Frequently Asked Questions Beginner Students

Q. What is the time and location of class?

A. We offer beginner classes at our studio on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Please see our calendar and online registration form for class times.

Q.What should my child wear? Does my child need specific shoes or a uniform?

A. Your child should wear the Coogan School class uniform. An order form for our class uniform can be downloaded from the Girls can purchase black ballet shoes or Irish Ghillies and boys should wear black men’s jazz shoes. Black ballet shoes are preferred as the long laces on the Irish Ghillies can be very distracting to our younger dancers when they come untied during class.  We prefer to spend our time instructing rather than tying loose laces.  Ankle socks are fine for boys and girls.

Q. Should my child bring anything special to class?

A. All children are asked to bring a small recording device to class each week. We tape all new material at the end of each lesson so that our students can practice during the week and our parents are informed regarding current steps.  Parents are allowed to watch the last five minutes of class each week.

Q. What is the age range of the beginner students?

A.We do not start our beginner dancers prior to age 4 ½ or 5 and our beginner students usually range from five to eleven years of age. We occasionally move older students to a more advanced level if they have previous dance experience and are moving at a quicker pace than the beginner group.  Our Beginner dancers are encouraged to also take a Fundamentals of Irish Dance class to complement the curriculum taught in Beginner I.  Younger dancers, ages 3-4 are welcome to enroll in a Fundamental of Irish Dance class in preparation for enrolling in Beginner I.

Q. What will my child learn this first year?

A.Your child will be introduced to the basics of Irish Dance including proper posture, foot placement, technique and stretching exercises. We cover material in both the Jig and Reel and your child should be able to dance the Beginner’s Jig and the Beginner’s Reel at the end of the season.

Q.Who will be instructing my child during lessons?

A. Miss Brenda,  Miss Sarah and Miss Tara are fully certified Irish Dance teachers (T.C.R.G.) and Miss Brenda is also a certified Irish Dance adjudicator (A.D.C.R.G.). Additional staff including Assistant Teachers and Student Teachers will help out throughout class.  If you have specific questions for our staff you can email us at

Q. When can my child start to enter Irish Dance competitions?

A. Some children are ready to start Irish Dance competitions (Feisanna) at the end of their first year of dance and others might wait a year or two. We do not expect all of our dancers to compete and we will let you know when your child is ready to get involved in this capacity should you choose to enter your child in these events.

Q.Will there be a recital at the end of the year?

A.We have a wonderful recital and ceili night each year. The evening is part of our Celtic Fellowship Benefit and includes a performance by the Coogan School dancers as well as an evening of dance with a live Irish band.

Q. Are parents allowed to stay and watch during class?
A. We do not allow parents to stay during class as it is very distracting to the dancers. We invite all beginner parents to join us for the last five minutes of class each week in order to observe the material learned during class.

Q.Where should parents sit while waiting for their children?
A. Parents are welcome to drop off or wait in our sitting area during class.  We will not dismiss your child unless a parent is present to pick up, however we ask that you are timely in returning to meet  your child at the end of class.