How old does my child need to be to begin classes?
Children can start as young as 3 and we offer a Tiny Tots class specifically for 3-4 year olds. It is a half hour class, which takes place once a week. Children are introduced to Irish dance music, rhythm, stretching, jumping, and the coordination required to learn the basics of Irish dance.
For children 5+ they start in Beginner where they learn much the same that the tiny tots do, but at a quicker pace along with the basic steps and dances required for entering their first competition.
Where and when can I register?
Our dance season runs from September through to June with additional summer classes and camps available throughout July and August. Registration for the 2017-2018 dance year is now available. Please contact us to register!
What is the class schedule?
Classes at Mattierin run Monday through Thursday, Saturday, and the occasional Sunday.
What does my child need to wear/bring to class?
Tiny Tots are required to wear a t-shirt, black shorts, white socks (fold over preferable to anklets) and hair tied back if long enough to do so. For shoes, Tiny Tots do not need to purchase Irish Dance Soft Shoes, instead they are permitted to wear snug black ballet slippers.
Beginners are required to purchase a Mattierin T-Shirt, and wear black shorts, white socks (fold over preferable to anklets), and have hair tied back if long enough to do so. At this level, dancers must wear proper Irish Dance Soft shoes which can be purchased second hand or from local Irish dance supplier Brogs Irish Dance Wear & Accessories. We will let you know when your child requires Heavy Shoes, which are also available new or second hand.
Please note: One water-bottle per child is permitted in the studio for all class levels.
How much is tuition?
We have a yearly family registration fee of $50. For yearly tuition pricing, please contact us as pricing is based on dancer level.
Do I need to FUNDRAISE?
Just like any other sport or dance activity, there is always a need to fundraise to help alleviate the costs associated. We have a parents' association whose goal is to fundraise for the dancers of the school. There are multiple fundraisers held throughout the year and new fundraising ideas are always welcome! Information on the association will be available upon registration.
Do I have to buy a costume?
Mattierin dancers do not have to purchase school costumes. They are provided through the parent association for a yearly rental fee. Once a dancer reaches championship level, girls require solo dresses and boys require solo vests. These are purchased individually through professional dance dress makers as chosen by the teachers.
What is a FEIS?
A feis (pronounced feh-sh) or feiseanna (pural), is an Irish term meaning traditional Gaelic arts & culture festival and is commonly used for referring to Irish Dance competitions.
Will my child compete?
We are primarily a competitive and performance based Irish dance school. Once we feel a dancer is ready we will inform you. We do not enter dancers into competitions until both the dancer and dancer's family are ready.
Will my child have the opportunity to perform?
Yes. Even within the first year of dance, all dancers have the opportunity to take part in our Mattierin Christmas Mini Feis held each year in December. They will also get the opportunity to perform at dance outings for seniors homes, etc.It is a very good opportunity for children to gain confidence. In addition, all dancers will also get the opportunity to perform in a in-theatre production put on by our school each year.
Can I observe classes?
We do not have parents observe classes as it distracts the dancers. It is important for the dancers attention to be kept on the dance teacher and the task at hand. Parents will get opportunities throughout the year to see their dancer perform whether on stage at a competition or at an outing/performance.
Most importantly, do I have to be Irish?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Anyone can Irish dance! The Irish Dancing community has expanded throughout the world into places such as Japan, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and throughout most of Eastern Europe as well as Russia. There are professional Irish dance companies that tour all over the world, such as Riverdance, Heartbeat of Home, and Lord of the Dance, which help to expand interest in Irish dance and music.