Irish Dancing Rules

Rialacha damhsa na hÉireann

The following is a list of Irish Dancing Commission and AIDA Inc rules that affect registered dancers in Australia.

The Australian Irish Dancing Association Inc. believes our Irish Dancing Community should be truly open for everyone. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all at the many annual events organised and registered by AIDA Inc.

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for Dancers’ behaviour as well as the consequences for unacceptable behaviour.  We invite all Dancers to help us realize a safe and positive experience for everyone.

  1. Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  2. Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behaviour and speech.
  3. Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants.
  4. Alert AIDA members and officials if you become aware of a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  5. Participate in an authentic and active way.  In doing so, you help to build AIDA Inc as an Association that fosters Irish Dancing.

Unacceptable behaviours include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning conduct, but are not limited to the intoxication or the use of illicit substances by any Dancers, at any AIDA related events.  All AIDA event venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations.

Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides); deliberate intimidation, stalking or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.  Inappropriate use of Social Media in any of these unacceptable behavioural areas is also unacceptable.

Unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated by AIDA Inc.  If a participant engages in unacceptable behaviour, AIDA Inc. will take any action they deem appropriate. This will range from removal from the event to exclusion from future events in consultation with dancers, parents and teachers.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behaviour at an AIDA Inc. registered event by an authorised person, is expected to comply immediately.

If you are subject to unacceptable behaviour, notice that someone else is being subjected to unacceptable behaviour, or have any other concerns, please notify AIDA Inc. as soon as possible.

AIDA Inc. take measures to assist those experiencing unacceptable behaviour to feel safe.

We expect all Dancers registered with AIDA Inc. to abide by this code of conduct at all AIDA events.  A condition of annual registration of dancers with AIDA Inc. will include signed agreement to the Irish Dancers’ Code of Conduct.

All competitors –

  • Must be pupils of teachers who, at the date of entry, are registered with An Coimisiún for the year 2018/2019.
  • Must not, on the date(s) of their competition(s), be under suspension from competitive dancing due to any rule of An Coimisiún (including the transfer rule).
  • Must, in the case of solo competitors, have qualified to take part in the Oireachtas in accordance with the qualifying rules below.

To qualify to take part in any solo championship a dancer must –

  • Have won first place in a solo championship (in any age group) at Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2018, or
  • Have participated in the appropriate championship at his/her Regional Oireachtas and either (i) qualified automatically as a consequence of having been placed in a medal winning position in any solo championship at Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2018 or (ii) achieved a qualifying place in his/her Regional Oireachtas.

The number of qualifiers for Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2019 at a Regional or National Oireachtas shall be determined by the number of competitors from that particular qualifying region who actually dance in the event concerned and not the number entered.

In calculating the number of qualifiers from a Regional Oireachtas dancers deemed to have already qualified by having attained medal winning positions at Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2018 will count as competitors but not as qualifiers.

World medal holders from Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2018 can be replaced by additional quatlifiers at a Regional or National Oireachtas in 2018.

If a World medal holder from Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2018, including a world champion, does not compete at a Regional Oireachtas 2018, then an additional qualifying place is not created for Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne 2019.

Qualifiers from a National Oireachtas in 2018 must also compete at their Regional Oireachtas in 2018 in order to endorse this qualification.

The number of qualifiers from the respective competitions at a Regional or National Oireachtas shall be as follows:-

  • (a) In the case of competition for Senior Men Over 21 the number of qualifiers shall be seven (7) where the number of competitors is twenty or less plus one additional qualifier for each five, or part of five in excess of the first twenty eligible competitors.
  • (b) In the case of all other solo age groups the number of qualifiers shall be five (5) where the number of competitors is twenty or less plus one additional qualifier for each ten, or part of ten in excess of the first twenty eligible competitors.

CLRG Rules on Presentation – October 2015
Rules on: Costumes, Make-up, Artificial Carriage Aids, Composition & Dimensions of Dancing Shoes.  The following contains all CLRG rules particular to on-stage presentation. Please refer to the full CLRG Rule Book for all CLRG rules. Costume Rules (4.4 in CLRG Rule Book)

4.4 That costumes or costuming be defined as any element of performance / presentation clothing worn by a dancer in the course of a competition, including,  but not limited to, dress, waistcoat, trousers, shoes, headwear, capes, shawls, socks, underwear and make-up.

4.4.1 New Effective September 2015 Costume length: Length of costumes must adhere to principles of modesty, and enable dancers to safely execute their movements and steps. Adjudicators who determine a costume to be too short or to lack modesty may use the Costume Infraction (Tick Box) Program in order to flag the dancer and ensure the teacher is notified. As the Costume Infraction Program is used for ALL costume violations, adjudicators wishing to specify length as the infraction can write the letter ‘L’ in the Tick Box column.

