The McDonnell School of Irish Dance follows the traditional path for teaching Irish dance. Each new student begins by learning their 1, 2, 3’s and 7’s, the two basic steps that all Irish dancing is based on. Once they have learned their Beginner Reel, they move on to the Jig. All students spend their first year dancing in light shoes. Once a good grasp of light dancing has been established, students are introduced to hard shoes (yes, the shoes they use in Riverdance). Progress is based solely on ability, each student progresses at an individual pace.
All students of registered teachers are eligible to enter competitions – known as a feis – each year. All dancers have a chance to compete and win at their current level as competition is broken into categories based on age and ability. Although Maire encourages competition, it is not compulsory for any dancer to compete.