This is a copy of the 2 page PINK hand out that went to New Beginner, Beginner I and Beginner II classes this week.
New Beginner / Beginner I / Beginner II / Novice
We’re coming to the close of this year and it’s time to register and start planning ahead for 2018.
Registration - You will register through the Student Registration Portal – this is a drop down under the Student Info tab at driscolldancers.com. To find out what class level to enroll in, after you log in, click on the ‘My Students’ tab. Select the dancer you would like to view in the left column. Scroll down to the ‘Miscellaneous’ section and select the ‘Student Skills/Levels’ section. You should see categories for Feis and Class. Your Class category will tell you which class level your dancer is eligible for. The Feis category is following your feis placements. If you see anything missing, please let me know! This is where you and I confirm we are on the same page. Your class level and feis level may not be the same!!
Feis Age – A Feis Age is based on the dancer’s age on January 1st. If a dancer is 9 on January 1st, they will dance the entire year in the Under 10 (or U10) age group. This is just good knowledge to have!
Placements – When a dancer earns a qualifying placement at a feis, they must move up by January of the following year. Qualifying placements are 1st, 2nd or 3rd in Beginner I and Beginner II and 1st in Novice and above. A competition with 5 or more dancers is considered a qualifying competition. There is some room for teacher discretion when determining if a dancer will move up sooner. Bridgid makes each and every decision on a dancer-to-dancer basis. A choice made for one dancer may not be the right choice or same choice made for another. Please talk to me if you have any questions or concerns!
Costumes & Performances – As we get in to the new year, there will be performance opportunities for all! I will do costume checks/fittings in January. All dancers in Beginner I and up are eligible for a school costume. This may be a beginner skirt & blouse or a dress. This depends on age, height, and (most importantly) what I have available! Dancers do not need wigs (we generally do not wear them to perform) but any dancers who would like a wig for competition… all dancers in Beginner skirt & blouse wear bun wigs. Dancers in dresses may opt for a full wig. ALL WIGS MUST BE APPROVED BY BRIDGID. You will need to purchase a performance clip from Annie (Rince Couture).
Boy moms – Just come talk to me and I’ll get you all the details and connect you with the other boy moms!
The ‘rental’ fee for school costumes is currently this – please volunteer to perform! Our performances bring in a nominal fee that is applied to our costume fund. I then use the costume fund to purchase and maintain school costumes (this includes beginner costumes, dresses, performance skirts, boys vests and any additional costuming). This keeps your costs down and keeps me in control of all the costumes. ie. I can change them up if I please and not worry about having dancers stuck with old yucky costumes. It also means that when your dancer out grows their current costume, likely we’ll be able to get them in a new one fairly quickly. As long as this system keeps working with dancers showing up to perform and families taking care of their costumes, we can continue with this ‘rental’ agreement!
Novice Costumes / Solo Costumes – When a dancer earns all Novice in their four main dances (Reel, Slip Jig, Treble Jig and Hornpipe), it’s time to have a conversation with Bridgid about a Solo Costume. It doesn’t mean we’re ready that second to get a dress, but that’s a good time to discuss expectations. I’ll be adding some additional guidelines and rules to the DSID Family Page.
CLASS BREAKDOWN & GOALS
A general rundown of where our dancers are going and what our goals are in the upcoming year
The New Beginner dancers will all move to the Beginner I class level for 2018. We will continue to work on our Reel and Light Jig and start to work on the Hop Jig and Slip Jig. We will start to prepare for upcoming performances such as the Ceili Fundraiser in February as well as St. Patrick’s Day season events. My goal is for the dancers to be ready to compete at their First Feis in April at the Sunflower Feis. New Beginner in 2018 will be all new dancers. *This is a small group of dancers. As such, your class time will remain the same but the level name will change and no new students will be accepted to the class in January. *Everyone in Beginner I needs soft shoes!
All of the dancers in Beginner I class will move to Beginner II class level and many of the dancers currently in Beginner II will continue in the same class. We will continue to work on our soft shoe dances but really focus in on our Treble Jigs and Hornpipes. This is a larger group of dancers – 19 total. As such, we will have two class times offered BUT I will not allow either class to have more than 10 dancers (so keep a watch for registration to get the day/time you prefer!). Within this class, we have a mix of actual feis levels. Some dancers have not competed First Feis yet and others will be moving to Beginner II. Our goals and focus will all be the same in class and feis levels will be discussed on a one-on-one basis. All dancers are expected to be at the Ceili Fundraiser in February, are welcome to participate in St. Patrick’s Season performances and compete at the Sunflower Feis in April. *Everyone in Beginner II needs soft shoes and hard shoes!
Some of the dancers in Beginner II are eligible for the Novice class level. This class was not currently on the schedule. It is a transitional level to prepare dancers to move up to the Novice competition level and in to the Novice/Prizewinner class. Dances in the Beginner levels are performed at a faster tempo and have simpler, more traditional footwork. When a dancers moves up to Novice, they must learn new steps with more intricate footwork and complicated steps. This takes time and focus! If your dancer is eligible for this class, please make it a priority. I realize this may be throwing a wrench in your scheduling plans at this point in the game and accommodations can be made when possible however, attending the Novice class level will be the most beneficial to our goals. If a dancer attends a different class, the focus will not be the same.
*For performances and feising, the Novice class dancers may have a mix of old steps and new. We will continue to practice Beginner steps until the dancers have achieved Novice in competition level and learned all of the Novice material. This means 2x as much work and practice for everyone. This is one of the biggest and toughest transitions that your dancer will go through in Irish dance!
*Dancers in the Novice class must have soft shoes and hardshoes.
Other classes that are available to Beginner I, Beginner II and Novice dancers:
BioFit – This is a cross training class for Strength and Mobility. It is included in Novice/Prizewinner classes and above but is a good add on for anyone who would like to try it out.
Drill Class – The drill class option is great, especially for dancers who are new to hardshoe. No new steps are taught and emphasis is on technique.
Teams Workshops – Keep an eye out for teams workshops coming up! As we approach the performance season, it’s fun to be able to hop in to a 2-hand with a buddy! Many of these dances can also be done at a feis.
Things to have on your radar!
Ceili Fundraiser – February 3. All dancers and families are expected to attend and help. This is the primary fundraiser for the Sunflower Feis. A ceili [kay-lee] is an Irish party with food, drink, music and (of course!) DANCE! The dancers will be practicing some ceili dances to perform as well as a step or two from class.
St. Patrick’s Season – Performance opportunities will be available for dancers in Beginner I and up for pretty much the entire month of March, with a little bleed over in to February and April! All performances are on a volunteer basis. Do as many or as few as you want/can. Performances pay for our costumes and are great practice for feising. Sign ups will be posted on the DSID Family Page and the Private – DSID Family facebook group. **We take a Spring Break from classes but performances never stop!
Sunflower Feis – April 14 at the Overland Park Convention Center. Our ‘home turf’ competition! Hosted by the Driscoll School of Irish dance and one of only two competitions in the KC Metro area. Beginner dancers should take advantage of this ‘no travel’ feis. Dancers in Beginner I and up will be prepping for the feis.
If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I am best reached by text but email, phone call, facebook message, message through the driscolldancers.com website… I get them all eventually! I’m happy to help with little questions or big ones and have a ready ear for suggestions that can make your experience as a Driscoll Dancer even better!
Thank you for a great session this fall!
I’m so pleased with where each of the dancers is and all that we have accomplished!