Let's dance!!! Irish dance is fun for all ages. And for children, it is a great way to stay healthy, make new friends, and develop confidence. Everyone is qualified to dance the Irish way - all ethnic backgrounds are represented in most schools. And everyone has a good time!
In the Comerford School (and most reputable schools), students start out in a new beginner class, and move up through the novice and prizewinner grades, ultimately to the championship level. Initially the dancers will work on the soft shoe dances - the reel, light jig, slip jig and single jig. At this level, instruction will focus on basic techniques. When these soft-shoe dances or steps are mastered, then students move on to the hard or heavy shoe dances, the hornpipe and treble jig.
Beginner dancers wear shorts, t-shirts, and runners or slipper-type shoes for the first month or two. At that point, they should be equipped with Irish soft shoes, or ghillies. These sometimes can be purchased "used" from other dance families, or new from a shoe vendor. Advice on shoe buying will be provided at class. When they are ready for hard shoes, the teacher will advise the parents.
Joining the Comerford School of Irish Dance is easy. New students typically are accepted at the beginning of a term (September, January, April) but openings are sometimes available during a term. Prospective students are encouraged to visit a class before enrolling - this should be cleared with the local school before you show up. The Comerford Schools page and the Contacts page list the contacts for all the schools. Call with your questions, and to set up a class visit.
The Comerford School encourages all students to take part in shows and competitions. We pursue an active program of public and private shows, which give all of our dancers experience in appearing on stage and entertaining a variety of audiences. We also encourage students to take part in Irish dance competitions. A competition is called a feis (fesh). These provide dancers with another opportunity to gain stage experience and confidence. Dancers are not required to take part in shows or competitions if they so choose.
Tony Comerford teaches at all Comerford locations, and spends time with all students, from beginners to champions. He is assisted by Kelly Nagan, an experienced champion dancer who is a certified Irish dance teacher (T.C.R.G.). Kelly competed successfully at the regional, North American and World level. She is a five-time Western Regional Champion. Info on Tony and Kelly is at Tony Comerford.