2 Shoe Types, 7 Levels, Ages 3 to Adult

At OIDA, we have developed a program that sets attainable goals, provides level- and age-appropriate challenges, and promotes a positive learning mindset. Our program has seven levels, each one containing its own step-by-step requirements for progressing as an Irish dancer.

We've crafted our structure to be based on clear, simple-to-understand requirements for how to move up to our next level. This keeps our dancers focused, gives them appropriate goals to work towards, and teaches them valuable lessons about hard work and accountability.

Irish Dance traditionally has two shoe styles: light shoe and heavy shoe (also called soft shoe and hard shoe). Each style is complementary, yet unique. At OIDA, we offer light shoe and heavy shoe as separate classes when dancers start out, as there is so much to learn! Dancers can take just one shoe type at a time or take class twice per week so they learn both shoes simultaneously. 


Light Shoe and Heavy Shoe

Our beginner classes follow a fundamental lesson model

This means that both our light shoe and heavy shoe classes provide each dancer with an equally beneficial start to Irish dancing. We actually highly recommend taking one class of each at the same time if possible. Attending twice a week will give the dancer valuable repetition, and taking one heavy shoe class and one light shoe class will be very exciting, as they'll get to learn and work on something new and different in each class! 

Classes are split into 7 levels

OIDA's seven levels each contain their own step-by-step requirements for properly progressing as an Irish dancer. Our program sets attainable goals, provides level- and age-appropriate challenges, and promotes a positive learning mindset. 

Level 1 Classes for Beginners


Our Level 1 classes introduce Irish dancing technique, basic movements, and simple patterns.  Each class begins with a structured warm-up and ends with guided stretching. At Level 1 we offer light shoe and heavy shoe separately. The two shoe types offer very fun and different experiences, while also complementing each other. We highly recommend taking one light shoe class per week and one heavy shoe class per week!