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McConnell School of Irish Dance is a registered member of Cumann Rince Náisiúnta(CRN), based in Dublin, Ireland. Our students compete in CRN's Open Platform Feis (competitions), which take place at the Regional, National, and World Open levels.
  •  Dancers compete in 5 Solo Levels of CRN- Bunghrád,Ullmhúchán, Meanghrád, Ardghrád, Craobhghrád (Champion)
  • Competitions are offered for all ages and abilities, including adult students.
  • Team competitions include all traditional figure dances and modern choreography
  • CRN U.S.A Feis are held in Minneapolis MN, Dayton OH, Harrisburg PV, Philadelphia PV, Atlanta GA, and many other cities across the U.S.A, Ireland, and Australia.
  • CRN Dancers also have the option to compete in any Open Platform Feis
The Competitive season extends Sept - May for dancers who wish to compete in our school or nearby competitions. For dancers who wish to compete at the Regional, National, or World competitions, the season will extend Sept - August.
  • Competition is not mandatory for dancers enrolled in Competitive programs. 
  • Our competitive program is ideal for dancers who wish to brush up on technique or who need additional learning time, even if they do not wish to compete.
Welcome to our 2015 - 2016 Season!
Please visit the member's area of our website often for school information & updates. 
All school updates are sent out via e-mail, if you are not receiving regular, please contact us immediately.
  • 2015 - 2016 Registration will be available soon!


       2014 - 2015 FOLKLORAMA
       2014 - 2015 COMPETITIVE SUMMER
       2015 - 2016 GENERAL DIVISION 
       2015 - 2016 PERFORMANCE DIVISION
       2015 - 2016 COMPETITIVE DIVISION
       2015 - 2016 BRANDON DIVISION

2018 - 2019 Competitions

  • USA Nationals  Feb 17th, 18th, 19th 2018
  • McGinley School Feis    April 7th, 2018 (Harrisburg, PA)
  • Feile La Naomh Padraig   May 19th, 2018  (Harrisburg, PA)
  • Canada Feile  May 26th (Winnipeg, MB)
  • World Championships June 21st - 24th 2018 (Killarney, Ireland)
  • Red Shoe Feile  July 21st, 2018  (Witchita, Kansas)
  • Shelagh Feile - Aug 11th, 2018  (Dayton, Ohio)
  • Berkshire Feile  Sept 15th, 2018 (Pitsfield, MA)
  • USA Regionals  Oct 6th & 7th 2018 (Location TBD)
  • Rince Nua Feile  Nov 3rd, 2018  (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Rince Ri Feis & Qualifiers Dec 1st, 2018

Additional competitions may take place in the US Region, however dates will not be finalized until the Calendar has been released in January each year. Please do not book flights until location and dates are confirmed for each competition.

Competitive Division General Policies
Attending Competitions
McConnell competitive dancers may attend any CRN USA, CRN Ireland, or Open Platform Feile.
All competition fees must be paid in advance.
Any oustanding balances for lessons to McConnell School of Dance must be paid pior to the competition.
Competing dancers are not permitted to teach and must maintain a non-professional Irish dance status while they are competing.
There are no competitive classes the week after major competitions and school attended feiles.

 The CRN Calendar is released in December each season and dancers should wait until the calendar is published before considering travel plans. 
We strongly recommed dancers wait until the compeition registration is released before booking any travel as dates and locations can change.  In most cases, registration is available 6 - 8 weeks prior to the competition.

In most cases, registration for CRN competitions is organized by the school. S
tudents will receive notice via email once the competition registration is available and a deadline offered for registration.
After registration dancers will receive an invoice outlining their compeition fees and a deadline for payment.
All fees must be paid by the deadline (no exceptions).

Competition Fees
Dancers are responsible for all registration fees for their competitions
. Competition fees average at $7 - $10 U.S. per dance. 

Travel & Associated Costs
Dancers are responsible for all costs associated with their travel to and from compeitions.  All travel arrangements are to be made by the individual, including transportation, accomidations, and chaperone.
Dancers are not responsible for any travel costs for instructors.
Instructors are not available to chaperone dancers who are not accompanied by a parent.

Fundraising for competitive Irish dance is not permitted.

Competition is an indvidual endeavour and therefore it is up to the dancer to cover all costs including lessons, competition registration, and travel.

Lessons discounts and subsidy is not available for any competing dancers.

Our Competitive Irish Dance Division requires a great deal of work on the part of the instructors as well as administrative time for the school.  Teacher's travel expesnes, CRN Memership Fees, and CRN-Required Insurance are costly.  Instructors travel on their free time to attend competitions and volunteer to organize all major and class feiles.  We therefore respectfully ask that dancers not ask for discounts in lessons for competitive classes.

