McMahon School of Irish Dance
It is the McMahon School’s goal to keep Irish culture alive through music and
dance and to pass it on to new generations of dancers. The atmosphere in the
McMahon School is one in which students are encouraged to develop their own
individual talents as well as learn to work well with others. This is best
accomplished when the student and teacher share a common goal: to learn as much
as possible from each other and to have fun while doing so. The McMahon School
gives the opportunity to dance recreationally or competitively while developing
a sense of self worth and accomplishment. We are dedicated to teaching students
as individuals, instilling a positive self-confidence and helping them to
achieve their highest level of Irish dance. We strive to instill a sense of
unity and friendship among the dancers and their families through a variety of
Irish cultural events and opportunities at McMahon School of Irish Dance.
Registration for the 2013-2014 dance season can be completed online or mailed, see “Register”
page of this website.
Beginner Classes are located in Rochester & Batavia. Class
times can be found on the "Class
page of this website. Class sizes are capped; space in class will be determined
in order of registrations received.
Registration is open to dancers ages 4 and up. Registration must be received
prior to the first class. After Registering, dancers will receive a Calendar
of Events, 'Members Only' access, Payment Coupons, and copy of The McMahon
Brand New beginner fees are $40 per month.
Please contact to discuss lesson fees for Advanced dancers and Transfer
Tuition is a course fee, not a class fee. For your convenience, dance tuition is
divided into payments which are due from September through June.
There are Quarterly, Semi-Annually, and Annual discounted
rates available. After enrolling more than 2 students of the same immediate
family, family rates are available. Paying the monthly price is expected at the
beginning of that month. There are not weekly fees so students are encouraged to
not miss classes.
fundraising credits will not be deducted or refunded due to missed classes,
illness, vacations, outside activities, or withdrawing midsession. Tuition for
all classes covers instruction, make-up classes, rent, utilities, association
dues, insurance, music costs, and participation in performances and all other
There is a non-refundable $25 Registration fee at enrollment, Family Max $40.
At enrollment you will receive payment coupons; payments are to be mailed by the
5th of each month. Payments will incur late fees if not received by the 5th.
Paying by credit card/bank transfer through PayPal is also available.
No credit or make ups will be given for missed classes. When a dancer misses a
lesson, additional individual time is given at the next lesson to catch up or
they are encouraged to attend another location or equivalent class time. Credit
will only be given for extended medical reasons only with doctor’s note.
Students are welcome to attend another location if extra practice is needed.
There is no fee for attending another location. Please contact before
Any students that have unpaid balances will be unable to attend classes,
performances, or Feiseanna (competitions). Attending classes are mandatory
in order to attend such performances or Feiseanna.
There is a $25 service charge for NSF checks. If two (2) NSF checks are received
within one school year, all fees to the School will become due and payable
immediately via cash or certified check only.
are available when referring another student- you will receive one month of
lessons for free (up to $40 value) after that student has been enrolled one month. This offer
is good without end or limit. 10 referrals = 10 months free (or $400 credit). Again, any unpaid balances will not be entitled to
Families with 2 dancers are offered 10% discount. Families with
3+ dancers will pay for only 2 dancers.
Classes & What You Will Need:
Formal lessons generally follow the academic calendar, beginning in September
and ending in June. Dancers attending competitions and summer performances will
be expected to attend summer classes. Summer classes run 5-6 weeks taking a
two-three week break in August/September. New students may be accepted at any
time during the year at an agreed fee schedule.
Parents should not expect to remain in the same room while lessons are in
Like an academic setting, the teacher needs to be in control of the class and
have the full attention of the students. However, the teacher may open certain
lessons for parents to observe and question. These nights may be beneficial to
the parent keeping abreast of the child's development thus being able to more
closely monitor his/her practice at home.
Lessons are approximately 45 minutes to one hour for ages 4-7 or new beginners,
one evening each week. Returning students will run for 1-3 hours 1-2 evenings
each week. Additionally, the teacher may call for extra lessons, especially
before an important performance or competition. These lessons may or may not
require additional lesson fees depending on the circumstances.
