FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Different question? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAN I SIGN UP FOR CLASSES ANYTIME? OR ONLY CERTAIN TIMES DURING THE YEAR?
At our Portland location, The Children's Gym,
you can enroll anytime!
At our Forest Grove location, you can enroll
from August through January.
We do not currently offer beginner classes
at our Sellwood location.
HOW DO I ENROLL IN CLASSES ONLINE?
If you want to enroll in classes or camps at our Portland location, The Children's Gym, click here:
If you want to enroll in classes at our Forest Grove location, visit FGDA's website:
We currently don't offer beginner classes in Sellwood.
THE CLASS/CAMP I WANT IS FULL. HOW DO WAITING LISTS WORK?
You're not committing to anything by being on a waiting list, so put your dancer on as many waiting lists as you like! When a spot opens up in a class or camp, we'll email you to offer you the spot. If you say yes, we'll enroll your dancer and charge your card on file. If you say no, no worries!
DOES MY DANCER NEED SPECIAL IRISH SHOES?
No, we do not require the special Irish shoes. Students must have some kind of dance shoe, as the leather between the foot and floor will protect the foot from the repeated impact of all the jumps that come with dancing. If you already have ballet flats or jazz shoes at home, those work great to start in for light shoe classes, and if you already have tap shoes, those are great for heavy shoes classes.
WHERE CAN I BUY DANCE SHOES?
If you are looking to buy the Irish shoes, the brands we require are Antonio Pacelli's "Looped" or "Gazelle" light shoes and Hallmore's "Beginner Jig" heavy shoes (with the tan bottom, not the rare black bottom). First check with us to see if we have a pair available for sale in your size in the studio. If we don't have your dancer's size, we'll help you order a new pair.
WHAT SHOULD MY DANCER WEAR TO CLASS?
At Forest Grove Dance Arts, each Irish dancer is required to tie their hair back and wear their class uniform shirt, black pants, and dance shoes. In all our other class locations, we ask that clothes don’t restrict movement, so no jeans or ankle-length skirts. Some students choose to wear athletic clothes to dance class, some wear leotards, tutus, and tights, some wear a t-shirt and shorts. Whatever they prefer! We also ask that dancers with longer hair have it tied back.
I'VE HEARD IRISH DANCING IS EXPENSIVE. WILL THIS EMPTY MY BANK ACCOUNT?
No, not at OIDA! That myth comes from the fact that competitive Irish dancing, especially at the international level, can be very expensive, but here at OIDA our goal is to introduce the wonderful art of Irish dancing to as many people as possible, so we do our best to keep costs low and affordable. There is a seasonal registration fee, dance shoes, and the cost of class, and then maybe one day a class uniform shirt or cute costume when on a Performance Team. That’s it!
DO IRISH DANCERS WEAR WIGS?
No, not at OIDA! We believe in a natural look for our dancers when we perform. Similarly, our dancers have a natural look when it comes to make-up, either not wearing any, or wearing it specifically to define natural features for the audience, combat stage lighting, or enhance a character's costume.
DO DANCERS HAVE TO WEAR EXPENSIVE DRESSES?
No, not at OIDA! You'll often find those in competitive dancing, but at OIDA, we want to keep the costs down and spread the joy of Irish dancing to as many people as possible. We wear simple and cost-effective outfits for performances, often with traditional Irish elements. Visit our Performance Team page to see some examples!
CAN WE TRY A CLASS BEFORE SIGNING UP?
Yes! We offer each prospective student, kids and adults, a free trial class at our Portland location, The Children's Gym. Email us to find out which classes have openings for a free trial!
MY DANCER IS INTERESTED IN COMPETING. WHAT DO I DO?
OIDA offers the only fully non-competitive Irish dancing program in Oregon. If you are looking for competitive Irish dancing classes, there are multiple options for you to choose from in Oregon.
WHAT IS A GOOD AGE TO START? DO BOYS IRISH DANCE? DO YOU HAVE TO BE IRISH?
The answer to all these questions is that Irish dancing is universal. Young or old, boy or girl, Irish or not – Irish dancing has something to offer everyone! All our classes are co-ed. We have classes for ages 3 to adult.
I'M INTERESTED IN YOUR ADULT CLASSES, BUT I'M WORRIED. WILL I BE ABLE TO KEEP UP?
Our intro classes for adults are designed to accommodate each individual. We start with a group warm-up, then we learn light shoe and heavy shoe moves and patterns, with each dancer working at their own pace. Sign up for a free trial class to test it out!
SHOULD MY DANCER START IN A LIGHT SHOE CLASS, HEAVY SHOE CLASS, OR BOTH?
At OIDA, all introductory level dance classes follow a fundamental lesson model. This means that our light shoe and heavy shoe classes provide dancers with an equally beneficial start to Irish dancing. We actually highly recommend that dancers take one class of each at the same time. Attending twice a week will give your child valuable repetition and will be very exciting!