Isle of Erin Student and Parent Handbook

Isle of Erin mission:

To further appreciation, education and life skill devolvement of all students, with particular emphasis on Irish dancing as a cultural art form.

Isle of Erin Policies:

Class Placement:

All class placements will be determined on an individual basis by the instructor. Age requirements for classes are a guide line to insure maturity level and ability level, and are a guide line only. Any significant age range will be discussed with parents prior to class enrollment.

Class Change Policy:

A student may not change classes or class level without the express consent of the Studio Director. 


Isle of Erin reserves the right to reschedule or cancel any class due to increment weather, natural disaster or other emergencies.


There is a one-time per year registration fee for each student, expected to be paid upon registering. Tuition for the month is due on the first day of classes for each session. Tuition that is not paid by the second week of the month will be accrued a ten dollar late fee for each week tuition is late. Students having tuition three weeks late may be dismissed from enrollment at Isle of Erin.


No refunds will be given for missed classes.  No refunds given for dress rental fees. Students are encouraged to make up missed classes.

Make Up Lessons:

Make up lessons are to be discussed with instructor. Students must be paying tuition currently in order to be eligible for make-up lessons.


If class is canceled due to emergency or weather, parents will notified by our Twitter Account  and Facebook page.

Note: You do not have to have a twitter account in order to read our updates.



Students are expected to attend classes on a regular basis and be on time. Absences should be called in to the Studio.


Any student more than 10 minutes late will be rewarded a demerit. (Please see demerit system.)


Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to:

Bullying, vulgar language, lewd and vulgar gestures, inappropriate conversation, bad attitude, etc.

The Studio reserves the right to punish or dismiss students who repeatedly misbehave.


Classroom Expectations 2
Class Enrollment 6
Level Advancement 6
Performance Expectations 7
Costumes by Level 8
Competition Lessons 12
Private Lessons 13
Solo Dresses 13
Parental Acknowledgement 14

Classroom Expectations

Starting October 1st 2017 there will be a demerit system in order. After a student gets five demerits, there will be disciplinary measures taken including but not limited to:
• Writing a sentence an indeterminate amount of times that fits the offense. Such sentences will be due before the student will be able to participate in class again.
• Calling of the parents to collect child from class early.
• Sending child out into the Hall for the remainder of class.
• Sending child to timeout until they are ready to apologize for the offensive actions.
• Removing child from class for two weeks without financial reimbursement.
• Removing child from classes completely.

All students are expected to have good behavior while they are at the dance studio. The studio realizes that no person is perfect and everyone has a bad day once in a while. This is why the demerit system was implemented. Inversely there is also a merit system which students can do to reverse their demerits or earn brag tags if no demerits need to be reversed. Students wishing to reverse demerits must discuss it with the teacher before class time starts.
Classroom expectations are as follows:
A. Students will have notebook pen or pencil and shoes for every class.

B. Water bottles and snacks may be kept in appropriate kitchen areas or designated water areas.

C. Students will come to class on time and ready to learn.

D. Students will follow directions to the best of their ability. If directions are unclear students are responsible for asking questions politely to clarify directions for themselves/others.

E. Students will conduct themselves in a respectful manner towards their dance peers and students younger and older.

F. Students will be respectful of the dance teacher for class whomever it may be.

G. Students will dance to the best of their ability keeping in mind that every student is their own person and not everything will come easily to everyone.
The direct consequences of these are as follows:

A. Students missing shoes may not dance during dance class, but are expected to pay attention, take notes, and participate. This is a safety issue that will prevent harm to your student. If classmates have extra dance shoes in their size, they may borrow from a classmate.

B. If students are missing notebook and pen, they may borrow from a class mate.

C. After 2 weeks of missing proper footwear, dancers will have a note sent home and a demerit. Outgrown shoes do not count.

D. Students coming to class consistently late will be taken out of performances at head teacher’s discretion.

E. Students lacking readiness to learn including but not limited to: a surly demeanor,
being distracted ect. will be asked to write the phrase “I am ready to learn” an appropriate amount of times based on their age out in the hallway.
F. During dance class and performances if students fail to treat their classmates (including siblings!) with respect they will be excused to time out. If there is a physical altercation between two students teachers will separate the two students and the student originating the altercation will receive two demerits and be excused from the next class period (without financial reimbursement) and dances from the current or next performance.

