REGISTRATION - Irish Dance Shoes

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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!

Irish Dance Shoes   
All dancers should have the necessary footwear for their registered level by the end of October each season.
We strongly recommend beginner students wait a few classes before they purchase Irish dance shoes in order to ascertain whether or not they intend to continue with lessons.  New students may wear socks, well fitting slippers or ballet slippers for the first few weeks of classes. 

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

Shoes for Female & Male Irish Dancers
Soft Shoes
Girls wear Irish Soft shoes (pumps, or ghillies)
wear Boys Reel Shoes.  Boys begin with soft heels (Capezio Jazz shoes) and progress to Reel Shoes with Hard Shoe Heel pieces.  Your instructor will inform you when it's time to advance to Reel Shoes with heel pieces.
Hard Shoes
Both Females and Males wear Irish Dance Hard Shoes.

McConnell Shoe  Requirements
  Pre-School -Beginner   Ballet Slippers or Soft Shoes
  Novice - Preliminary  
Soft & Hard Shoes 
  Intermediate - Advanced  
Soft & Hard Shoes
  Adult (All Levels) 
Soft & Hard Shoes

  Level's 1 - 4  Soft & Hard Shoes

  Bungrad   Soft Shoes
Soft & Hard Shoes 
Soft & Hard Shoes
  Ardgrad Soft & Hard Shoes
   Soft & Hard Shoes
Second Hand Shoes
        There is a large market for second hand shoes and costumes and selling your used shoes helps to offset the cost of new shoes.
      A costume and shoe swap is organized by our Student's Association at the end of September or early October.
 It is acceptable for dancers to wait until after the Costume / Shoe Swap before purchasing new shoes for the season.

Listings for 2nd hand items may be posted at the studio, on the bulletin board.

Highland Shoes vs. Irish Shoes
Highland ghillies are structured different than Irish soft shoes with a longer toe.  Highland ghillies may be worn in class for practice but are discouraged for performance
Ballet Slippers & Gym Shoes
Ballet Slippers and Gym Shoes do not offer the same support as Irish dance soft shoes and make it difficult for dancers to obtain a proper point for Irish dance.  Ballet Slippers & Gym shoes should only be worn for the first season until the dancer is certain they are going to continue with lessons
Tap Shoes vs. Hard Shoes
Tap shoes should not be substituted for hard shoes, with the exception of our Preschool students.  Tap shoes do not function in the same way as a hard shoe and are detrimental to the formation of the basic beats for Irish dance. 

All annoucements are sent out via e-mail.  If  you are not receiving school email updates, please contact us immediately.

How to tie your soft shoes
It is important that dancers and parents learn to tie their soft shoes properly.  Ill fitting or improperly tied soft shoes make it difficult for the dancer, can be damaging for the foot, and can increase the risk of injury.
All students should come in to class with the soft shoes properly tied.
Instructors do not have the time to tie shoes for students at the beginning of class as it wastes valuable warm up time for all.

Tying up your pumps can be tricky if you have never seen it done before. Here is a step by step guide to give those struggling a helping hand

1. Start at the loop at the front of the pump and thread the lace through so there is an equal amount of lace on each side of the loop.
2. Take one end of the lace and start threading it through as shown in the diagram. Do not cross the laces for the first hole.   Don't forget the elastic loop under the ankle (not on all types of pumps)!
3. Take the other end of the lace and repeat the process, threading it through as shown.
4. Thread the end of each lace through the loop at the back of the pump.
5. Remember to slacken all the laces before putting the pump on.
6. Once on the foot, tighten all the laces, starting with the laces at the toe end of the pump.
7. Different dancers have different ways of using up the left over lace. One approach is to wrap the laces around you shin in a criss-cross fashion, tying the final bit of lace in a small bow at the front of the leg. Another approach is to wrap the extra laces around the pump at the arch and tie on top. This second approach is not recommended as it restricts the shape of the foot and can damage the foot in the long term.
8.  Elastic lacing is NOT RECOMMENED in soft shoes unless absolutely necessary (for the purpose of quick shoe changes in performances

How To Break In Your New Hard Shoes
When you buy a new pair of hard shoes we recommend wearing them around your house often, not just when you are practicing or in class.  Wearing shoes at home will speed up the break in period and help prevent blisters developing from dancing in new shoes.  Hard shoes are made from soft leather which will stretch in length and width from 1 - 2 full sizes.
For those who cannot or do not want to wait some methods to break them in:
1. Using A Wet Rag
Wet a few clean rags and stuff one into the toe part of each shoe Bend over the shoes so that the tip of the toe is tucked behind the heel - touching it and tie with strong elastic or string. Secure with elastics and leave either overnight, or for a few days.  Please be aware that too much moisten can damage the shoes so attempt at your own risk!
2. Using Glove Softener
Glove conditioner, softener or a leather spray with expanding effect is also helping if you work it in well to the leather.  Please use caution when dancing immediately afterwards as shoes tend to be slippery.