Motor City Irish Dance
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Frequently Asked Questions

Classes & Shoes

If you are new to Irish dance, you will want to start with our Introduction classes. (Children aged 3-5 would start in Tiny Toes.) Introduction A will teach you the foundational positions, movements, and terms used in Irish dance, particularly focusing on soft shoe dancing. Introduction B will then build on this, and start you off with hard shoe. When you have a good grasp of the soft and hard shoe basics, your instructor will recommend you move into Level 1 — and you will continue to work your way up from there.

If you have some prior Irish dance experience, please E-Mail us and tell us what that is, so that we can advise you on which class to try. Although we are non-competitive, the levels in our syllabus roughly correspond to the ranks used in competitions: see our class descriptions here. After your trial class, we will confirm placement with you and the instructor.

We run classes year-round and you are welcome to start at anytime. The structure is such that you will not feel like you are behind because each student progresses at his or her own rate and is continually learning new things. Please check our current schedule to see all our class times.

When you register between September and May, you are registering for the school year, but you may stop at any time as well. All you have to do is tell us before the first of the month that you will not be continuing next month and we will drop you from the class. We work like a gym membership — where you pay the same amount each month, regardless of how many classes fall in that month — and you can stop your monthly fee by notifying us. Summer classes run June, July, and August; these often have their own structure with some different, unique opportunities and camps.

No Long Term Commitment. No Waiting to Advance

Yes! You are welcome to come to one of our Intro classes for a trial at no charge. Simply click the "Register for Classes" button at the top of this page and create an account. Afterwards, find the class you want to try and select "Schedule a Trial". It's that easy!

For all of our Academy classes, we have no uniform requirement, so you can wear almost anything you would wear to exercise. Make sure it is something comfortable that you can move in, and that doesn't get in the way or cause you to trip. We also recommend that you wear your hair such that it does not hang in your face or cause you to be fussing with it throughout class.

For introduction classes, we do not require you to purchase Irish dance shoes immediately. You can start by simply wearing a clean pair of tennis shoes. Or, if you have old ballet slippers or jazz shoes, those will work as well. We don't encourage socks because they cause you to slip and offer no support for your feet.

Once you've been in class for a month or two, and know you're going to stick with it, you should be ready to invest in your first pair of Irish dance shoes. We do strongly recommend purchasing Irish dance shoes when you are ready, as they will make a big difference in helping you execute the techniques correctly and safely.

Irish dance uses two types of shoes: soft shoes, also called light shoes, ghillies (for girls), or reel shoes (for boys); and hard shoes, also called heavy shoes, heavies, or jig shoes. You will want to buy soft shoes first. You can get hard shoes once you start learning hard-shoe technique in class.

We STRONGLY recommend talking with your instructor before buying shoes, as the sizing and fit is quite different from regular street shoes: most shoes are made in Ireland, so use Irish sizes; and shoes need to fit quite snugly. Your instructor can also advise which specific models will be best for your current level. It's important to get quality shoes from a reputable maker, so we generally recommend Rutherford Shoes. We also have a consignment section at our Rochester Hills studio where dancers sell or donate shoes they've outgrown or no longer use, so you may be able to find a perfect match right there!

How fast you are able to learn depends mostly on you! The amount of time you practice outside of class will play a huge part in your progress. Many new dancers find they are able to get a hang of the basics within a couple of months. However, we recognize that every dancer is an individual, and will progress through classes at a different pace. Some dancers want to move up as quickly as possible, so practice extensively outside of class, and take advantage of the supplemental classes and private coaching that we offer. Other students prefer to dance purely recreationally, so don't mind learning at a more leisurely pace and taking time to really master the skills at their current level. Whatever your dance goals are, we will meet you where you are at and help you achieve them!

Our Introduction and Level classes all have a syllabus that clearly outlines which techniques/dances a student should know at each level. When you've a solid grasp on the foundational skills taught in our Introduction classes, your instructor will recommend you move into Level 1 (and it's ultimately up to you if you feel comfortable to do so). After that, to move into Level 2 or higher, a dancer must complete a Level Proficiency Review. You may do a Review when you feel ready, and/or when your instructor suggests you may be ready.

A Level Proficiency Review is a chance for you to perform all the techniques and dances in the syllabus for your current level, for two senior instructors. The instructors will then provide you highly-detailed feedback on your current progress. And, if you can satisfactorily demonstrate all the required material, you will be able to move up to the next level!

Reviews are typically offered at the end of each semester. Information about the specific times and requirements is provided several weeks in advance. Signing up for a Review is entirely up to you and is not required; however, your instructor may encourage you Review if she thinks you may be ready to move up to the next level class.


We do our best to keep things affordable — beginner (Introduction) classes are as low as $50 a month ($40 for Tiny Toes)! Our prices are scaled based on the amount of time spent in class each week, and tuition is charged monthly. Please refer to our pricing page for more details.

The best feature of our pricing model is that our monthly rates are based on total weekly class time — not skill-level or age. In other words, our students won't get penalized with higher fees for making progress (like at other schools). We eliminate the conflict of interest around promoting students to advanced classes for more money, giving you confidence that you and your peers are truly at the correct level in your Irish dance training.

With Motor City Irish Dance, there are no misleading gimmicks or hidden fees. Your monthly rate doesn't change regardless of how many times the classes meet each month or when you start — very much like a membership fee. We keep things simple, transparent, sensible, and fair — especially with our secure auto-pay feature. And if you find yourself being unable to cover the monthly fee, please come talk to us — we will work with you to make it right. You shouldn't settle for anything less.

But if you are still looking for more, we are also happy to offer you our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied within 7 days of your first class, we will completely refund your tuition and registration fees.

Resources & Technology

We run our virtual classes through the Zoom platform, so you will need a device with a camera, microphone, and the ability to run Zoom (either through the app or website). You will find the Zoom links/meeting details for your class in the portal. (See below for more information on the customer portal.)

Our customer portal contains extensive online resources that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. The video library contains demonstrations of techniques and dances broken down slowly, then performed up to speed. We also have hand-outs with choreography typed out and diagramed. Please contact us if you have difficulty accessing these pages.

You can also send a message to your instructor through the customer portal.

Our studio uses a secure, third-party software called Dance Studio Pro to manage all of our classes and billing. The customer portal is a feature of the software that allows you to create and access your account, where you can register for classes, find resources for your classes, contact your instructors, and much more.

Because the customer portal provides much of the information you may need as a dancer or parent, we highly recommend you become familiar with logging into your account and using the many tools available in the portal.

You can access the customer portal with the following link: There is also a link to the portal in the top navigation bar of this website. Please contact us if you have any difficulty navigating the portal.


Please check our tour dates page to see where and when we'll be performing. Many shows are free!

Absolutely! We've danced at weddings, funerals, fundraisers, assisted living facilities, cultural festivals, concerts, TV spots, and everything in between — and we'd love to share our passion for Irish dance and music with you. Because every event is unique, we can't give an accurate price estimate until we know a little about what you're planning. Please take a look at our booking page for more information on what we offer, and what details will help us give you the best quote possible. Then, E-Mail us at and let us know what you have in mind, and we will get back to you ASAP!

Yes! If you want to share your passion for Irish dance and music with others by performing at events all over the community, we would love to have you join our Company. We only require that dancers have a solid knowledge of the basics (Level 1 or equivalent), and be actively taking Irish dance classes — either with us or another dance school. Musicians and vocalists with experience in Irish music are also welcome! You can read more about what it's like to be part of our Company here. Just let your instructor know you are interested in joining Company, or E-Mail us at, and we'll tell you how to get started!

© 2024 Motor City Irish Dance, LLC