Beginners

New dancers will register with the Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance for Beginner class held on Mondays at 5:00pm.  Our instructors look forward to teaching your future Irish dancer this unique and wonderful form of dance.  Classes will take place every week with the exception of the dates noted on our schedule page.

For updates, school newsletters and announcements, it is important we have a working email address.  Please advise of any change in the email address provided on your registration.  

Our website provides directions to our dance studio  located at 533 Washington Avenue-Lower Level, Bridgeville, PA  15017. 

We have created a  Google Drive which contains information regarding competition, costumes, dance shoes and more as well as photos and videos of past performances.  Most especially helpful are the Dance Steps-Video Clips file to aid dancers in their practice time.  You’ll be given access to our Google Drive once you’ve enrolled in our dance school.

HELP FOR PARENTS:  Also in the Google Drive file is Cairde Shovlin (Friends of Shovlin), a list of experienced dance parents ready and able to answer any of your questions.  Please reach out to them with any questions you may have now and in the future.

LESSON WEAR:  Short-sleeved shirt and shorts.  No sweatshirts, turtlenecks, pants or long skirts.  We need to see knees, ankles, and feet.  Ballet clothing can also be worn.

DANCE SHOES:  Dance shoes are required to avoid slipping.  

  • Girls – Black or pink ballet slippers may be worn the first year of Irish dance.  These can be purchased at a local dance supply shop or possibly regular shoe store.  Information for purchasing the soft Irish dance shoes for girls, “ghillies,” can be found on our Google Drive in the Dance Shoes FAQs file.

Note:  Consider buying ghillies as they are easily sold when outgrown.  

  • Boys – Black jazz shoes work well for beginner boys and can be purchased in local dance supply shops or regular shoe retail stores.  Information on purchasing Irish dance shoes for boys is included in our Dance Shoes FAQs file as well.

PERFORMANCE:  The first year of Irish dance includes participation in Pittsburgh’s St. Patrick’s Parade.  This is always held the Saturday prior to March 17.  Details will be available closer to that date regarding what to wear, etc.  Future performance opportunities will be available after their 2nd year of dance.  There will be sign-up lists in the Google Drive for each performance date.

JIG:  Our year-end performance for family and friends is held in May each year.  All dancers are invited to participate.  Beginner dancers will wear our summer uniform.  Orders will be taken in March.  Current order forms are in that folder of our Google Drive.  

COMPETITION:  Beginner dancers will have the opportunity to compete at feiseanna beginning in the spring of their first year.  Please review our Feis FAQs on the Google Drive  and also on our website to understand this opportunity in Irish dance.

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