McMahon School of Irish Dance

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Policies & Add'l Info

Registration Info:

Registration for the 2017-2018 dance season can be completed online, see Registration tab of this website.

Beginner Classes are located in Rochester and Batavia. Class times can be found on the "Class Schedule" page of this website. Class sizes are capped; space in class will be determined in order of registrations received.

Registration is open to dancers ages 4 and up. Registration must be received prior to the first class. After Registering, dancers will receive a Calendar of Events, 'Members Only' access, Payment Coupons, and copy of The McMahon School Handbook.

Tuition & Fees:

Brand New beginner fees are $45 per month, advanced dancer fees are on a tiered scale based on class length & frequency. Please contact to discuss lesson fees for Advanced dancers and Transfer students.

Tuition is based on 35 classes per year, 1 additional class has been added for make-ups/snow-days. The monthly tuition plan divides lessons & activities into even payments (i.e., you are not paying for the number of lessons per month, but for number of lessons/activities per year.). Discounts, however, are available when paying in advance- quarterly, semi-annual, & full session.

There are Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annually, and Annual discounted rates available. After enrolling more than 2 students of the same immediate family, family rates are available. Paying the monthly price is expected at the beginning of that month. There are not weekly fees so students are encouraged to not miss classes.

Tuition &/or fundraising credits will not be deducted or refunded due to missed classes, illness, vacations, outside activities, or withdrawing midsession. Tuition for all classes covers instruction, make-up classes, rent, utilities, association dues, insurance, music costs, and participation in performances and all other business expenses.

There is a non-refundable $25 Registration fee at enrollment, Family Max $40.

Payments are due by the 5th of each month. Payments will incur late fees if not received by the 5th. All payments are made online by credit/debit card or through PayPal.

No credit or make ups will be given for missed classes. When a dancer misses a lesson, additional individual time is given at the next lesson to catch up or they are encouraged to attend another location or equivalent class time. Credit will only be given for extended medical reasons only with doctor’s note.

Extra Classes: Students are welcome to attend additional classes if extra practice is needed at an agreed fee schedule. There is no fee for attending another class for make-up (of equivalent of level). Please contact before attending.

Any students that have unpaid balances will be unable to attend classes, performances, or Feiseanna (competitions). Attending classes are mandatory in order to attend such performances or Feiseanna.

There is a $25 service charge for NSF checks. If two (2) NSF checks are received within one school year, all fees to the School will become due and payable immediately via cash or certified check only.

Special offers are available when referring another student- you will receive $25 credit after that student has been enrolled one month. This offer is good to Registered dancers without end or limit. 10 referrals = $250 credit! Again, any unpaid balances will not be entitled to such discount.

Family Discount: Families with 2 dancers are offered 15% discount. Families with 3+ dancers will pay for only 2 dancers at full rate.

Private lessons: Private lessons are a supplemental opportunity for a student to receive more individualized instruction and feedback from a teacher. Private lessons are meant to support (not replace) a dancer’s class instruction and independent practice. Because time and studio space are limited, priority is given to those dancers who practice independently and will therefore be able to maximize the productivity of their private lesson time.

-Cancellation Policy: To cancel without being charged, you must try to find a replacement. If you cancel with at least 24 hours notice, you will only be charged $15.00. If you cancel with less than 24 hours to your appointment (without replacement), you will be charged the full amount for the private lesson. All private lessons are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. If the Instructor needs to cancel for reasons such as illness, weather, or emergency; an agreed time to reschedule will be offered as make-up.

Classes & What You Will Need:

Lesson Format

Formal lessons generally follow the academic calendar, beginning in September and ending in June. Dancers attending competitions and summer performances will be expected to attend summer classes. Summer classes run 5-6 weeks taking a two-three week break in August/September. New students may be accepted at any time during the year at an agreed fee schedule.

Parents should not expect to remain in the same room while lessons are in progress. Like an academic setting, the teacher needs to be in control of the class and have the full attention of the students. However, the teacher may open certain lessons for parents to observe and question. These nights may be beneficial to the parent keeping abreast of the child's development thus being able to more closely monitor his/her practice at home.

Lessons are approximately 45 minutes to one hour for ages 4-7 or new beginners, one evening each week. Returning students will run for 1-3 hours 1-2 evenings each week. Additionally, the teacher may call for extra lessons, especially before an important performance or competition. These lessons may or may not require additional lesson fees depending on the circumstances.

Shoes & Attire:

Please please please do not run right out to the store or purchase anything online until your dancer has decided he or she really wants to stick with Irish dance! In most dance classes advance purchases must be made before your child has even been to a class. We feel giving classes a try for at least a month will be enough time to make that decision.

Dance shoes (soft shoes) will cost about $45 a pair and can be purchased from Rutherford's. Hard shoes, when required, will run between $70 - $165, depending on its quality. Often you can find these shoes used and less expensive in the “For Sale Bin” at the McMahon studio. Dancers are not expected to purchase soft or hard shoes unless they are going to be performing publicly. Although a form of shoe is required, a simple ballet slipper (that can be purchased at any local Payless or department store) will be acceptable. Non-skid socks, ex Totes, are also acceptable.

Dancers are to wear McMahon t-shirts/tank tops that cover their midriff, and black shorts/skorts. Sweatpants can be worn the 1st 10 minutes of class while stretching and warming up. Absolutely no jeans are acceptable. A special kind of Irish dance sock (called Poodle socks) are to be worn by the girls. Those can be purchased after the 1st month of classes.

At this time, you do not need to purchase any specific dancewear. The instructor will let you know when your child is “performance ready”. This is usually after 3 months of instruction.

What To Expect:

Benefits of Irish Dance

· Increased Physical Skills... Developing body control and coordination, great exercise.