Levels & Advancement
Instructors determine which level and which dances students will learn and compete with for solo and award competitions.
Dancers who've placed out of a particular dance are not necessarily ready to move on to the dance in the next level.
Instructors have the best interests of the dancer in mind when making these decisions and students and their parents are asked to assist and support us in making the best choice for the dancer.

CRN Level 1 - 3 Dances
Dances in Levels 1 - 3 are standardized steps throughout all schools in CRN.  There are slight variations in style between regions and schools, however dancers in Levels Bunghrad, Ullmhuchan, and Meangrad must compete with the CRN sanctioned dances.

CRN Level 4 & 5 Dances
Dances in Levels 4 & 5 are of the same standard, however these dances are developed and choreographed by the school's instructor.  Slight differences in steps may be added for dancers who have individual strengths or weaknesses.

Students who wish to compete with unique steps and choreography will need to take solo classes

For solo dances, students will need a minimum of 5 hours per dance.
For individual set dances, students will need a minumum of 10 hours of solo work. 

Sanctions & Suspensions
Dancers who do not comply with CRN regulations may receive a sanction.  On their 3rd sanction dancers are suspended from competition for 3 months.

Students or parents who do not follow the guidelines outlined by McConnell School of Dance for competition may receive a 3 month ban from competition.

McConnell School of Dance reserves the right to limit or ban dancers from competing with no reimbursement for fees or lessons.
All annoucements are sent out via e-mail.  If  you are not receiving school email updates, please contact us immediately.
Attending Competitions
 Guidelines for Dancers & Parents

Below are the basic guidelines for McConnell Dancers and Parents attending competitions
  • Instructor availability is limited during competitions as CRN Teachers are required to volunteer and organize all feiles.  Please be mindful of instructor's time at competitions, but if you need them, they are always available.
  • Instructors may not have time to watch every student compete and dancers must be prepared to compete without assistance from their teacher.
Solo costumes are not permitted in Bungrád or Ullmháchán levels with the exception of dancers over 18.  Solo costumes may be worn in Meangrád, Ardgrád, and Craobhgrád levels by dancers of any age
All school costumes are registered with CRN so please wear appropriate school costumes.
  • Please make sure costume items are secure as dancer will be disqualified if items fall off.  If a costume piece falls off, dancers are required to stop dancing, pick up the item and return back to their position to wait until competition is over.
Dance Shoes
  • Shoes should be well fitting, clean, and polished.  Ill-fitting shoes will affect a dancer's placement and teachers will let you know if you require a better fitting shoe for competition.
  • Absolutely no elastic in shoes laces (hard or soft). Use proper hard shoe or soft shoe laces only.  Wide elastic, worn over shoes to help keep them on dancers feet is acceptable.  If you are uncertain, please ask your instructor.
  • Double knot all laces and secure buckles on hard shoes.  Untied laces will result in disqualification.  If a dancer's lace becomes untied, dancers should return to their position to wait until the competition is over.
Wigs are optional for CRN Feile's, however we prefer dancers wear wigs rather than hair down.  Dancers who wish to wear their hair down should verify the style with instructors prior to competition
  • Full, Bun, or Pony tail wigs are acceptable
  • Team dances must have their style of wigs coordinated by instructor.
  • Please make sure wigs are secure as dancer will be disqualified if it falls off.
Tights / Socks
CRN Rule, dancers 20 and over must wear black tights.
  • Dancers under 20 may wear poodle socks or tights, however we prefer dancers wear socks as it shows off footwork better than tights
  • Team dancers must coordinate socks or tights, depending on age of the team.
  • If you are under 20 and you wish to wear tights please verify with your instructor prior to competition
  • Make sure your socks are newer, clean, white, and well fitting.  Sock glue is essential.

MSD & CRN discourage the use of heavy make-up, spray tan, etc. especially with younger dancers. There are no stage lights at Feile's so heavy make-up is not necessary.  Light or no make-up is acceptable. 

