting.
Q. How many levels are there?
A. There are 6 levels:
Level 1 - Beginner - A dancer stays in the age-appropriate Beginner class until their birthday or sometimes may move up early if we notify them that they’re ready.
Little Shamrocks 2-3
Little Leprechauns 4-5
Tir Na Nog 6-7
Beginner ages 8+
Level 2 - Advanced Beginner - starts hard shoes! Now in a 90-minute class (45 minutes softshoe, 45 minutes hardshoe), At this level we encourage starting to come 2x a week and starting to compete
Level 3 - Novice - continues in a 90-minute class. If they haven’t started coming 2x a week or competing yet, at this level we REALLY encourage those things.
Level 4 - Prizewinner - continues in a 90-minute class. At this level, we encourage coming 3x a week.
Level 5 - Preliminary Championships - Now eligible to compete in the Regional Championships
Level 6 - Open Championships - Now permanently qualified for the National Championships, many of these dancers are striving to qualify for the World Championships.
Q. How does my child move up into different levels?
A. In the Beginner levels, our program is divided by age, so your dancer will likely move up after their birthday. Sometimes if they've mastered the curriculum early, they might move up even sooner at the teacher's discretion. Starting in Advanced Beginner, we follow the regional feis rules for winning qualifying placements to move up to the next level.
Q. Can parents stay to watch the class?
A. Yes, we have a wonderful Waiting Room with large viewing windows into the classrooms and everything you need to be comfortable including ample seating, free wifi, a water fountain, and vending machines! Parents are not permitted to enter the classroom while a class is in session, but they are welcome to watch through the viewing window.
Q. I have several kids - can they take class at the same time?
A. Our 2-3-year-olds attend Little Shamrocks, 4-5-year-olds attend Little Leprechauns, 6-7-year-olds start in Tir Na Nog, and 8+ year olds start in Beginner. Our preference is to keep kids in their correct age group because our curriculum is specifically designed for their age-appropriate motor skills and attention span. But for sibling situations, we will consider moving dancers up 1 year (i.e. a 4-year-old would have to be in the 4-5-year-old class, but a 5-year-old could try the 6-7-year-old class if that helped family scheduling).
Q. Do you give sibling discounts?
A. We do not offer sibling discounts. We do have a family tuition max, but typically a family wouldn't reach that until their dancers are in longer classes or coming multiple times a week.
Q. Will my child have to do performances or recitals?
A. Students are encouraged to get involved in our frequent community performances, but they have the option to choose dates and locations that suit them. New beginners are never expected to sign up for shows until they feel comfortable and ready with their material and progress. You will be notified of upcoming performance opportunities via email announcements, and interested dancers will sign up online. We also hold a bi-annual school production and all of our dancers are invited to perform.
Q. Do we have to compete?
A. No, and in fact as a Beginner dancer, we don’t even recommend it. We recommend trying a 1st feis (pronounced - fesh) at the Intermediate level, so most of our Beginners do not compete as we feel it's important the students develop a simple love for dance first. In the intermediate level probably 30% of our dancers choose to stay non-competitive. We are goal-driven and aim to support our dancers in whatever their goals are, which does not have to include competition. Our non-competitive students focus on making performance, social, or fitness-related goals instead and that's great.
Q. What do I wear to class?
A. Dancers age 2-7 wear ballet shoes (girls, $22) or jazz shoes (boys, $30). Girls ages 8+ wear the Irish softshoes ($48). *If in a small size. The shoes will be about two sizes smaller than what their sneakers are. ASK THEIR SIZE. We sell all those items here and would like to fit your dancer their first week of class to get the right size. Additionally, dancers wear a Hooley t-shirt and athletic bottoms, like athletic shorts, skirts, or leggings. Your first Hooley t-shirt is free.
Q. Does my Little Shamrock need to be potty trained?
A. Nope! (Just wear pull-ups or a diaper if not potty trained). If your child uses the bathroom but needs help, then we just request you stay in the lobby during class so you can take them if they need to go.
Q. I'm an adult interested in taking adult classes. Do all of these Q&A's apply to me as well?
A. Yes. The adult classes are run in the same way as the classes for children except that the training is intended more for dancers to progress at their individual pace. The adults also have the option to perform and compete and are moved up through the different levels in the same way that the children do.
Q. Why is the adult registration fee ($50) so much higher than the kids registration fee ($35)?
A. The adult registration fee is actually the first non-refundable tuition payment. The adult session is $139, broken into two tuition payments of $50 at registration, and $89 on the 20th of the starting month. The adult 'registration fee’ is charged each trimester because it’s actually part of that trimester's tuition. The kid's registration fee is a true registration fee in that it does not count toward tuition, and is charged once per year.
*Please don't hesitate to contact us with more questions.