A beginner is a competitor who has not taken Irish dancing lessons from a registered teacher prior to September 1st of the previous year.
An Advanced Beginner is a dancer who has taken lessons from a registered teacher for more than 1 year.
A Novice dancer is one who has previously won a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in Advanced Beginner.
A prizewinner dancer is a dancer who has previously won a 1st in Novice in a particular dance.
A dancer advances to Preliminary Championship after he/she has won 1st place in both a prizewinner light and hard shoe competition, and consistently placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in all other dances.
A dancer moves to Open Championship after winning three 1st places in Preliminary Championship.