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In Irish dancing a competition is known as a feis (pronounced "fesh") and these are held at various times through out the year. There are five grades for students wanting to dance competitively. Dancers may win their way out of a grade or may be moved up by their teacher once they feel they have reached a level of competence.
Most students start here. They learn the light jig, beginner reel, beginner slip-jig and/or single jig. These dances are performed in soft or light shoes. In competition dancers are only allowed to wear a leotard and skirt or team costume, no solo costumes are allowed. Dancers aged 11 years and under are not allowed to wear wig, tan or makeup.
Steps and routines become a little more advanced. There are rules pertaining to moves that can be performed in this grade. Heavy or hard shoes are introduced for the jig and hornpipe. Dancers now have the option to wear a solo dress and wig but makeup and leg tan is not allowed for dancers aged 11 years and under.
Choreography is more complex and more emphasis is placed on refining technique and performance. When in competition, dancers need only perform two steps of their heavy jig and/or hornpipe. There are no limitations on moves that can be performed from the Elementary Grade onward. Dancers aged 9 years and under are not permitted to wear Make-up (including false eyelashes and / or tanner on the face) However they are permitted tanning products on legs.
Choreography is further advanced and technique is further refined. Dancers now are at a level where they can compete in State and National competitions. At the State Championships intermediate dancers can also opt into the Preliminary Championship. Dancers aged 9 years and under are not permitted to wear Make-up (including false eyelashes and / or tanner on the face) However they are permitted tanning products on legs.
This is the highest level of competition, dancers are judged on technique, rhythm, posture, and performance. Intermediate and open dancers have the opportunity to dance at State and National Championships that are held annually. National Championships are held in various capital cities all over Australia. To find more information about upcoming national locations please see https://www.aidainc.com/championships. Dancers aged 9 years and under are not permitted to wear Make-up (including false eyelashes and / or tanner on the face) However they are permitted tanning products on legs.
For a full list of rules please visit https://www.aidainc.com/rules