Frequently Asked Questions
Can I observe a class?
Yes, we'd love to show you what we are all about. Contact us and we will arrange it.
Who can sign up?
Anyone! We take ages 3 - adult, boys and girls. We teach beginners through advanced dancers and no experience is necessary for an older dancer who wants to give Irish Dancing a try. There is a class for everyone. We have lots of siblings, parents/children and friends who join together.
When can I start class?
Open enrollment is in the Fall. As we move closer to performance season, dancers need teacher approval to join a class. Although we are always excited to welcome new dancers to ADC, prospective dancers may be asked to wait until the next school year to begin.
How do I sign up?
Is there a family discount?
Yes, additional dancers in the same immediate family and household are eligible for a discount of 10% on tuition.
Are ADC dancers available to book for performances?
Yes, we love to perform. Contact us and we will see what we can do!
When and where do dancers perform?
Most of our performances happen around St. Patrick’s Day and mid-summer. We participate in the Salt Lake St. Patrick’s Day parade and Siamsa as well as dancing at various senior centers, churches and events around the valley. In the Summer we dance at the Salt Lake Highland Festival and the Payson Scottish Festival. Occasionally we participate in local town days or get invited to dance for private functions at other times of the year. Our annual recital, Celtic Celebration, showcases all of our dancers and is held in June. All ADC dancers will have opportunities to perform, regardless of age or dancing level.
What do dancers wear to class?
Exercise shirts and shorts or stretch pants that allow the teacher to clearly see the knees are best. Knee length or shorter skirts are OK with under shorts. Baggy, long pants, jeans or clothing that does not allow the teacher to assess posture should be avoided. Thin socks are worn with your Irish dance shoes.
What do dancers wear for performances?
Female dancers wear either a skirt / skort and t-shirt or a traditional dress with a full skirt. Dancers also wear tights or poodle socks, and a traditional cape. Male dancers can wear kilts & t-shirt or slacks and vest & tie. Costumes are embellished with traditional celtic knotwork, embroidery and gems.
What about the super fancy dresses I’ve seen? And the curly wigs?
The fancy dresses you’re referring to are probably competitive solo dresses. Our dancers do not participate in competitions so we focus on group costumes that are still sparkly and beautiful, but more affordable. Wigs are allowed, but completely optional. Most of our dancers choose to style their natural hair.
Can parents watch while their child takes class?
Parents are welcome to observe in the classroom anytime they wish. However, children typically focus better when they are not being watched. We invite parents to relax in the waiting room or leave and run errands while your child is dancing. We encourage children to practice at home to show parents what they are learning.
Are classes held year-round?
We teach classes 10 months of the year, taking breaks on major holidays. Classes start after Labor day and continue through the month of June since we have many summer shows. We take a break from classes during July and August. When in doubt, check our website as we are sometimes in session even when school is out. 😊
What kind of shoes do I need for Irish Dance?
Female dancers wear soft leather shoes called ghillies or pumps. We do allow beginners to start in black ballet slippers instead until traditional shoes can be purchased. Male dancers wear reel shoes though beginner boys may dance in black jazz shoes. When a dancer has reached the appropriate level, male or female, they will also dance in hard shoes. Hard shoes are leather shoes with a buckle, similar to a tap shoe, but with a fiberglass heel and tip.
When do dancers start hard shoe?
Dancers are always excited to move into hard shoe and some of our big, loud “Riverdance” type pieces are always crowd favorites. Developing technique, rhythm and strength in soft shoe is an important prerequisite learning hard shoe and cannot be rushed. When dancers have progressed to an intermediate level in soft shoe and have teacher approval, they are ready to begin hard shoe dancing. Older dancers usually progress a little faster than our youngest dancers. Dancers should anticipate a minimum of 1-2 years of soft shoe only before adding beginning hard shoe. We do not accept dancers who only want to learn hard shoe.
Where can I purchase shoes?
Locally, shoes can be purchased at Neverland Emporium located at 75 E 200 N, Kaysville, UT. Online options we recommend include:
Used shoes are a great option for growing dancers and those new to Irish Dance. Occasionally we have some use shoes on hand for purchase. We also recommend checking ebay, KSL, Facebook groups such as Utah Irish Dance Exchange, and North American Irish Dance Shoe Exchange. We facilitate our own ADC shoe exchange as well. Remember, shoes should fit snugly at first, as they stretch a lot. Sizing up to “grow into” a shoe is not recommended. When you point your toe, you do not want to have a lot of extra room at the top of the shoe.
How can I figure out what size shoes I need?
Irish dance shoes are sized in UK sizing, rather than US sizes. The easiest way to figure out your shoe size is try on a pair of actual shoes. Alternately you can trace your foot on a piece of paper and measure heel to big toe then use this sizing chart: