New Dancer’s Information


  • ALL dancers are encouraged to practice their routines at home on a regular basis and attend more than one class to assist them to perfect their steps and encourage the learning of new steps at an efficient pace.
  • BEGINNERS are encouraged to enter local competitions as soon I feel that they are competent and confident in one dance.  Some children take 6-10 months, but for others it can be as soon as 6 weeks!
  • RECEPTION area is allocated for waiting parents, as the dance room must be for dancers only.  Parents are occasionally invited to watch their children’s finishing item.
  • COSTUMES are an essential part of performances, but it is not until dancers reach the advanced level that they will require a unique and exquisite tailor made costume.  Beginner grade dancers are required to wear the official “Academy” costume, which is available through GIDOAinc. (Fundraising Committee).
  • DANCE attire is to be worn at every class: Academy T Shirt, Shorts/skirt, White Bubble socks & dance shoes and track suit in cooler weather.  Advanced girls wear black tights.  Boys: Academy T shirt and black shorts or track pants.  New Beginners may wear shorts and t shirt, and socks.  Hair should be pulled back off face please.
  • DRINK BOTTLES must be labeled and brought to every class (water only please)
  • ARRIVAL to class on time is very important so that the children do not miss their warm up and stretching routines, and the advanced dancers must allow time to complete the full pre-class routine.
  • TEACHERS will take students hands to encourage correct rhythm and balance to enable them to accomplish a movement or a lift.
  • FEIS:  Gaelic for Competition – The Liz Gregory Academy organizes the Canberra Feis in May of each year – all parents are asked to assist with the many jobs, and every dancer is encouraged to enter.
  • FEIS Dances include:  Beginner Reel, Beginner Light Jig, Beginner Slip Jig, Beginner Treble Jig or Heavy Jig, Beginner Hornpipe, Primary: Reel, Slip Jig, Treble Jig, Hornpipe, Traditional dances: eg St Patrick’s Day, Blackbird, Job of Journeywork, Garden of Daisies, King of the Fairies, 3 Sea Captains.  Elementary/Intermediate and Open: Reel, Slip Jig, Jig, Hornpipe, Set Dance
  • SOME Ceili (or Team) Dances include:  4 Hand Reel, Humours of Bandon, High Cauled Cap, St Patrick’s Day.
  • GRADE:  Bun Grad– Beginner, Mean Grad – Primary, Tus Grad – Intermediate
  • HAIR: for Classes – tied back neatly off face.
  • Feis Hair:   Beginners – Natural Hair – curled – pulled off face- teased on top, 1/2 up and down, or top bun accessorized with matching hair band or tiara.  Primary, Inter and Open – Championship style wigs  PHOTO
  • IRISH DANCING COMMISSION: is the ruling Association that guides AIDA inc – which all dancers must become a member each year.  Fees are advised in each Newsletter
  • INJURY FREE – is our aim at the Academy – listen and learn all the warming up and stretching procedures – this will ensure an injury free period.  More advanced students should apply bandages and strapping before they arrive for class.
  • TRADING DAY – is an opportunity for the sale of 2nd hand items – at reasonable cost – this is usually a few weeks into the 1st Term.


1.  SHOES are required for competitions.  Check out the 2nd hand box, or purchase new ones from one of the interstate stall holders:  Claddagh International, Pointe Perfect.  Soft shoes must be firm fitting and do not allow for room to grow.  These shoes are leather and will stretch enough to allow the children to wear them for at least 12 months.

2.  SOCKS – white bubble socks, purchased from the Stall holders or our fundraising Group.  Approximately $10-15 Please purchase NEW SOCKS for every competition or keep a pair separate for competitions only.

3.  HAIR – Curl hair, the night before.  Use soft curlers that can be worn overnight or heat curl in the morning.  Nice full curls look better than lots of tiny curls.  Tease the front section back off forehead, and pin the top curls into place at the back of the head.  Leave the curlers in place, until you arrive at the venue.  Take the curlers out at the last minute, and comb the curls into place.  Ask for help if you need it!  Dancers may also put their hair up in a bun, but it is preferable to have it loose in curls.  A nice large bow, or tiara should be placed in position at the side of the head, or at the top.

4.  COSTUME – Hire from the Fundraising Group, and ensure that the costume is pressed if it needs it.  Shawls are normally pinned on left shoulder, and then other triangle corner at the right waist.

5.  ARRIVE – at the Competition in plenty of time to warm up – go through dances 3 times each, and stretch.  Keep moving to keep warm and prepare for your stage performance, as you do for a class.  You should feel nice and warm, and stretched before lining up for your dance.  Allow time for traffic, and location of venue, and at least 15 minutes to settle in, 10 minutes to finish dressing, 30 minutes to warm up.  So about 1 hour before scheduled section time.  If dancing in the first section 45 minutes is enough.

6.  NUMBERS – pick up from Number desk, pin to left hand side waist (front) with safety pin.  Programs are necessary to ensure you follow the Competition and do not miss your dance section.

7.  MAKE UP and Tanning is not allowed on any child under the age of 10 years.  Dab some shiny cream to dancers to give a glow on stage, until they can wear makeup.

8.  HAPPY DANCERS are the best dancers!  Smile with them as they go through all the nerves and excitement of competitions!  Be prepared for everything!  Have a check list handy to ensure nothing is left at home!

9.  LISTEN CAREFULLY – to all announcements and sections will be called ahead of stage performances.

10.  HAVE FUN!  Ensure dancers have lots of good energy food to get them through the day!  And always check with your Teacher if you are unsure of anything!


All dancers are trained to achieve their “personal” goal – some dancers are very successful in solo dance, but others are more comfortable in a team situation, or a less competitive performance.  We strive to ensure dancers achieve their goals, but it is also very important to teach young dancers to be creative in their own right and learn the ethics of performing against and alongside other dancers of their own age.