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Frequently Asked Questions: Information for New Parents & Dancers

In this post we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) we receive from parents thinking of bringing their children to Irish Dance lessons at Moffatt School of Irish Dancing. If you have a question that isn't covered, comment at the bottom of the post as it may be something that another parent wants to know!


What age can children start Irish Dancing lessons?

  • We have just introduced a new program for preschool children from age 3 plus. “Happy Feet” has been designed to encourage young children’s balance and coordination skills, to enjoy movement to music and a basic introduction to Irish dance. More information here: Happy Feet

  • Children from Junior infants upwards are welcome in our beginner groups, where they learn the basic dances for grade 1 (Bun Grad), warmups, rhythm and all the basic skills to progressing at a sport which with both our encouragement and yours they then progress through the various grades. More information here: Irish Dance Classes in Co. Mayo

  • Children and teenagers who may have previously tried Irish dance, who may have stopped attending but now would like to return are also welcomed. We try and accommodate these dancers with dancers of similar age to encourage friendship and social interaction. More information here: Irish Dancing Lessons in Co. Mayo

  • Our new Step 'n Time classes are designed for older teenagers and adults wishing to either learn Irish Dancing from scratch, or returning to Irish Dance after an extended break. More information here: Irish Dancing Classes for Adults


What do we need to start off?

  • A tracksuit or leggings and a pair of trainers (runners).

  • When your dancer is happy, content and settled you can then purchase the correct dance shoes and whichever accessories you wish in your own time, with no pressure from the teachers.


What do we bring to our first class?

  • A bottle of water.

  • Wear the above attire.

  • Enthusiasm


Do parents remain at the class?

  • Once your dancer is happy and content with the class, the layout of the hall and is settled in, the preferred option is for parents to drop off and collect. This is to create a level playing field for all children as not every parent is able to remain.

  • As one of our main priorities is to help develop a dancers self confidence and independence, independently attending class is a great stepping stone towards confidence building and self-esteem.


Payment options for Irish Dance classes

  • New dancers may attend their first evening without commitment. After which the below applies.

  • Irish Dance classes are based on a term fee, based on the primary school terms.

  • €120 per dancer per term for one class a week. Dancers who attend two nights (€240) and are up to date with fees can enjoy a 3rd class free of charge.

  • The term fee may be paid in full or in 3 payments of €40 each at the beginning of each month.

  • We only operate a weekly system while we are outdoor and unsure of covid restrictions adjusting and changing. Weekly fee €9 per class. Online zoom class fee €20 per month or €5 on a weekly basis.

  • Family fees apply for families with 3 or more children dancing. Please contact us for details.

  • The first term is September – December. The second term is January – Easter and term 3 commences after the Easter holidays to the school holidays in June. We take the same midterm breaks as the primary schools, bank holidays and some days which accommodate Regional, All Ireland and world competitions.

  • It is our intention from September 2021, we will operate a booking and payment system online via the school website www.moffattschoolofirishdancing.com

  • Happy Feet program has a different pricing plan. Details are available on request. Happy Feet enquiries

  • Our fees also include access to practice videos on the parents’ area of the school website, so your dancer will also have the guidance of the class both in the studio and at home.


Registration and membership

  • From September 2021, all dancers will be required to register online via the website.

  • Membership is free.


Practice at Home

  • Is highly recommended and encouraged.

  • Irish dancing is an art form and a sport. Like every sport, practice makes perfect.

  • While we encourage all dancers to practice, we are mindful of other commitments and our main priority is to encourage a love of the tradition of Irish dance. Once we nurture this dancer usually practice well by themselves as they develop a passion for what they do.


Competition and performance

  • This is optional. Each dancer/ family ultimately makes their own decision as to what they would like to take part in.

  • We offer both competitive and non-competitive options.

  • We offer competitive dancers a platform to excel at local, provincial, nation and international level – if this is the path they wish to choose.

  • Non-Competitive options include participation in class displays, local concerts, fundraisers, parades.

  • Some dancers just attend class and do not commit to either competitive or non-competitive options.

  • In time as your dancer progresses you will discover the path that is right for them, we will help you with this path and explain what you need to do as you start off on your dance journey with your dancer.

Atlantic Rhythm

  • This is our production troupe. It involves not only dancers but also musicians, actors, and singers.

  • All dancers are currently trained in house in Moffatt SD and are of a competitive championship level when they are invited into the main troupes.

  • When we are developing new troupes, dancers within the class having progressed to the required level, start to learn the cross over of dance styles which includes the mix of step, set, brush and barrel dancing. No other Irish dance schools opens this avenue to dancers at the level we do at Moffatt SD.


Figure Dancing

  • We encourage team dancing to all dancers. Group dances from 2 hand to 16 hand and everything in between is taught to all.

  • Our competitive team dancers have separate classes when preparing for competition.

  • Team and group dancing really bonds the children. They develop great friendships that last a lifetime.

  • Waltzing, jiving and basic line dancing is also taught.

  • Freestyle and Drama dance competitions are also included within the school.

Our Aim

At Moffatt SD, our wish is to encourage all children and dancers to develop their love of the tradition of Irish dance in a safe and friendly environment. We have a proven track record for over 30 years of having the privilege of working with many champions who have gone on to do huge things from their Irish dancing. Some of our greatest achievements though have often never been witnessed on a world stage, watching a child’s development in dance, their confidence, their independence growing, socially interacting with their peers, mastering a new level of a skill and much more brings great joy to all involved with the school.


Any Other Questions?

If there is a burning question that isn't covered within the above, let us know in the Comments below. If you want to know the answer, the chances are someone else will also want to know!

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