Shoes & Attire:
Please please please do not run right out to the store or purchase anything
online until your dancer has decided he or she really wants to stick with Irish
dance! In most dance classes advance purchases must be made before your child
has even been to a class. We feel giving classes a try for at least a month will
be enough time to make that decision.
Dance shoes (soft shoes) will cost about $40 a pair and can be purchased from
Hard shoes, when required, will run between $70 - $165, depending on its
quality. Often you can find these shoes used and less expensive on the “For
Sale” page of the McMahon website. Dancers are not expected to purchase soft
or hard shoes unless they are going to be performing publicly. Although a form
of shoe is required, a simple ballet slipper (that can be purchased at
any local Payless or department store) will be acceptable. Non-skid socks, ex
Totes, are also acceptable.
Dancers are to wear t-shirts/tank tops that cover their midriff, shorts/skorts,
absolutely no jeans are acceptable. Sweatpants can be worn the 1st 10 minutes of
class while stretching and warming up. A special kind of Irish dance sock
(called Poodle socks) are to be worn by the girls. Those can be purchased after
the 1st month of classes.
At this time, you do not need to purchase any specific dancewear. The instructor
will let you know when your child is “performance ready”. This is usually within
the first 3 months of instruction.
What To Expect:
Benefits of Irish Dance
Physical Skills... Developing body control and coordination, great exercise.
Increased Mental Skills... Listening, following directions, increasing attention
span, memorizing steps.
A Healthy Competitive Spirit... Increasing the child's desire to do well and to
the best of his/her ability.
Self-Esteem... Increasing the child's confidence, developing "stage presence".
Lasting Friendships... Not only with classmates, but also through performing and
competing, meeting children from all parts of the city, state, and country.
Promoting Irish Culture... A revival of Irish identity and tradition began in
the 1960s. While a young dancer may not comprehend this particular benefit while
training, this revival continues!
School Policies & Rules of the Class:
Rules of the Class:
Be on time
Be prepared with shoes, appropriate attire, and hair pulled back
When the instructor is talking be quiet and listen
No jeans. Sweatpants are allowed for the 1st 10 min. of class. No
Water bottles are allowed but No food/snacks
Respect your classmates
No gum chewing
Respect the facility
Ask permission to leave for bathroom or fountain breaks
No leaving the dance hall until dismissed
Parents are not to approach the instructor during class
Rules of the School:
All dancers and parents will promote a positive team spirit supporting our
dancers in class and in the community at all times.
All dancers must be ready to dance on time for their scheduled class or
Parents will not be allowed to sit in and watch the classes. There are several
events throughout the year that dancers are invited to participate in. These
events are an opportunity for the students to “show off” their talents to family
When at performances or competitions, our school will be represented with a
positive respectful team that acts in a way that promotes our schools integrity.
dancers will remain respectful to their instructor at all times.
All dancers will attend class with proper attire and dance shoes.
All matters pertaining to Costumes and attending Feiseanna, Performances, and
Classes/Workshops are ultimately decided by the instructor.
Absolutely NO GOSSIP or NEGATIVITY among dancers or parents. If a student or
parent has any questions regarding the school, speak to the instructor with your
concerns rather than speaking to others as negativity spreads fast!
What does "T.C.R.G."
& "A.D.C.R.G." mean?
T.C.R.G. is the abbreviation for the Gaelic title that means "Teacher registered
with An Coimisiun le Rinci Gaelacha". An Coimisiun is the governing body that
regulates Irish dancing and Irish dance teachers. A registered teacher has
passed a series of examinations on music, dancing, and teaching competence.
An ADCRG means that in addition to the TCRG diploma, a teacher has completed and
passed even more extensive and challenging examinations. An ADCRG is recognized
by An Coimisiun as being qualified to adjudicate (judge) Irish Step dancing on
any competitive level throughout the world.