G. As a dance teacher our job is to make sure that you are safe above all. Our next job is to make sure that you learn dancing and our job cannot be carried out correctly if students are being disrespectful to us so, the following disciplinary measures will be applied if students are disrespectful to teachers.

i. First offense: student will be excused to timeout for five minutes regardless of age.

ii. Second offense student will be excused from class for the remainder of the class session.
iii. Third offense student will have earned two demerits, picked up from class early, and will not be allowed back into dance class until a letter of apology is written to the disrespected teacher.

1. A letter includes a salutation, body (needs more than 5 sentences and a closing and a signature.
iv. Any offense after 3 will be considered for expulsion from the Irish Dance Program.

H. If the student is not dancing to the best of their ability, teacher intervention is necessary. The first question every teacher should ask is if student is injured or tired in any way. If lack of enthusiasm is due to ignorance of the task or unclear directions, teacher will explain. This rule is for students who are not trying their best/ giving attitude about a particular step or dance, NOT students who can’t make their body perform the task or don’t understand. Students containing the ability to perform better but refusing to do so out of defiance (not common error) will be given one demerit and will perform the task correctly three times while the rest of the class waits.
I. Furthermore IOE School has an exemplary character standard for all students. This should be a safe place for dancers to come and learn the art of dance. With that in mind, any student caught lying or bullying another student will automatically incur 5 demerits and be excused from dance for a month without financial compensation.

The Merit system goes as follows:
• 10 merits equals 1 brag tag
• Things that earn merits include:
o Writing a letter of apology for previous poor behavior.
o Picking up / tidying the Dance Floor area without being asked.
o Helping other students during class without being asked.
o Changing your behavior in the moment when you realize it is incorrect.
o Doing something kind without being asked.
 Such as picking up someone else’s garbage, putting away someone’s shoes, etc.
o Encouraging someone when they are frustrated or upset.
o Being determined and having perseverance.

Brag Tags

Earning your first 10 merits will get you a Brag Tag. A Brag Tag is something that stays on your dance bag and lets the other people know of your accomplishments.
• There will be special brag tags associated with good sportsmanship, good leadership, good communication skills, determination fortitude and kindness.
• There will also be a student of the month brag tag handed out monthly to the student who exhibits all of the bimonthly brag tag characteristics.
• There will also possibly be special brag tags handed out for performances and dance competitions.
Once you have achieved 5 brag tags you will be eligible for a drawing to go to lunch with the head teacher and another student of your choosing.

Class Enrollment
Any dancers leaving the dance school must sign an exit contract and sell or give back all IOE material with the official copyrighted IOE logos due to safety issues for the students involved. Students wishing to leave the dance school must not in any way instruct or give items containing videos or written material to other dance schools about anything they have learned at IOE. This is intellectual property and copyrighted property of IOE.
Anyone wishing to leave the dance school may not do so less than one month before a major
Performance. This is so the teachers do not have to scramble to readjust choreography. If leaving is medically necessary a signed note from the doctor is required.
Level Advancement
The head instructor makes all final decisions about level placement. There is strict criteria to be met in order to advance. While this is just recreational for some, we strive for excellence. All level placements by the instructor are final. Practice makes perfect. There are materials and resources always available to make sure your dancer is dancing his or her best.

Performance Expectations

The following expectations must be followed by all dancers during a performance:
1. Dancers must be respectful when on stage or waiting back stage. Any student displaying disrespectful behavior will not be allowed to perform.
2. Dancers must listen to the Instructors and Wranglers at all times.
3. Dancers should have feet in 5th position (dancers feet) when standing still.

As of October 1st 2017 all boys and Men attending dance class are expected to have neatly groomed head and facial hair. If head hair is longer then the top of the ear, boys and men are expected to either wear a sweatband or ponytail during performances with hair slicked back out of the eyes with gel. There are no exceptions to this rule. Anyone who is not compliant with this rule will be sitting out of performances as they will be out of uniform. (Please note that all of the female students are held to the same standard.)
Performance Attire Etiquette

Please note that fingernail polish is not allowed for performances.

Anyone female of high school age or older is expected to either shave their underarms and legs for performances or wear tights and keep their underarms covered at performances.

