The First Years

What to expect the first year
During the first year of dance class the basics of Irish dancing will be taught. We want the children to have a good foundation in the basics so we may review the same elements many times over. Posture, foot placement, and time keeping are all so important to Irish dancing. Without these fundamental elements, a dancer will not be able to perform the more complicated steps in the future. Please remember that all children progress at their own pace. Maturity level, motivation, and natural talent and rhythm may influence this. We attempt to make the class enjoyable and fun for all children, and gear each lesson toward a particular dancers ability.

What to wear to class
Children should come to class dressed comfortably. Long pants are not permitted. They do not allow the instructors to see a dancers proper form. Shorts and a t-shirt are most practical. Leotards are not necessary.
Dancers can wear socks to class for their first few lessons. After that they will need soft shoes. These often can be bought second hand from older dancers who have grown out of their shoes. They also can be bought new at McKenna’s Irish shop on Darby Road in Havertown

Parent Observation of Classes
Parents are permitted to observe the first class of each month only. All other classes are closed to observation. We have adopted this policy because the children perform better without distraction. We will keep you up to date on your children’s progress in class.


After a couple of years, a dancer will progress to the official Cummins school costume. These costumes are black velvet with embroidery. Girls can wear these again in the first few levels of competition, in shoes, parades, and figure dancing competition.

When a dancer advances to the preliminary championship level of dancing, she will get a solo costume. These costumes are very elaborate, and can be custom designed. These costumes are for dancers who are very dedicated to Irish dancing.