Thursdays 5:45 pm - 6:45 pm,
Saturdays 1:00 pm -2:00 pm
Dancers in the Connacht Program participate in class once a week, although keen students are encouraged to come twice a week! Classes are 60 minutes in length to allow students to continue to develop attention and focus. New beginner students ages 7 and up, or beginner students who have graduated from the Ulster program may participate in these classes and enrollment is open year-round.
Dancers learn or review their jig and reel in this class and start to dance independently from their teacher. Students are then introduced to the softshoe slip jig, and in January dancers start learning hardshoe moves (similar to tap dancing) to prepare them for the treble jig.
In this program students continue to learn about Irish dance and learn the names of the four provinces in Ireland, as well as how to say ‘hello my name is’ in the Irish language. Students are encouraged to take their Preliminary-level grade exam and attend their first competition at this level, both of which are always optional. Grade exams will be held once or twice each year and all students will receive a certificate of achievement from an out of town adjudicator. Note that grade exam fees are billed separately from tuition, and competitions also charge a registration fee. Students normally graduate from the Connacht program after one year.
Class attire includes a school or dance-themed shirt, black shorts or skort and white or black dance socks. Clean running shoes may be worn for the first month of class, and students are asked to purchase irish dance soft shoes for girls or black jazz shoes for boys in the second month of classes. In January, students are fitted with hard shoes to start learning more complex rhythms. The school keeps a stock of shoes and has second hand shoes available for resale on our website.
Students are encouraged to purchase a beginner school costume at this level. OIDC school costumes are reused from year to year unlike other dance forms which require different costumes to be purchased each year. The school offers new and lightly used costumes for resale to keep costs as low as possible.
Registration fees cover a school T-Shirt and school journal which will be used to store hand outs and practice sheets which must accompany each dancer to class each week.