All level descriptions are listed in a way to ensure full comprehension of the technical training standard at each level. We are NOT a competitive Irish Dance school. We offer an incredible traditional Irish Step dance training experience in a dedicated, performance focused, family friendly environment. If you wish to compete, please ask us for recommendations of local competition-focused schools; we will be very happy to assist you.
Traditional Irish Step Dance Classes
Our Traditional Irish Step Dance Classes are the foundation of our Academy training. Classes follow a specially-designed syllabus that ensures students learn and master everything they need to know at a given level, so they have a solid foundation on which to advance to the next. All of our classes are taught under the careful instruction of our dedicated and experienced instructors, and the class environment is carefully paced and supportive.
Each class begins with a warmup and a conditioning routine, carefully designed to benefit Irish dance training and ensure that students have the tools they need to do their steps properly and safely. Next, students will work through a drill set that focuses on the techniques necessary for the dances at their level. Students then work through all of their light shoe and heavy shoe dances. After the dances are complete for the day, the class is finished with a carefully-crafted cool down and stretch to reduce the risk of injury.
It is highly recommended to take these classes in conjunction with the corresponding Drill class of the same level. See below for more information on Drill.
This is a starting point for our youngest aspiring Irish dancers, and runs under a "Guardian and Me" policy (Mom, Dad, Grandparent, etc participates along with the student). Children aged three and under will learn the very basics of Irish dance through fun and games a-plenty, with lots of social interaction. As a special bonus, students are also introduced to Irish music, culture, and language.
Tiny Toes is for beginning students aged 3-5. Students will learn the foundational positions, techniques, and timing used in traditional Irish dance. Coordination, balance and timing are carefully tackled via fun Irish dance-themed games and activities. Dancers are taught how to build their strength and flexibility gently in a fun stretch and chat session. In turn this encourages our students to interact, build their social skills and find new friends by getting to know their fellow classmates. Spaces are extremely limited in this class, so sign up quickly to avoid disappointment--this class fills up fast.
This specially designed introductory class is for students new to Irish dance. The class syllabus ensures that students will be taught the essential foundational techniques and positions used in light shoe Irish step dancing, along with beginning to build the strength needed to execute the movements properly and safely. Once mastered, students will move onto Introduction B. This class is offered separately for adults and children.
This specially designed introductory class is for students who have a grasp of the light shoe basics of Irish step dance. In this class, students will continue to build the strength needed to execute the movements properly and safely, along with beginning to learn light shoe dance (such as the reel and light jig). They will also be taught the essential foundational techniques and positions used in heavy shoe Irish step dancing. Once mastered, students will be ready for Level 1. This class is offered separately for adults and children.
This class is designed for students who have completed the Introduction classes, or have prior experience with Irish step dance. At this level, a heavy emphasis is placed on piecing techniques together into steps, along with timing. It is highly recommended to take this class in conjunction with Level 1 Drill. This class is offered separately for adults and children.
This class is designed for students who have completed Level 1, or have prior experience with Irish step dance. At this level, steps are slightly more advanced as students continue to focus on timing, putting techniques together into steps, and consistency of rhythm in heavy shoe dancing. This class is offered separately for adults and children.
This class is designed for students who have completed the Level 2 program, or have prior experience with Irish step dance. Students in Level 3 will learn all new dances, and many new skills that they will carry with them throughout the remaining levels. Dancers continue refining light shoe and heavy shoe technique, along with focusing on consistency in heavy shoe dancing as rhythms become more complex.
This class is designed for students who have completed the Level 3 program, or have prior experience with Irish step dance. In this level, students will learn all-new dances, many of which will have new, harder jumps and rhythms. Students continue to refine their technique in both light shoe and heavy shoe dancing. They will also begin to work on higher, powerful jumps in light shoe, and faster, more complex rhythms in heavy shoe.
This class is designed for students hwo have completed the Level 4 program, or have extensive prior experience with Irish step dance. In this level students will again learn all-new dances incorporating even more advanced jumps and rhythms, while continuing to refine their technique in both light and heavy shoe dancing.
Supplemental Irish Step Dance Classes
We offer additional classes to help students achieve their dance goals even faster, including our unique Drill and JigFit programs.
What's the difference between Traditional Irish Step Dance and Drill?
In Traditional Irish Step Dance classes, students will focus heavily on traditional-style choreography: learning the appropriate dances for their level, the elements needed to do these dances, and executing the steps well. They will learn the techniques needed for their dances, but anything above and beyond might not be included in the class as often, simply because there is only so much that can be fit into a class session.
In Drill, students will focus on individual "skills". Rather than putting the techniques together into full steps, they will focus on breaking down the tricks and executing them cleanly and precisely. They will learn the skills needed for the choreography at their level, but they will then progress beyond that and learn the rest of the skills on the syllabus for their level.
These classes work hand-in-hand to supplement each other, and both will push students to do the material to the best of their technical ability. It is possible to take only one of these classes. However, to receive the full benefit of our complete Irish dance curriculum (and more quickly improve as a dancer and progress through the levels in the Motor City Irish Dance Academy), it is highly recommended to take both the Traditional Irish Step Dance and Drill classes in conjunction with each other.
Drill class is designed to help students develop technique, style, and stamina. The class is based on individual coaching from the instructor on specific moves as well as overall technique. Irish dance movements generally build on one another, so this class starts with the basics and builds up through jumps and tricks, so that skills can be improved and applied more widely in dances.
This is a fitness class focusing on strength, flexibility, balance, core, and overall conditioning. This class will particularly benefit Irish dancers as many exercises specifically target the muscles used in dance. However, as no actual dance steps are done in class, it also provides a great work-out for non-dancers; so all are welcome to join this class.