Teaching Irish Dance

Article featured in Diddlyi Magazine.
02.09.10

I’ve made a decision to eventually go for TRCG certification. I won’t be doing it too soon since I love competing and have a lot of Feiseanna and Oireachtas I’d like to do first. But I plan to become a TCRG certified teacher at The Shelley School of Irish dance down the road, so I have begun my training to teach Irish dance.

Last month I let Tina Shelley know I’d love to do this and she said she’d help me in every way she can. A couple days later, she already needed a sub to teach two classes the following Friday. At that point, I’d only taught a basics class once all on my own. I was a little nervous, but at the same time I have helped teach a lot of beginner and novice classes. I’d observed Tina for many years and was ready to jump into it.

It was a lot of fun! I first taught a class of beginners who needed to run though all of their steps for an upcoming feis. These little girls were a little wild, but I liked that. I enjoy playful kids. They were all so excited to show off what steps they knew.

The next class was a basics class who already knew their first reel steps. One student however, had missed multiple classes and hadn’t been taught half of what the rest of the class knew. I started breaking down the dance for the whole class, for his sake, but ran into a problem. All the little ones who already knew the steps were getting bored and restless and were causing a huge distraction to the student who needed help.

Then the solution came to me, Tina often asks a dancer who knows the steps to help one who doesn’t. So I turned to a student who was doing the steps with ease and asked her to take the other student in the back room and teach him what she knew. She was happy to. I was then able to give the rest of the class something more challenging to do.

Teaching is not something that comes naturally to me, and I’m excited to work hard to become a great Irish dance teacher someday.

Article written by Shelly Allen
Photo by Shelly Allen Photography

TAGS: teaching, Irish, dance, TCRG, Shelley, school, dancing, teach, teacher, instructor

Back to top