· Increased Mental Skills... Listening, following directions, increasing attention span, memorizing steps.

· A Healthy Competitive Spirit... Increasing the child's desire to do well and to the best of his/her ability.

· Self-Esteem... Increasing the child's confidence, developing "stage presence".

· Lasting Friendships... Not only with classmates, but also through performing and competing, meeting children from all parts of the city, state, and country.

· Promoting Irish Culture... A revival of Irish identity and tradition began in the 1960s. While a young dancer may not comprehend this particular benefit while training, this revival continues!

School Policies & Rules of the Class:

Rules of the Class:

·         Be on time

·         Be prepared with shoes, appropriate attire, and hair pulled back

·         When the instructor is talking be quiet and listen

·         No jeans. Sweatpants are allowed for the 1st 10 min. of class. No hats

·          No cell phones

·         Water bottles are allowed but No food/snacks

·         Respect your classmates

·         No gum chewing

·         Respect the facility

·         Ask permission to leave for bathroom or drink breaks

·         No leaving the dance studio until dismissed

·         Parents are not to approach the instructors during class

Rules of the School:

·         All dancers and parents will promote a positive team spirit supporting our dancers in class and in the community at all times.

·         All dancers must be ready to dance on time for their scheduled class or performance.

·         Parents will not be allowed to sit in and watch the classes. There are cameras/tvs to watch from the waiting area and also several events throughout the year that dancers are invited to participate in. These events are an opportunity for the students to “show off” their talents to family and friends.

·         When at performances or competitions, our school will be represented with a positive respectful team that acts in a way that promotes our schools integrity.

·          All dancers will remain respectful to their instructor and his/her classmates at all times.

·         All dancers will attend class with proper attire and dance shoes.

·         All matters pertaining to Costumes and attending Feiseanna, Performances, and Classes/Workshops are ultimately decided by the instructor.  

·         All questions pertaining to your dancers level, advancement, material, and participation should be directed to the instructor by email. 

·         Absolutely NO GOSSIP or NEGATIVITY among dancers or parents. If a student or parent has any questions regarding the school, speak to the instructor with your concerns rather than speaking to others as negativity spreads fast!

·          MSOID reserves the right to cancel a dancers membership for any reason necessary such as late or non-payment, disruptive or dangerous behavior, not following the school policies. Members will be charged all fees up until the time notified of membership cancellation in writing.


Additional Information:

What does "T.C.R.G." & "A.D.C.R.G." mean?

T.C.R.G.: the abbreviation for the Gaelic title that means "Teacher registered with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha". An Coimisiun is the governing body that regulates Irish dancing and Irish dance teachers. A registered teacher has passed a series of examinations on music, dancing, and teaching competence.

A.D.C.R.G: An ADCRG means that in addition to the TCRG diploma, a teacher has completed and passed even more extensive and challenging examinations. An ADCRG is recognized by An Coimisiun as being qualified to adjudicate (judge) Irish Step dancing on any competitive level throughout the world.

Why should I care if an Irish dancing teacher has a T.C.R.G.?  

Registered, qualified teachers offer students a guaranteed level of instructional and dance competence. Also, only students of qualified, registered teachers are eligible to compete in Local, Regional, National & International Feiseanna (competitions).  

Performances (Dance-Outs):

Throughout the year, various organizations and/or individuals contact the School requesting dancers for a show at a variety of functions and occasions (church fairs, weddings, community festivals, parades, nursing homes, etc). Participating in performances is a great way to show others what all the practice and hard work has produced. For those dancers who compete, shows give them an opportunity to perform in a more relaxing environment. For all dancers, it is mostly just about having fun and sharing your talent!

The eligibility of dancers to participate in the performances is determined by the proficiency required for the show, the type of show, venue, and the number of dancers needed. All dancers for any particular show are selected by the teacher. Dancers chosen to do performances are chosen for their overall capability to remember dances, having appropriate costumes, and cheerful but precise execution of the dances. When asked to perform for a particular performance, your quick response is necessary. Dances have to be arranged early by the teacher so please do not hesitate with your reply.

It is important that you attend as many performances as possible. This is how our school earns money for our School’s fund. Once you have acquired the ability to perform, it is your responsibility to do so.

Dance Competitions: The Feis

Many of our dancers participate in dance competitions, but there is no obligation to do so. Dancers are eligible for competitive dancing as soon as they learn their first dance (usually a Reel) to music. Any questions regarding whether a student is ready to compete, and in what dances, should be discussed with the teacher.

If a dancer does wish to enter into competitive dancing, such competitions take place at what is called a FEIS (pronounced ‘fesh’), the Irish word for festival. In addition to providing the dancer an opportunity to compete in the various solo dances and teams, a Feis is very family oriented and brings together countless dancers from throughout the United States and Canada.

Feiseanna (plural of Feis) are scheduled all over North America on weekends throughout the year. A complete listing can be found on the Links page of this site.

These competitions are a great way to help improve the dancer’s skills and have fun meeting other dancers from around the country.

The Costume

Beginner costumes for 1st year dancers consist of McMahon T-shirt, Black skirt/skort, poodle socks & Ghillies. Advanced Beginners wear a "Junior costume" which consists of a Vest, Leotard, Shawl worn with a black skirt/skort when entering into competition or performance. The Junior Costume is rented through our school at $45 per year. It is asked that no parents order a Junior, Full, or Solo Costume until it is discussed with the teacher that your child is ready.

The Wig

Beginners can wear a Bun wig when performing publicly or in competition, it is not required, simply following the tradition of curled hair is perfectly suitable. Advanced dancers are to wear full wigs for performances and competitions. All wigs are purchased through Emerald Key, the instructor will match and advise which color & style is appropriate for your dancer.