Frequently Asked Questions
Are classes expensive to attend?
We offer competitive rates per class which can be paid for on the day of the lesson or in advance. For parents that have more than one child attending we also have 'family fee’s' available.
How old does my child have to be and can boys attend?
Boys and girls are welcome to the class and can start from the age of four; we have several boys from beginners to boys who are World competitors.
What clothing and footwear should my child wear to attend?
When your child first attends we recommend they wear suitable sports clothing as they will be learning new routines and will need to be comfortable:
Girls = shorts/PE skirt/ T shirt and trainers/PE pumps
Boys = shorts/ T shirt and trainers/PE pumps.
For children who are ready to commit to Irish Dancing we have our own class uniform which is available to order, this helps to set the team environment that we encourage in class and to show every child is equal, for order forms or more information please speak with one of the teachers.
When does my child need to purchase Irish dancing shoes?
We recommend that your child begins in trainers and progresses into shoes available within the class, as new shoes can be expensive. In the future when your child is enjoying dancing and is fully committed we can recommend new shoes that will suit your child’s feet and style.
When can my daughter purchase an Irish Dancing dress?
Purchasing a dress can be expensive so it is our class policy that any purchases must be first discussed with one of the teachers, who will advise you on price, your child’s needs and what to expect. Generally girls who attend the Matthews Academy will first wear the schools traditional costume until they become more advanced. As your child progresses through the grades, our teachers will offer help and advice on purchasing your child’s own dress.
What do boys wear at competitions?
At competitions boys usually wear smart formal wear i.e. trousers/shirt and tie, help and advice is always available to parents as each child is different. Traditionally boys used to wear kilts but as times have progressed the trouser/shirt etc combination has taken over.
What child protection does the Matthews Academy provide?
All classes are held privately and no spectators are allowed into the class as this is distracting to the children. Additionally all teachers within the class are fully CRB checked www.crb.gov.uk. The Matthews Academy has an internally appointed Child Protection Officer within the class as we aim to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for the children to learn. If parents would like to observe a class in progress, this can be arranged through a discussion with one of our teachers.
How long until my child is eligible to compete and do they have to compete?
As with any hobby or sport your child can compete at competitions or just come along for the exercise, if however your child would like to compete then you will be advised accordingly. Children within the class are actively encouraged to show team spirit and good sportsmanship and to understand that it's ‘the taking part that counts’. After all, Irish dancing is meant to be fun!