Black Leotard: Everyone who is female is expected to have a black leotard that fits to wear underneath the dress they are renting, it must have sleeves. Dancers may wear black shorts or spanks (black or blue) over the black leotard if they wish.
White undershirt and dance belt: Every male dancer is expected to wear a white undershirt underneath their white costume shirt. Every male dancer over the age of 13 is expected to wear a dance belt (like a jock strap but for dance) to prevent injury or pulled muscles to the groin and surrounding area.
Sports Bra: Every female dancer over the age of 13 is expected to wear a HIGH IMPACT sports bra. This is to avoid serious injury to the pectoral wall muscles.
Costumes by Level

Earned Pieces

Dancers must earn every piece of their costume from the wig on down to the socks and shoes that they wear. This is so that every dancer can look at their costume and remember how far they have come.
The following milestones must be met in order to wear the following things. Wearing them without permission or consent from head teacher constitutes removal from performance and/or disciplinary action.:
A. Ghillies: Soft shoes worn by female dancers who have completed the Jig test and advanced to level Beginner 1.
B. Broaches for Vests: Broaches are to be worn by boys on their vest once the Jig test and advancement to Beginner 1 Level is achieved. Broaches go on their basic vest.
C. Black Ballet Shoes or Jazz Shoes: Beginner Level Dancers must begin with either black jazz shoes or black ballet slippers, both being gender neutral.
D. Poodle socks: These are worn by dancers who have passed their Reel test and have achieved level Beginner 2. Male dancers do not wear poodle socks and instead, get a moderately embroidered vest to wear in addition to the broach that remains on their vest.
E. Wigs: No dancer under level Beginner 2 is allowed to wear a wig. The head instructor must approve and/or assist in the purchase of the first wig.
i. By Beginner 2 level, most students have figured out if they want to stay in Irish dancing and they have also become responsible enough to take care of something as expensive as a wig.
ii. Beginner and Beginner 1 Dancers must either wear their hair in a bun or in a curly ponytail of their own hair. (Wigs are not allowed at these level)
iii. Boys do not wear wigs. They must be neatly groomed (including but not limited to facial hair, head hair, and fingernails short and clean) and have their hair gelled or hair sprayed out of their eyes and into place so it does not move into their eyes during dancing.
F. Heavily embroidered school dresses: These dresses are available to rent at the beginning of the Beginner 2 year. Most children are responsible enough and careful enough to care for a dress this expensive at this time and must keep it is a dress bag for storage and transport.
i. Solo Dresses: Solo dresses are available to dancers in the competitive program after certain criteria’s have been met. Please review the Competition Section and Solo Dress section for more information.

G. Beginner skirts and Beginner Vests: These are worn by the Beginner and Beginner 1 dancers. These are training tools for costume care as they are slightly less expensive to replace. These are expected to be treated like the fancier costumes in preparation for the next levels. These skirts are worn with a PLAIN black SHORT SLEEVED leotard that is purchased by the dancer’s family.
H. Reel shoes. These are for males only. After level Beginner 3 has been achieved, dancers may purchase and wear these during class and shows after ample practice time. (They are quite heavy and the dancer will need to adjust to them.)
I. Dance sneakers. Any dancer Beginner 3 and up may purchase dance sneakers. In special cases, these may be specifically suggested to a dancer to improve upon performance. These shoes are completely optional and are for class ONLY.
J. Hard Shoes: Hard shoes and hard shoe dancing are not permitted before the Beginner 3 level is achieved.
Required Costumes for Each Level

• Black Ballet Slippers
• White Socks with a cuff
• Black Short Sleeve Leotard (no tank style leotard) and Black Dance Shorts
• Hair – For this level the hair must either be up in a ponytail with curls or a bun. No Wigs Allowed
• Performance Skirt (Provided by IOE)
• Cape (Provided by IOE)
• Broaches (2)
Beginner 1
• Ghillies
• White Socks with a cuff
• Black Short Sleeve Leotard (no tank style leotard) and Black Dance Shorts
• Hair – For this level the hair must either be up in a ponytail with curls or a bun. No Wigs Allowed
• Performance Skirt (Provided by IOE)
• Cape (Provided by IOE)
• Broaches (2)

Beginner 2
• Ghillies
• Poodle Socks
• Black Short Sleeve Leotard (no tank style leotard) and Black Dance Shorts
• Hair – This level may wear wigs (Please see Erin Rockhold for style and size)
• Performance Dress and Cape (Provided by IOE)
• Broaches (2)
Beginner 3
• Ghillies
• All Black Hard Shoes
• Poodle Socks
• Hair- This level may wear wigs (Please see Erin Rockhold for style and size)
• Performance Dress and Cape (Provided by IOE)
• Broaches (2)

