Dance With Us

The Hogan School accepts students year round.

Potential new students and transfer students, please contact us to arrange a complimentary first class.

FAQs

Here you will find a list of frequently asked questions about the Hogan School of Irish Dance as well as Irish dancing in general. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us!

How much do classes cost?

Generally, classes are ~$50/mo. for 1 hour class per week, which works out to ~$13/class.  There is an annual registration fee of $35 per dancer OR $50 per family.  Regular discounts are offered, including bulk discounts for students who take multiple classes per week (please see registration form above), an Early Bird Discount (10% off semester class fees when tuition is paid in full during the Early Bird Registration period), Refer-A-Friend Discount ($25 off fees for you and dancer you refer to our school), as well as a family maximum (no family will pay more than $165/mo. on group classes, regardless of number of children and number of lessons taken).  Students who register for one class for the semester but decide they would like to take more are welcome to sign up for another class at anytime during the semester (provided there is space available) or may attend the occasional extra class at $15/class.   **Our school endeavors to offer classes to all interested students. If finances are a constraint for your family, please contact me personally so that we may work out a tuition plan that meets your/your family’s capabilities.  We do not turn away dedicated students for financial reasons.

When and how do I pay tuition?

Tuition is paid per semester and is due at the time of registration for both new and existing students. It is based on the number of classes for which each student registers. Tuition is prorated for those who begin attending classes after the start of the semester and there is also a family maximum.  There is the option to pay tuition monthly, with the understanding that students/families are committed to classes for the entire semester for which they register. Refunds for tuition are not given, but makeup classes may possibly be arranged.

Is The Hogan School an accredited school?  What does accreditation in Irish dance entail?

Yes, our school is certified and registered with the oldest and most widely recognized Irish dancing association, An Coimisiún le Rinci Gaelacha.  Irish dance accreditation requires passing a series of tests which demonstrate mastery in Irish dance ability, theory, and instruction. Similar to the way in which healthcare workers, lawyers, and other professionals obtain certification/licensure to practice, this accreditation ensures that you are being taught by a reputable instructor.  Instructor certification also provides dancers the ability to participate in competitions, should they be interested in doing so.  A list of the 15 certified Irish dance schools in Florida can be found here: Certified Schools.

Do you offer recreational classes?  I just want to dance for fun.

Yes!  Many of our dancers enjoy taking classes strictly for the camaraderie, fun, and fitness.  Some just like coming to classes, others love performing, others love competing….some do it all!  You can decide the degree to which you would like to be involved.

Do you offer competition classes?  Is competition mandatory?

In class, students are taught both solo material and ceili (group) dances–both of which are suitable for competition.  As stated above, participation in competitions is optional. Many dancers enjoy competition as it provides a goal to work toward and offers the chance to get helpful feedback from judges.

Does my child have to be Irish or have previous Irish dance experience to join?

Not at all! No dance experience is necessary and neither is an Irish heritage. Dancers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to join our classes. All students will be taught the basics of Irish dance.

At what age can my child begin taking Irish dance class?

Dancers are welcome to join as early as 3 years old in our half-hour 6 & Under class. It’s also never too late to begin Irish Dancing! We offer classes for all ages, from youth to adult.

How much energy/physical exertion is required? What about flexibility?

A moderate amount of both energy and flexibility is required. Irish Dance is an aerobic exercise akin to sprinting rather than distance running. The beginner levels require moderate exertion and it gets more taxing as the levels progress. Flexibility is not a necessity but is definitely looked for and should be improved as a dancer advances.

Do you offer adult classes?

Yes, we do. It’s never too late to learn, and we often have former dancers come back as adults. There is a place for everyone, whether a beginner or someone with Irish dance experience.

What should dancers wear to class?

Clothing: Regardless of age, students should wear clothing that is easy to move in and comfortable without being baggy. Part of Irish dancing is form and so it is recommended that shorts and t-shirts and tanks be worn. Our school places an importance on modesty as well, so no bare midriffs or low-cut tops are permitted.

Shoes: New beginners may come to their first few classes in socks or tennis shoes. If you wish to purchase a dance shoe, then a ballet slipper or jazz shoe is appropriate. As dancers progress it is required that they purchase ghillies (“soft” Irish Dance shoes). Ask the teacher for recommendations on where to get these shoes as well as how to properly size them.

Hair: Hair should be pulled back and away from the face, and any jewelry should be kept to a minimum so as not to interfere with dancing.

