PROGRAM STRUCTURE AT OIDA
Non-Competitive, Curriculum-Based Program
At OIDA, we have developed a program that sets attainable goals, provides level- and age-appropriate challenges, and promotes a positive learning mindset. Our curriculum 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 is a unique dance form in that it encompasses and combines two completely different forms of dance: light shoe and heavy shoe (also called soft shoe and hard shoe). Each style is complementary, yet unique.
TWO SHOE TYPES
Light Shoe & Heavy Shoe
Start by Learning Light Shoe, Heavy Shoe, or Both!
It is up to you! Our program is designed so that a dancer can start out learning light shoe, heavy shoe, or both at once, and whatever they decide, our curriculum provides dancers with an equally beneficial start to Irish dancing. If your dancer has time in their weekly schedule, consider taking class twice per week! Attending twice a week provides more chances to learn and improve, aka even more fun!
7 Levels in Our Curriculum
OIDA's curriculum contains seven levels for dancers to progress through, each more difficult than the last. Improving and challenging yourself as a dancer is so much fun, so we lay out step-by-step requirements for each level so that students know exactly what to work on next in order to keep improving. Within each level, dancers learn 4 light shoe dances: Reel, Single Jig, Light Jig, and Slip Jig, as well as 4 heavy shoe dances: Treble Reel, Hornpipe, Heavy Jig, and a Traditional Set. Each dance contains two steps (Irish dance's word for patterns), and each of those steps is performed once starting with the right foot and then again with the left so that muscles and abilities develop evenly. Our dancers learn to perform each dance with what we call our 10 Technical Elements: Timing, Rhythm, Lift, Volume, Crossing, Turn Out, Toes, Extension, Posture, and Stage Presence.
Our Teaching Style
At OIDA, we believe in always teaching in a positive way. We want our students to know that we believe in them and specifically that we believe they can do anything they put their minds to! Anything is possible. We guide students through our curriculum, showing them that hard work makes progress and that hard work is fun! We encourage our students to be creative and to ask questions. We believe in teamwork, camaraderie, and supporting each other. We know that every person is different, and so we try to be as creative as possible in our teaching methods in order to support as many learning styles as possible and help our students thrive. We love Irish dancing, and we love helping our students grow and learn!
No Practicing Required
At OIDA, we do not require our dancers to practice outside of class at all! If you want to practice at home, you're more than welcome to, and we provide you with tons of bonus videos and resources to help with that. But we structure all of our classes so that all you need to do is come to class. Our lesson plans are structured to pick up where we left off in the previous class, but our instructors can also adapt for you if you've practiced at home between classes. So there's never any pressure from us for you to practice outside of class, but if you want to, go ahead!