Dancers may join the Shannon program by invitation when their dance technique has progressed to a certain level of proficiency. Students are normally 10 years of age or older and most often competing at the Open Prizewinner level or higher. Students attend class between two and six times a week depending on commitment level and individual goals.
Dancers at this level may be invited to dance workshops and special classes to continue to work on their dance technique with international choreographers and experts. Some students choose to take part at regional qualifying events where placing dancers qualify for the World Championships of Irish Dancing. Most dancers compete and take part in grade exams, and those who graduate from grade 12 are awarded the ‘Diploma of the Irish Dancing Commission’ and will be eligible to pursue teaching certification.
To support dancers in achieving their goals, this program is designed to follow a training program that splits classes into pre-season, in-season and off-season depending on the time of year and competitions on the horizon. Dancers follow a physical fitness and athletic conditioning program designed by a certified personal trainer to ensure muscle groups can support high levels of dance safely, and to help with injury prevention. The program is always safe and age appropriate.
Class attire includes a school or Irish dance-themed shirt, black, blue or grey shorts or skort and white or black dance socks. Students must be fitted with appropriate footwear including both soft and hard shoes, and clean indoor running shoes for the fitness component of class. Students at this level normally purchase a solo costume.
Uniform fees cover two school T-Shirts, a school journal, and three pairs of dance socks. Journals will be used to write out dance corrections, record home practice and to make other notes. Students are required to bring their journals to each class.