Do I need to buy an expensive dress or wear a wig?

No. For performances, simple and inexpensive leotards and skirts are worn, and can often be bought gently used. For competitions, beginner and intermediate dancers wear either a simple blouse/skirt (or pants for boys) or school costume and natural hairstyles.  For more advanced dancers, natural hairstyles are still strongly encouraged, and solo costumes can be purchased used or by smaller dressmakers, and so do not have to be as expensive. Some of our dancers have gotten creative and have made their own dresses–and they have won at the regional, national, and world levels in them (while also sporting natural hair)–the focus is on the dancing, not the costume.

Will I get to see my child perform and when can they start?

Dancers of all levels are encouraged to perform with the school at shows throughout the year. Beginning dancers can participate in most of these shows. We are always encouraging new dancers to get stage experience to gain confidence.

Where can my dancer register for classes?

Enrollment is open throughout the year, so long as space is available. E-mail us at hoganirishdance@gmail.com for information.

How many classes per week can I attend?

Beginner through Novice classes are offered 1-3 days/week. Advanced classes are offered 4-7 days/week, depending on the time of year and upcoming competitions. Additionally, a weekly skills and drills class is offered for students of all ages and levels who wish to focus on their technical ability. Private lessons are also an option. Email hoganirishdance@gmail.com or see our website’s schedule page for more information on classes and private lessons.

Can I watch my child’s class?

To reduce distraction and disruption, parents are not permitted to sit-in on classes except during special observation days or at the teacher’s request. Parents do not have to stay for their child’s class, but must accompany any children and/or siblings while they are not in the classroom under direct instruction. For parents who do not wish to stay during class, please be aware that you are still responsible for timely drop-off and pick-up of your students. You must also make sure that they will be able to appropriately respect the facility, teacher, and other students while under instruction and without your direct supervision.

What should be in my dance bag?

A dance bag is a great thing to have for anyone taking regular classes. It keeps your belongings together during class and is an easy way to transport them. It should always contain your shoes, socks (and an extra pair), a water bottle, and any first aid that you may want on hand (bandaids, New-skin, etc.). There is not a drinking fountain at at our studio so it is strongly encouraged that students have a water bottle with them to hydrate during class.

Where do I go for feis (competition) information? When can I sign up?

A full list of all the regional competitions can be found at www.northamericanfeiscommission.org (NAFC). Registration for these competitions can usually be found online at Feisworx.com, eFeis.com, and Feisinfo.com, but vary depending on the competition. For specific competition information, go to the competition’s webpage as directed by the NAFC, email us, or check the monthly newsletters.

Registration usually opens a month or two before the competition. There are deadlines for entry, and late entries will incur a late fee. Before you register for your first competition, please talk to Allison to discuss expectations and the feis entry process.

Where can I find music to practice with at home?

We have uploaded a list compiled by Irish Dance Magazine here for your convenience:  Irish Dance Music List Also, a Google search of “Irish step dancing practice music” will direct you to many other good artists with tracks  you can download from Amazon Music or Itunes.

Where can I purchase dance shoes?

Sometimes Irish dance shoes can be purchased at local dance stores. In Gainesville, the dance apparel store Arabesque carries both soft and hard shoes.  In Ocala, Dancer’s Outlet carries soft shoes and poodle socks.  For beginning level dancers of all ages, we recommend Rutherford or Antonio Pacelli soft shoes. For hard shoes, an overwhelming number of our dancers prefer Rutherford brand. A much larger variety of shoes can be found online or at local competitions. There are a variety of makers that can be tried according to a dancer’s preference: Antonio Pacelli, Rutherford, Fay’s, Corr’s, etc.

Purchasing used shoes can help keep the costs down (especially with hard shoes, which can run from $80 to $150 new). There are a few ways to find used shoes:

  1. We have our own Hogan School “For Sale” message forum (and notices are often in the ‘for sale’ section of the newsletter): http://www.voy.com/209080/
  2. There is a non-affiliated “Used Shoe” message forum: http://www.voy.com/144101/
  3. We have a communal ‘For Sale’ bin at the studio, where people sell/donate shoes and apparel.
  4. Ebay sometimes has good deals on used shoes.

***Note about shoe fit: New ghillies and hard shoes should fit snugly, but not be painful. There should be little to no space between the big toe and the tip of the shoe. As the leather of the shoes stretches over time, if shoes are bought ½ size too big, they will become floppy after a few wears.