Frequently Asked Questions
Class Related Questions
When does the dance year normally start and end?
Classes held during the school year begin in September and finish at the end of May.
The 2016-2017 Season begins the week of September 6th.
Summer sessions are held between June and late August.
Can my child join at any time?
Yes, Rebel Heart offers classes year round!
Where do I register for classes?
What is the cost of tuition?
Where can I buy shoes and how much do they cost?
Dancers are expected to purchase shoes when they begin performing with RHID.
See the Apparel page for information about obtaining shoes.
Will my child have opportunities to perform?
We are a performance based troupe, and we highly encourage members to give performing a try. Our dancers have gained confidence in their daily lives through performance.
We bring our talents to many senior centers, retirement communities, and nursing homes throughout the year, and these shows give our dancers and opportunity to improve their dancing while visiting with seniors.
We also produce annual stage productions, entertain at festivals, private parties and present our educational program “Beyond Lord of the Dance” at area libraries and schools.
How is the stage show different from other performances?
At the end of the dance year, we fuse contemporary with traditional Irish Dance, and showcase new choreography in our stage show. This is a full legnth production that features all members of the troupe. Special costumes are used for an affordable rental fee.
See our Past Performances page to learn more about our special performances.
How soon can my child start performing with RHID?
Students typically begin to learn performance choreography by their second month with RHID. It is up to the discretion of the Instructor to determine when a student has demonstrated ability required to perform with the troupe. Your dancer will need to purchase shoes and a costume before they can perform with us.
How do I sign up for shows?
How do I know what shows my child can attend?
Most shows are open to all dancers. Shows with a level or age requirement will be noted as such in the newsletter and sign up forms.
Will my child have to buy a costume for performances or the stage show?
RHID has a uniform which is worn for all regular performances. The cost of our costumes is very affordable compared to other area Irish Dance schools. We also have used costumes available at our studios.
What is the proper attire for performances?
Girls will need to wear black tights, white long sleeve Peter Pan collar blouse, black bloomers, jumper or Novice dress, and dance shoes.
Boys need to wear black slacks, black socks, white long sleeve dress shirt, cummerbund and cuffs, and the appropriate dance shoes.
Can we try or observe a class before joining?
We encourage anyone interested in trying out Irish Dance to attend one of our educational performances offered to the public at libraries and other venues, at which the audience is invited to get up and learn a dance. We strongly recommend a three month commitment for classes and trying out at least one performance in order to gain a full appreciation of the art.
What is the proper attire for class?
RHID has a dress code in place: All black clothes or RHID apparel; no jeans or pants that are baggy around the ankle, no cut clothes. Girls should wear shorts, bloomers or black tights under skirts.
Socks or dance shoes must be worn at all times - no bare feet!
How can my dancer move up a level?
Classes graduate to higher levels when they meet level and technical requirements, which doesn't always happen at the start of the dance year. When a class meets the technique and choreography requirements, they will enter the next highest level. On occasion, an individual dancer who possess excellent technique and demonstrates a good work ethic will be invited to try out a higher level class.
When can my dancer start learning hardshoe?
Dancers begin hardshoe at the end of Beginner 2B. The dancer's age, technique, and work ethic all factor into their progression. On average, it takes most younger dancers 3 years to earn the shoes.
What level will my danccer be in when classes start?
If you are joining Rebel Heart, you will need to speak with an instructor to arrange for a class to try out and to be evaluated for proper class placement at that time.
For members of Beginner 2 and above, at the end of the year, the instructors will perform an individual evaluation of each dancer's progression in order to help them improve and understand their level placement. Your dancer's evaluation will tell you how far along they are and what they need to practice.
How can my dancer improve outside of class?
Your dancer may sign up for private lessons with RHID instructors to help improve their dancing outside of their class time. You may also wish to purchase our Technique DVD, which offers many exercises to help your dancer excel.
What do I do if my dancer misses a class?
Private lessons are the best option for catching up, especially during performance season. Schedule by contacting the instructor directly - contact information can be found on the Members Page. We do not prorate tuition for missed classes.
Can parents observe class?
Due to limited sitting space at our studio, parents will not be allowed in the studios during class time. Because we have so many performance opportunities, parents can see the best of what their dancers can do at shows.
Will my dancer participate in competitions?
We have formed a partnership with the Coyle School of Irish dance to offer competitive Irish dance to our members, however, RHID is still a performance based group and we do not directly participate in competitions. Separate tuition rates apply.
How can I get a copy of the Rebel Heart Newsletter?
The RHID newsletter has valuable information and updates for members. In addition to being available on the Members Page, it will be posted on the bulletin board at the studio, emailed to all members, and posted on the private Facebook group.
Do you have a referral program?
RHID offers a $5 off voucher for your next month's tuition if your friend registers for classes with Rebel Heart. Pick up a slip at the studio, and have it signed by both the new family and the referring family. Once signed, the voucher can be submitted with tuition payment by the referring family for the discount.
Please ensure the new family has submitted the registration payment before turning in the voucher.
I'm an adult interested in taking the adult class. Do all of these questions and answers apply to me as well?
Yes, all information listed here also applies to adults.
New to Irish Dance? Learn some simple terms and become a pro!
Irish Dance is often referred to as “Step Dancing”. Movements are performed in 8-bar sections which are danced first with the right foot, then with the left—this 16-bar movement is a step dance.
Types of Step Dances
Step Dances are movements performed by individuals; step dances are also called Solo Dances. Soft shoe dances include the Reel, Slip Jig, Single Jig, and Light (or Double) Jig. Hardshoe dances include the Treble Jig, Treble Reel, Hornpipe, and Set dances.
A Ceili (pronounced “kay-LEE”) is a group dance. These dances incorporate simple movements that are performed by dancers in groups of 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and even more, and they are performed in Reel or Jig time signatures.
Step dances require music in specific time signatures to be performed. The time signature of the soft shoe solo dances are as follows: the Reel is 4:4 time, Slip Jigs are 9:8, Single Jig, 6:8, and Light Jig 6:8. The time signatures of the hardshoe dances: the Treble Reel is 4:4, but much slower than soft shoe reel, Treble Jig 6:8 (also slower than soft shoe Jigs), and Hornpipes are 2:2 or 2:4.
A set dance is a movement performed in hardshoes. The first part of the dance is the step, which is either a Jig or a Hornpipe, the set which follows varies in length (from 8-30 bars of music) There are several traditional set dances (examples: St. Patrick’s Day, Blackbird, Job of Journeywork, Garden of Daises, White Blanket) and dozens of contemporary set dances.
Girls wear leather slippers with laces that tie around the ankle and arch, referred to as “Ghillies”. Boys wear what we call Reel Shoes, which are made of soft leather and fitted with a fiber glass heel. Boys steps in higher levels incorporate sound from the heel into their movements.
Also called jig shoes or heavy shoes, hard shoes are made with heavy leather and fitted with fiber glass toe and heel. The price difference of the shoes vary because of the glass quality. More expensive glass makes higher quality, louder sounds. Dancers usually train 3+ years in soft shoe before they can earn hard shoe.