Beginning Irish Dance

If you are an adult or child here's a few things you need to know before you get started with Irish Dance. 

Enrollment is always open. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early. Bring a water bottle, comfortable shoes, shorts and a t-shirt. 

Age to start

1 year +. Registration is always open.



Registration can be done by downloading a registration form and mailing it to the address at the top of the form. Registration forms are also provided on the first day of class. There is a $25 annual family registration fee.


What to wear and what to bring

Please bring water, comfortable shoes (ie. socks, sneekers, or ballet slippers), shorts, tank top or t-shirt, and a hair tie. Please no jeans, spagetti straps, sugary juice, or snacks. 


What beginners learn

  • music knowledge

  • stretching

  • basic steps in the reel, light jig, and slip jig

  • stamina excersizes

  • technique drills



Each lesson dancers are given a step to master. Dancers practice at home in order to learn the next step.



Beginners are welcome to dance at Nursing Homes and community events specifed for all levels in the monthly newsletter. Beginners dance in the Holiday Show in Barnstable in December. 


Costumes and Shoes

Beginners are not required to purchase a costume or shoes their first session. Students that wish to enter in competition or performances must purchase dancing shoes and poodle socks. Dancers can wear a white button down peter pan blouse and a black skirt that comes above the knee for their first performance. Parents may contact our school dress maker to have a school costume made before the specified deadline. Costumes are $150 and are the student's to keep, or re-sell. Shoes can be purchased by contacting our shoe suppliers uner the link page. Students entering their second session shoud wear ghillies and poodle socks to class.


Video Taping & Pictures

 No video taping or pictures during class. Cell phones are prohibited in the studio. 


Pick up / Drop off

Please walk students, especially young students, into the studio area to ensure an instructor is present. Help young students put on shoes before lesson starts. When picking up after class, please have a person that the student and Colleen knows. Please do not wait in the car, students are not allowed to leave unattended. 


The Kanaley School of Irish Dance follows the Barnstable and Bourne Schools for weather cancellations. Should a cancellation occur it will be announced on our website, on our school Facebook Page, and an email will be sent out to all parents.The Kanaley School of Irish Dance will not call individual parents of a weather cancellation. We do not offer make up lessons for classes missed due to the weather. Students are welcome to make up their lesson in another class at the same level. 

Parent Observation

See calendar for Parent Observation Weeks. During these weeks ONLY parents are invited to sit in the studio. To prevent distractions, parents are prohibited from sitting on the bench in the studio. Though parents’ intentions are good, a parent in the classroom distracts the student’s attention from the instructor. Mommy & Me and Pre-Beginner classes are the exception, parents may sit quietly during these classes. 

Feis - 

Feiseanna or Feis (pronounced fesh) is the gaelic translation for festival. A feis is a dance competition and can be done as a soloist, or as a group. Feis participation is not mandatory, nor is it required for class participation or level advancement.


Who goes to a feis

Students who practice, and are motivated by competition. Students are required to participate in community dance-outs or recital before entering into a feis. Students must have consistant attendance for two sessions before entering.


How to enter

Parents enter students for competitions. Click on the feis host website for instructions on how to enter.


 At the feis

Arrive about 45 minutes early with hair and make-up already done. Feis’ can run late, or early. Bring a book or a cushion to sit on if there is limited seating. Under no circumstances can a parent or student approach a judge or musician, nor is any videotaping or photography allowed.

How to advance a level at Feiseanna

Pre-Beginner, Over age 6 years

Beginner, 1st, 2nd, 3rd in all dances

Advanced Beginner, 1st and 2nd in all dances

Novice, 1st in all dances, before January 1. 

Prizewinner, two 1st in all dances, before January 1. 

Prelim, three 1st placements before January 1.