Why should I
care if an Irish dancing teacher has a T.C.R.G.?
qualified teachers offer students a guaranteed level of instructional and dance
competence. Also, only students of qualified, registered teachers are eligible
to compete in Local, Regional, National & International Feiseanna
Throughout the year, various organizations and/or individuals contact the School
requesting dancers for a show at a variety of functions and occasions (church
fairs, weddings, community festivals, parades, nursing homes, etc).
Participating in performances is a great way to show others what all the
practice and hard work has produced. For those dancers who compete, shows give
them an opportunity to perform in a more relaxing environment. For all dancers,
it is mostly just about having fun and sharing your talent!
The eligibility of dancers to participate in the performances is determined by
the proficiency required for the show, the type of show, venue, and the number
of dancers needed. All dancers for any particular show are selected by the
teacher. Dancers chosen to do performances are chosen for their overall
capability to remember dances, having appropriate costumes, and cheerful but
precise execution of the dances. When asked to perform for a particular
performance, your quick response is necessary. Dances have to be arranged early
by the teacher so please do not hesitate with your reply.
It is important that you attend as many performances as possible. This is how
our school earns money for our School’s fund. Once you have acquired the ability
to perform, it is your responsibility to do so.
Dance Competitions: The Feis
Many of our dancers participate in dance competitions, but there is no
obligation to do so. Dancers are eligible for competitive dancing as
soon as they learn their first dance (usually a reel) to music.
Any questions regarding whether a student is ready to compete, and in
what dances, should be discussed with the teacher.
If a dancer does wish to enter into competitive dancing, such competitions take
place at what is called a FEIS (pronounced ‘fesh’), the Irish word for
festival. In addition to providing the dancer an opportunity to compete in the
various solo dances and teams, a Feis is very family oriented and brings
together countless dancers from throughout the United States and Canada.
Feiseanna (plural of Feis) are scheduled all over the United States and Canada
on weekends throughout the year. A complete listing can be found on the Links
page of this site.
These competitions are a great way to help improve the dancer’s skills and have
fun meeting other dancers from around the country.
Beginner costumes for 1st year dancers consist of McMahon T-shirt, Black skirt/skort,
poodle socks & Ghillies. We also have the option to purchase a "Beginner
costume" which consists of a Vest, Leotard, Shawl worn with a black skirt/skort.
These items new cost less than $100. Used costumes can be found on the "For
Sale" page of the website or can be custom made by parents in our school. It is
asked that no parents order "Beginner Costumes" until it is discussed with the
teacher that your child is ready.
The McMahon School Parent Group
The McMahon School of Irish Dance Parent Group is an IRS 501(c)(3) Non-Profit
Organization. The Parent Group helps organize fundraisers and coordinate
The mission of the McMahon School of Irish Dance Parent Group is to
enhance the promotion of the history and heritage of the Irish culture by the
McMahon School of Irish Dance.
We will accomplish our mission by securing funding and support for the purpose
of promoting Irish dance, Irish culture, language, music, and traditions
throughout the community.
Sources of funding and support:
Paid performances (donations)
Donations from individuals and community members
All parents are welcome to suggest performance venues
All parents and community members are welcome to donate to the Parents
Organization at any time. Donations can be monetary or in the form of goods
All parents are urged to assist with fundraising activities, which may
Car washes & Restaurant Fundraisers
Candy bar sales
Booth sales at festivals
Irish Afternoon or similar events
Funds raised by the Parent Organization are used for equipment for shows, fabric
for costumes, flags/ banners, parade accessories, music, picnic, handbooks, and other items necessary for
the students’ performances and school events. The Parent Organization also funds travel expenses
and competition fees.
All McMahon parents are welcome to attend Parent Organization meetings, which
are announced via email and McMahon Message Board.
All McMahon parents will be sent meeting minutes via email following the
All McMahon parents are welcome to view Financial Statements pertaining to the
Parent Organization as a whole and to their individual dancer.
Class Info & Bookings Call: