Dance! - Irish dance: I want to learn that too!
Maybe you've read the Irish dance crashcourse or parts of my diary (or maybe you didn't and you landed right here first) and you have only one thing on your mind: I want that too!
Before you visit a school you might want to know more about the financial side, the amount of time involved and stuff like that.
On 2 pages I cover most of those subjects based on my personal experience.
Maybe you're already searching videos on YouTube on how to learn Irish dance.
Unless financial or practical reasons (distance or time to travel) are a problem, I really encourage you to just go and find a school. The dances differ from school to school and what you see on the internet could be totally wrong when you eventually start dancing at a school.
The feedback you get from your teacher is the greatest benefit of dancing at a school. You'll hear what goes right or wrong, can get advice on stretching and gaining strength and it could be a social happening as well, where you have quite the chance to practice the English language (if English is the main language in dance class and Dutch (or another language) is your native language, like it is for me).
Finding an Irish danceschool
To find an Irish dance school in Europe, it's probably the best idea to start at the R.T.M.E. website. R.T.M.E. stands for Registered Teachers Mainland Europe. All certified dancing schools are ordered to alphabet and by country, but beware: This website only lists the schools that are registered under An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG), the biggest Irish dance organisation in Europe. Schools from organisations like An Comdhail and others, are not listed there, while there is a chance someone from those organisations teaches in your area.
If you really can't go to a school, then the internet will probably get you going to a great extent, but I advice against just watching some videos on YouTube.
You'll probably have a better start with Diddlyi. This organisation - the website unfortunately went offline in 2019 - features classes done by world champions and ex-Riverdancers and has a range of online practice-videos.
Caution! If you are already planning on visiting a school, then leave Diddlyi for what it is. Those videos do not replace a teacher.
Some tips for a try-out class
- Don't buy a pair of dance-shoes right away
- Plan a day off after your try-out class
- Make sure you stay hydrated: take a bottle of water with you
You can't obtain the shoes from a physical store in the Netherlands and you'll probably find that your balance only gets worse on shoes. You most likely think that you have a great sense of balance, but there is a chance that you think completely different about that after a try-out class.
A pair of thick socks is fine to start with. Most of the time, teachers would like to see your legs and especially your knees and even though you are there for a try-out class, a pair of shorts won't hurt you. As a female, you've got plenty of options for clothing.
Quite a chance that you will encounter sore muscles the day after and you feel all kinds of muscles you didn't even know existed. Plan some rest the day after.
You could be sweating a lot, so staying hydrated will be necessary. Take at least half a liter of water with you.