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Children having fun while Irish dancing

At Goggin-Stewart, dancers learn traditional and contemporary solo dances, as well as ceili (pronounced kay-lee) group dancing.  Boys and girls ages four and up are welcome to join the School, and new sessions start each September, January and April (although feel free to get in touch at any time for a possible mid-session registration).  One doesn't need to be Irish to learn Irish dancing.

All of our TCRGs (a Gaelic acronym for teacher, Teagascóir Choimisiúin le Rinci Gaelacha) are certified by and registered with An Coimisiun Le Rinci Gaelacha, of Dublin, Ireland and are current with Child Protection training and a Vulnerable Sector Check.  

Experienced, retired dancers assist the certified instructors in some classes, giving dancers who need a bit more direction the opportunity to learn on an individual basis.

Goggin-Stewart enjoys an affiliation with the McGahan Lees Irish Dance Academy, in England. This relationship helps our staff keep abreast of the latest teaching techniques and trends in Irish dance worldwide. It also affords our advanced students unique opportunities to train with accomplished dancers and instructors from around the world.

The curriculum changes as the dancers progress through the levels, but it always focuses on proper technique of timing, rhythm, posture and foot placement, in a classroom atmosphere that is both challenging and encouraging.


As our Irish dancers master skills and gain confidence, they progress through these class levels:

  • Beginner - Students typically attend one class for fifty minutes per week and learn basic soft shoe techniques, progressing to more complex steps as skills develop. Many will be recommended to try a competition within the first six months, and advance to the next level within one year.

  • Advanced Beginner - Students learn additional soft shoe dances and begin hard shoe basics.  They are introduced to team dancing concepts as well and attend for 90 minutes, two to three times per week.  Advancement to the next level is between one and two years.

  • Novice - Students will see a change in class pace and work ethic as the complexity of choreography starts to really increase, and as such, the need to practice and improve strength, flexibility and agility really kicks in.  Student attend for two hours, two to three times per week, and begin to earn opportunities to compete at higher level competitions.  Advancement to the next level is based on achievements at competitions as it is for each level going forward.

  • Prizewinner - The pace continues, and some dancers will earn opportunities for competing in solo categories at regional championships as well as obtaining "unique" solo costumes.

  • Preliminary and Open Championship - Students learn complex form and technique, and a high level of endurance is required. Dancers have unique opportunities to attend workshops with world-renown instructors both locally and abroad, and may possibly qualify to compete at the North American and World Irish Dancing Championships.

Classes in Oakville are located on South Service Road east of Trafalgar Road, classes in London (operated by Forest City Irish Dance) are on Leathorne Street near Commissioners Road East and Adelaide Street South, and classes in St. Thomas (also operated by Forest City Irish Dance) are located at Dance Essence on Curtis Street near Talbot Street.  Please see the Contact Us page for the exact locations.

Dancers are to wear dark athletic tops (tees or racer-backs), dark shorts (no skirts), white socks, and either a basic gymnastic slipper for Beginners, or properly fitting Irish dance shoes for dancers in other levels.

Dancers are to have their hair tied back off of their face (ideally up in a bun), bring water to each class, and depending on their level, bring either a notebook, a skipping rope, an iPod or other item as requested.

There is room for everyone and their varying needs at Goggin-Stewart, from dancing for fun, to competing for fun, to competing to be the best of the best.  


Get in touch; we'd love to hear from you.

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