McConnell Irish Dance

McConnell School of Dance - Performance Division

McConnell School of Dance Performance Division was established in 2007.  The Performance Division performs as “McConnell Irish Dancers” and " Dawnswyr Gwerin Yr Afon Goch" (Red River Welsh Folk Dancers).  The troupe is a professional group comprised of dancers, musicians, and singers.  The McConnell Irish Dancers perform locally at over 60 shows each year and have danced all over the world.   Performance Division dancers are dedicated, hardworking, and willing to commit to dance above all other extracurricular activities.  Dancers must achieve a high standard of Irish dance, exhibit strong performance skills & work as well as a team, in order to perform with the McConnell Irish Dancers.

The 2018 - 2019 Performance Division is comprised of 4 Teams.  Division assigned placement based on dancer’s age, skill level and performance abilities.  Not all applicants will gain admission to Performance Division and the school reserves the right to determine placement and enrolment.

The Performance Division season is 12 months and dancers are required to commit to shows for the entire duration of the year (Sept 1 - to commencement of lessons in Sept the following year) Lessons are held from September to July (11 months) and students must register for the entire season.

Performance Division Entry
Enrolment in Performance Division is open to McConnell School of Dance students;

1.  Who have completed at least 1 full year in our general or competitive programs.

2. Who are enrolled in at least 1 competitive division class. Performance Division dancers are required to take at least 1 Competitive Solo class, Team / Ceili class, and Trad Set Class in order to learn  dances used in Performance choreography.  

3.  Dancers need to be proficient in all four Level 1 dances before entry in Performance Division

4.  Performance Division Commitment Agreement - All Performance Division Dancers must complete & sign a Performance Division


Performance Lesson Schedule

Performance Division classes are held on Tuesday evenings from September until the end of July from 7:00 - 9:30 PM.  Younger members of the troupe will practice from 7:00 - 8:30 PM.


Performance Division Requirements

  1. All Performance Dancers are required to attend competitive solo, trad set, and  ceili/team classes for their appropriate level / levels.
  2. Performance Division Dancers should not miss;
  • More than 1 class per month
  • More than 6 classes per year
  • Dancers should not miss any classes two weeks prior to major performances (Brandon Winter Fest’, St Patricks’ Fest’, St. Patrick’s Week Performances, Recital, and Folklorama)  

Students registering for the Performance Division must be available for the majority of shows during the dance season.

Mandatory Performances -  ​Please note, in the past we have been lenient of dancer's attendance for major performances but this has caused a great deal of additional work and strain for the group.  For 2018 - 2019, we will insist dancers follow the mandatory show dates without exception.

  • St. Patrick’s Fest
  • St. Patrick’s March Month
  • Winnipeg Recital
  • Canada Day
  • Folklorama

Dancers must maintain a show attendance of no less than 80 % for performances required for their current level, based on hours allocated to each show. Not all Performance Division Levels will be required for every performance.  Details for each show will be posted on Teamsnap.

  • Dancers should confirm participation on Teamsnap least 1 week prior to the Tuesday practice before the show. 
  • Week day performances during school or work hours are never considered mandatory.  Performances with less than 1 week notice will not be considered mandatory.  For dancers attending these optional performances, additional attendance hours will be earned. 

Attitude and Team Spirit

All Performance Division members are expected to show a positive attitude at all times and work together as a team. 

  • Equal value is placed on dancer’s positive attitudes as well as their skill as a performer in the Division. 
  • Hard work and dedication is required in class and with at home practice.
  • Dancers must demonstrate a willingness to learn new things and a desire to improve as a dancer and performer. 
  • Competitive or mean-spirited behaviour will not be tolerated from dancers or their family members.
  • Disrespectful behaviour towards Instructors, and Performance Division executive members from dancers or their family members will result in suspension or expulsion from the Performance Division.

Support of family members
Participation in the Performance Division requires a great amount of commitment from dancers, but also requires a large commitment on the part of dancer’s family members.   There are many additional expenses with additional lessons, costuming, dance supplies, and travel to and from performances.   Parents must be able to arrange their child’s transport to lessons and performances.  Often this includes long waits in lobbies, parking lots and delays due to performances which may run behind schedule. We strongly encourage parents to car-pool to lessons and performances in order to save on time and fuel. 
Family members are also expected to work cooperatively with McConnell School of Dance and follow all policies of Performance Division.  Difficulties with parents or family members may result in dancers’ removal from the Division.

Performance Division Costumes
Class Costumes
New Class Costumes for 2018 - 2019.  Orders will be placed at the end of September and costumes will arrive by December 2018.

Junior Performance - $450 (approximately)

Full Performance- $950 (approximately)

Performance Dancers require a well-fitting class costume for the season.  Dancers who’ve out-grown their dress, should order a costume immediately upon entering a new season or whenever necessary.

Show Costumes
Additional costumes may also be needed for Performance Dancers who have roles in our major productions.
MSDSA & Performance Division assists in funding some costumes for our major productions. Dancers who participate in dance productions may be required to purchase additional costumes for the show.  Dancers & parents will be notified during the season, if additional costumes are required.

Dress Code
Lesson Attire - All dancers should have dance trainers (not runners) with them for every class.  
Female Dancers

  • Tights, leotards, body-suits, dance pants, and dance skirts are acceptable
  • Shorts are allowed as long as they are made from a stretchable fabric
  • Plain t-shirts are permissible as long as they allow for movement.  Overly large sweatshirts may not be worn in class
  • Hair should be tied back securely jewellery should be limited

Male Dancers

  • Shorts made with stretchable fabric are acceptable
  • Pants are allowed as long as they are loose fitting
  • Plain t-shirts which allow for movement and are not overly large are preferred

Show Attire
Performance Division dancers will need to wear the basic McConnell School of Dance uniform to and from shows. On-Line School clothing orders will be available at the commencement of the  season

  • McConnell Irish Dancers Soft Shell Jacket
  • McConnell Irish Dancers Skort (Females) / McConnell Irish Dancers Shorts (Males)
  • McConnell Irish Dancers Green Crew-Neck Performance Fabric T-Shirt and Red Performance Fabric T-Shirt (available online Sept 2018)
  • Black Soft Shoe or Black Hard Shoe Trainers
  • Black Trainers are required for ALL Performance Division Dancers and MUST be worn to and from Performances. Black sneakers may be used as substitute for younger dancers who cannot fit standard trainers, but the inhibit dancers and can be restrictive for Irish dance.

Performing with McConnell Irish Dancers
McConnell Irish Dancer’s Performance Division dancers perform at,  St. Patrick's Fest', Recital, and Folklorama, in addition to over 60 shows throughout the season.
Decisions regarding which dances a student performs are left to the discretion of the instructors and the school as it is our responsibility to consider the entire group and maintain a professional quality performance.

  • Our performances include both traditional and modern style Irish dances.  Traditional Ceili dances and choreographed routines for our classes have a set number of dancers required for each dance.  There are times when dancers must share a position.
  • Due to our commitment to sponsoring the United Kingdom Pavilion, some of our shows will include Irish, Welsh, English, and Scottish dance.  All Performance Division members are expected to participate in every aspect, not just Irish dance performances. 

Enrolment in Performance Division does not guarantee a dancer will perform with McConnell Irish Dance troupe.
Dancers must learn performance routines and perform them at the high standard required for our performance troupe
New members or younger dancers should not expect to perform at every show.  Participation in shows is dependant on many factors which include requirements from the client, dancers contributions to the show, and seniority. 
In some cases, dancers will be asked to take private / semi private lessons if they are not able to maintain the standard within their team and level.