CRN General Feile Information & Regulations
  • Be dressed and ready to compete at least 30 minutes prior to competition time as there can be long line ups at check in, especially during earlier competitions.
  • Absolutely no changing in competition room or in hallways.  All dancers must change in dancer's room (or wherever directed by the Feile).  Change rooms are not co-ed and male dancers must stay in area designed for them.
  • No practicing in hallways, hotel lobby, etc.  Practicing is permitted in the dancer's change room if a practice room is not designated
  • Dancers must be in full costume to receive their prize.  If you are not in costume including footwear, you will not be allowed on the stage / podium.
  • Dancers who impede another competition on stage will result in disciplinary action being taken 1st offence - written warning  2nd offence - immediate suspension for a period of 3 months.
  • Dancers who fall while competition in a solo competition will not be penalized and will be allowed the opportunity to compete again at a later time.   If a dancer falls, the other competitors should continue to dance, unless otherwise directed by the adjudicator.
  • Dancers who are injured will not be allowed to compete.
  • There must be complete silence in the hall during competitions
  • Absolutely no photography or video during competitions
  • The use of cell phones is not permitted during competitions, mobile phones much be switched to silence at all times in the hall
  • At no time should dancers or parents approach the adjudicator or scrutineers, before, during, or after competitions.

Competition Results
Whenever the number of competitors is less than seven the winner will not advance unless specified by the adjudicator.  This will be announced during results.  If a competitor wins a graded dance three times, with three or more competitors in the competition at the time of winning, that dancer moves on to the next grade in that dance
  • MSD will keep track of dancer's results
  • Results are posted on CRN's website
Results & Award Ceremonies
Typically schools will group together for the reading of results.  Photos are permitted but dancers & parents are reminded not to be intrusive with their photography
  • Dancers must be in costume with shoes to accept awards and stand on podium
  • Dancers are reminded to accept the results of the adjudicator without question or upset.  Please remember, no sad faces or tears!
  • If you are cheering for your school's dancers, please keep in mind you should cheer equally for other dancers / school's results.
  • Parents are asked NOT to place pressure on dancers or instructors.  Please do not show disappointment if dancers do not place and keep in mind you must set the example and offer guidance to assist dancers who may be dealing with their own disappointment.
  • Dancers & Parents are also reminded to accept achievements with grace and dignity and not "show off" when they place well.
CRN Award & Championship grading system
All dancers start with 100 points for each dance in a championship competition (Awards & Championships are 200 -300) 
  • No grades apply to children up to the age of 6
  • Merit Award -dance who achieves a mark of 50 - 64 points.
  • Under 50 no prize is awarded
Competitive Irish Dance

There are several major competitive Irish Dance organizations world-wide who offer either Open or Closed Platform Irish dance
competitions. Open platform competitions are open for any dancer, from any school to participate. Closed platform competitions
are limited to only open to those who belong to a particular organization.

Why Compete?
  • Competitions help motivate students to set individual goals and improve their technique.
  • Competitive Irish dancers have the opportunity to travel and meet other Irish dancers from around the world.
  • Improving technical skills in dance takes a great deal of self-discipline, patience, focus, hard work and commitment.
  • Dancers who are dedicated to competing and advancing through the levels through hard work will become better technical
  • Dancers and learn valuable life skills.

Why CRN?
Having been an independent Irish Dance school for over 80 years, the decision to affiliate with an Irish dance organizations was one
we approached with a great deal of thought. CRN is the organization which best aligns with the principals our school was founded
upon and operate their competitions based on a system of fairness and integrity with in their judging system.

What is CRN?

Cumann Rince Náisiúnta ( koo-mun, rin-ka, now-shun-tuh)
CRN was established in 1982 in Dublin, Ireland by the late Ita Cadwell. CRN is the only organization whose competitions successfully operate with the Open Platform, where any dancer from any teacher, from any part of the world or any organisation can compete.

CRN believes in honesty, justice and fairness in competitions. CRN's motto is: "Do not do to others what you would not like done to you". CRN's founder Ita Cadwell used the following phrase: "The honest road is the right and just road to take, but it is also a very hard and difficult road to take.

CRN is widely known as a traditional dance organization and it has successfully maintained the integrity of traditional dances, while actively encouraging the development of new and innovative work. Great thought was put into considering the developmental levels of students and their capacity to execute work in solo dances.

Five (5) grades/levels of dance were established. In an ongoing effort to honour tradition and continually protect the developmental
process of dancers a grading system is in operation in all 5 levels and grades. This system ensures that appropriate technique is being taught at each level.

CRN is committed to protecting the integrity and purity of the Irish Dance tradition.

CRN is very proud of the standard of dance education among its members. This standard was achieved through establishing a compulsory and rigorous teacher-training course and requires two to three years of supervised training in Ireland CRN Adjudicators must complete an additional two years of supervised study, taught by recognized trainers with Cumann Rince Náisiúnta. Additionally, the Instructor Examining Panel are also required to pursue continuing education.

For more information on CRN, please visit their websites

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