4.4.2 Necklines must be at collarbone level or above. This does not preclude the use of alternative fabrics, e.g. lace, as an inset.

4.4.3 Costumes must consist of full front, side and back sections. Cut-away styles, without a full skirt backing, are not acceptable.

4.4.4 In order to protect dancers from hazardous objects on stage while competing, costumes may not be decorated with feathers.

4.4.5. Dance Drama costumes must be in keeping with the theme of the story portrayed.

4.4.6. Competitors in all age groups, up to but excluding Meangrad (Intermediate), may only wear traditional class costumes or long / short-sleeved blouses / polo tops and skirts / tunics that conform to the regular costume length rules as above. Low-cut tops and short, tight skirts are not permitted.

4.4.7. Where chiffon or lace material is used as sleeves, the sleeves must start at the shoulder line and end at the cuff.

4.4.8. Costumes for both boys and girls should not include representations such as globes, medals or any other item symbolic of an award having been achieved.

4.4.9. All forms of dance school or individual identification, be it by sign, shape, colourpiece, logo or symbol, initials and / or name be banned from all solo costumes worn by any competitor in any competition.

4.4.10 Appropriate underwear, covering the midriff, must be worn. (See the section on underwear for details.) Where tights are worn, they must be of a denier of not less than 70.

4.4.11 Body suits should be of premium fabric and not showing the body contour in detail. Recommended fabrics include: velvet and lycra. See the attached
illustrations for details.

4.4.12 Skirts worn over bodysuits should be the same length as full costumes and sit at the dancer’s mid-thigh at the back, with sufficient material to allow for
movement when raising the leg. Tight sport skirts or gym skirts are not suitable. Wrap-around skirts should be secured with a pin.

4.4.13. That all personal initials and any other name form which leads to personal identification be banned from solo costumes. Failure to comply may result in a
dancer being denied the opportunity to compete at any event.

4.4.14. Costumes should have traditional themes and cartoon characters should not be permitted.

4.4.15. Female adult dancers participating in competitions entitled ‘adult competition’ and/or ‘adult grade competition’ (both solo and team) are required to wear opaque black tights of a denier not less than 70. (Colour and denier of tights clarified September 2015.)

Rules Regarding Composition and Dimensions of Dancing Shoes (4.2 in CLRG Rule Book)
4.2.1 The heel and its “top piece” must consist only of leather, leather composite, plastic or fiberglass, or a combination of these materials.

4.2.2 The heel and its top piece must not contain any metal components or attachments other than nails or screws to attach the heel to the shoe or the top
piece to the heel.

4.2.3 Where nails are used to attach the top piece to the heel they must not exceed 25% of the total surface area of the top piece.

4.2.4 The maximum permissible height of a heel from the surface of the top piece to the point where the heel joins the upper of the shoe is 1.5 inches. (This height includes both heel and top piece and is measured to the back of the upper of the shoe).

4.2.5 A certain amount of tapering from where the heel joins the upper of the shoe to where it joins the top piece is permissible (i.e. the heel may be broader at the top then at the bottom) but such tapering must be at a constant angle, i.e. the side of the heel must not be curved and no protrusions from the side or back of
the heel is allowed.

4.2.6 It is possible, indeed probable, that in the future new construction techniques for shoes will evolve and/or new materials become available which will require a review of these directives. However, at no time in the future should new materials other than those listed above be used in shoes, or any divergence from these directives is introduced without prior authorization being sought from An Coimisiún.

4.2.7 For heavy rounds in competitions, dancers may not wear soft shoes that have been altered with the addition of heels and tips in an attempt to turn them into hard shoes. Dancers found to be wearing such altered shoes for heavy rounds may be denied access to that round of the competition. (Effective January 1,

Any competitor found to be using artificial carriage aids and subsequently refused to remove same, will be subject to disqualification from that particular competitions. Medically prescribed apparatus (proof of which may be required) will be exempt from this ruling.

Makeup will not be permitted for any dancer in the first two grades, beginner (Bungrad) and primary (Tusgrad), up to and including the Under 12 age group worldwide.

Make‐up (including false eyelashes and tanner on the face) is not permitted for dancers, in either solo or team competitions, up to and including the Under10 age group. Effective 1 March 2014

Clarifications as of 3 February 2014
Both make-up rules refer to the age group of the competition, not the actual age of the dancer. For example, 9 year old dancers competing in a team that is entered under 12 may wear make-up. Or at a feis where the youngest Open Championship age group is under 11, then all dancers in that competition may wear make-up.

No block, en point, stationary or moving is allowed to be performed for all ages up to and including the under 12 age group.

Any Form of unauthorised photography which has the capability to capture a dancer’s image whilst in motion, using electronic or manual means, e.g. mobile phone, standard camera, video camcorder, cine recorder, commercial film, with or without flash enhancement, is expressly forbidden in competition.
Source: An Coimisiu