Intro to Irish Dancing

(Quicklink: Registration)

Irish Dancing Lessons for Beginners

Every Tuesday in January starting January 9, 2018 (4 weeks):

  • Ages 5-17: 6:00-7:00 PM 

  • Adults 18+: 7:00-8:00 PM

What is Irish Dancing?

Irish Dancing is a style of dance that originated in Ireland, and is performed individually (step dancing) or in a group (Ceili dancing). Irish Step Dancing is characterized by a stiff upper body and quick and precise movements of the feet. Ceili Dancing is a form of folk and social dancing in Ireland that is focused on footwork and the dancers’ interaction with their partners using their arms and hands. Both Irish Step and Ceili Dancing are accompanied by traditional Irish music played on a variety of instruments, such as accordion, piano, fiddle, flute, or banjo.

Irish Dancing is a fun, exciting, and challenging activity for both children and adults. By taking Irish Dancing lessons, dancers build confidence, set goals for growth and success, develop teamwork and communication skills, benefit from both a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle, meet new people, and make new friends.

What Will Students Learn in the 4-Wk Beginner Session?

Dancers will learn:

  • The traditional and basic form and movements of Irish Dancing, for both individual and Ceili dances
  • The proper foot placement, technique, and carriage to dance steps to traditional Irish music in the traditional style
  • How to interact with other dancers for Ceili dances
  • Beginner Movements, including Hop 1,2,3; Sidestep; Points
  • One Beginner Step
  • One Ceili Dance

Who is the Teacher?

Shannon Foley Dilles is a certified Irish Dance Instructor (TCRG) with the An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha (CLRG) in Dublin, Ireland, and member of the Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) and the IDTANA - Southern Region. Shannon is the owner and director of the Foley Academy of Irish Dance, LLC, which strives to promote and preserve the teaching and learning of traditional Irish Step Dancing and Ceili Dancing in the Northern Virginia area.

Shannon first saw Irish Dancing at the age of 9 at an Irish Festival in Old Town Alexandria. She was captivated by the dance form and immediately started Irish Dance classes in Vienna, Virginia with the Donnelly School of Irish Dance, and later to continue instruction under the Maple Academy of Irish Dance. From her very first dance class, Shannon became passionate about Irish Dance and dreamed of becoming an Irish Dance instructor.

While taking lessons, Shannon performed on television stations, at Irish Festivals, nursing homes, International festivals, and with many well-known Irish bands, such as The Chieftains, Scythian, Carbon Leaf, and We Banjo 3. During her competitive career, Shannon advanced through all competition levels, reaching the highest level, Open Championship, by the age of 16. For both Solos and Teams (Ceili), she has competed in Féiseanna throughout the Southern, Mid-Atlantic, and Mid-America Regions, as well as the Southern Region Oireachtas, the North American Irish Dance Championships, and the World Irish Dance Championships.

Who Can Register for the Session?

  • Boys & Girls, Men & Ladies
  • You don’t have to be Irish!
  • No dance experience necessary
  • Children: ages 5-17
  • Adults: ages 18+

What Should Dancers Wear to Class?

Athletic clothing must be worn to class:

  • Cotton t-shirts or exercise shirts
  • Yoga Capris
  • Yoga Pants
  • Mid-thigh length shorts or skort
  • Sweatpants that are not baggy or too long
  • Sweatshirts or zip-up sweaters

Dancers are not required to have Irish Dance shoes, but appropriate footwear should be worn so that dancers can dance their best and perform all movements safely.

  • Socks – dancers may dance in non-slip socks; dancing bare foot will not be permitted
  • Tennis Shoes – dancers may wear light weight tennis shoes, such as Keds
  • Irish Ghillies – if dancers have taken Irish Dance before and own Ghillies, they should wear them
  • Dance Sneakers – if dancers have taken Irish Dance, or another dance form, and own dance sneakers, they should wear them
  • Other dance shoes – dancers who own ballet slippers or jazz shoes may wear them

Dancers are not permitted to wear:

  • Spaghetti-strap tank tops
  • Sleeveless or strapless shirts or dresses
  • Jeans or restrictive pants
  • Long skirts or dresses
  • Baggy/long sweatpants
  • Shorts that are too short or inappropriate for the environment
  • Formal clothing
  • Any clothing that is transparent or see-through
  • Crop-tops

Where Are Classes Held?

Congregation Beth Emeth, 12523 Lawyers Rd., Herndon, VA 20171 (google map)

What is the Total Price for the 4-Wk Session?

  • Congregation Beth Emeth (CBE) Members: $40
  • Non-Members: $60

Registration deadline: Sunday, January 7, 2018. 

Two ways to RSVP: 

  • CBE members only may use the form below to charge to your account.
  • Download & send/bring the RSVP form, along with your check or cash, to CBE (attn: Irish Dance), 12523 Lawyers Rd., Herndon, VA 20171


Contact the office, 703-860-4515 ext 101.

Online RSVP

(For CBE Members only to charge to your CBE account; otherwise use this form)

Contact Information
Required for confirmation
Adult Registration
For Adults age 18+
Total for all adult registrations; CBE members $40/person, non-members $60/person
Please include first & last name for each adult registering.
Child Registration
For Children ages 5-17
Total for all child registrations; CBE members $40/person, non-members $60/person
Please include first & last name for each child registering.
If paying by check or cash, please use the downloadable form instead.
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