• Ghillies
• All Black Hard Shoes
• Poodle Socks
• Hair- This level may wear wigs (Please see Erin Rockhold for style and size)
• Performance Dress and Cape (Provided by IOE)
• Summer performance outfit
• Broaches (2)

• Ghillies
• All Black Hard Shoes
• Poodle Socks – Diamonite
• Hair- This level may wear wigs (Please see Erin Rockhold for style and size)
• Performance Dress and Cape (Provided by IOE)
• Summer performance outfit
• Broaches (2)

• White button down shirt
• Black durable trousers
• Hair combed and neat
• Shoes – Appropriate for their level
• Performance Vest (Provided by IOE)
• Tie (Provided by IOE)
Competition Lessons

Competition lessons are for those students who have reached the age of 12 or are beginner 3 level or up. The age or level of the student should be achieved before the first competition lesson starts. Students who take competition lessons are not guaranteed to participate in competitions and inversely students who take competition lessons do not have to participate in competitions. The head teacher is in charge of competition lessons and will not set any student up to fail therefore if the teacher deems students unprepared for any competition it is due to a consideration for that particular student’s circumstances and their well-being, physically and emotionally.

The following rules apply for competitions and competition lessons:

A. While students are competing they are representing the head teacher and all other dancers from Isle of Erin so decorum and the utmost in grace and propriety are to be upheld in behavior at all times. Win or lose we are good sports and conduct ourselves as young ladies and young gentlemen. If anyone acts inappropriately towards you while we are out in public at all for any reason you are to immediately walk away and inform the head teacher who will deal with things from there.

B. Students wishing to participate in National Championship, World qualifiers, World
Championships, or other of same magnitude or out of country competitions are expected to take competition lessons for 4 to 6 months before competing.

C. Students wishing to attend a Feis in person (including the one in Canada) have to take 3 months of competition lessons before the competition.

D. Students doing their first digital feis or changing any steps or adding any dances are expected to take 2 months of competition lessons before the competition.

E. Students who are wishing to compete in the digital feis without any change in steps are expected to take 1 month of competition lessons prior to the competition.

These rules are directly proportionate to the amount of preparedness mentally and physically each student has to have for each kind of caliber of the feisana. Being prepared is one of the easiest legs up a teacher can give their student in a competition atmosphere. The type of competitions that require more training are more physically and mentally taxing and therefore more preparation is required.
Private Lessons

Private lessons are available to everyone of every age and ability level. Unlike competition lessons, private lessons do not require current enrollment in the Irish Dance Program. Private lessons are ½ hour in length and are on a first‐come first‐served basis. Students may sign up for successive private lessons ie, students can sign up for one and a half hour privates or a one hour private lesson if they so desire. Private lessons are designed to be one student and one teacher however, private lessons can be up to 4 students at a time if all parties agree ahead of time. This does not change the per person per half hour price of said lessons.

Solo Dresses

In order to earn the right to wear a solo dress during competition and performances the rules are as follows:

Each dancer must earn 9 first places OR 18 second places(2 2nd = 1 1st), OR 27 third places(3 3rd= 11st). Any medals after 4th place or lower will be counted as 1/4, of a medal (4 4th/5th/6th=1 1st).

After earning said medals, each dancer must provide the medals for the dance teacher to count out officially. Once the requirement is met each student will receive a certificate signed by head teacher congratulating them on earning their solo dress.

There are solo dresses in varying sizes available to rent from Isle of Erin. These are on a first come first serve basis. Dancers must rent their first solo dress from IOE. Before getting a solo dress made each student must consult with head teacher with the design and structure of the solo dress to go through a rigorous safety inspection BEFORE IT IS MADE to ensure safety compliance and rules compliance with IOE and WIDA. Head teacher will sign off on the solo dress designs and once approval is attained the dress can be made. Anyone not acquiring design approval before dresses are made may not be able to wear their solo dress for any performance or competition. Any work on any personal solo dresses by IOE is expected to be paid for before the solo dress is returned. Any solo dress alterations/ creations not paid for in a timely manner (within one year) will forfeit solo dress/ materials to be used as the studio sees fit. Any work done on school owned dresses is included rental fees.
Parental Acknowledgement

I have received a copy of and reviewed the Isle of Erin Parent Handbook and will adhere to the policies stated in this handbook.

Dancers Name: _______________________________________________________________

Dancers Current Level: _________________________________________________________

Parents Signature: _____________________________________________________________


Head Instructor:________________________________________________________________