How do I qualify for major competitions?
Your dancer has put a lot of time and effort into working his/her way through the grades (Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Novice and Prizewinner) and he/she is beginning to see what the competitive side of Irish dancing has to offer and where it can take them. Below are the competitions that your dancer may want to compete in if the qualifications are met and you have discussed it with Elaine.
1. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Oireachtas (Thanksgiving Weekend)
The Oireachtas (or-OCK-tus) or the MARO is a regional competition that can qualify you for the North American National Championships and the World Championships. You can compete in solo or ceili (group) dancing. Solo competition is open to dancers in Prizewinner who have earned a 1st place in each of the required dances by the entry date of October 1st. Elaine requires all dancers to earn three 1st places in each of the required dances by the entry date of October 1st. All 'even year' age groups need their first places in Reel and Hornpipe and all 'odd year' age groups need their first places in Slip Jig and Treble Jig. All Preliminary and Open Championship dancers are already qualified to enter the Oireachtas but will need to commit to certain requirements in order to compete.
Slattery School Requirements for the MARO:
You must be able to perform the correct level of steps, attend class two times a week in addition to all extra Oireachtas practices on designated weekends from September through November. If dancing a solo in the Oireachtas, unless otherwise discussed with Elaine, each solo dancer MUST dance in a ceili team competition as well. If a dancer signs up for the Oireachtas, and is officially entered into the competition but then does not follow through with the requirements, then they will not compete in their competition(s). Having the opportunity to compete at the Oireachtas is a privilege, not a right.
2. North American Irish Dance Championships (July 4th Week)
The North American Irish Dance Championships are also called the Nationals, NAIDC or NANs. The different regions along with IDTANA take turns hosting this prestigious competition. The location rotates every year around the USA and Canada. Next year, the Nationals will be hosted by the Southern Region in Disney World and in 2017, they will be hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Region (our region) and will be held in New Orleans.
Generally, you qualify to compete in the North American Nationals if:
Slattery School Requirements for the North American Nationals:
In addition to the above mentioned qualifications, you must attend dance classes twice a week in addition to any other Nationals mandatory practices, if any, from January through June. If your child is not prepared for the Nationals, your child will not compete.
3. Oireachtas Rince na Cruinne: The World Championships (Easter Week)
The World Irish Dancing Championships is like the Olympics of Irish Dancing. Qualifying, alone, is fantastic and a sign of hard work paying off!! The location of the World Championships changes every year. In the past it has been held in locations such as Galway, Dublin, Belfast, Ennis, London, Glasgow, Montreal and Philadelphia. In 2016, it will take place back in Glasgow, Scotland, Dublin, Ireland in 2017 and Washington, DC in 2018.
You can qualify for the World Championships 2 different ways:
Please be advised: If you qualify for the World Championships with the Slattery School and then decide to switch schools, your qualification DOES NOT go with you. You must re-qualify with your new school.
Slattery School Requirements:
Congratulations on your world qualification!! This is a huge accomplishment! However, make sure you are prepared to work even harder and commit to more practice or you will not compete.
4. Oireachtas Rince na hEireann: All Ireland Championships (February)
This is similar to the North American Championships as it is the Irish Nationals. They extend an invitation to the U.S. for this prestigious major competition. The level of competition here is extremely high and is very close to being as prestigious as the World Championships.
Each school has different requirements in order to enter the championships. In the Slattery School, dancers must be in Open Championship to qualify and will be considered at the discretion of the teacher.
5. The British Nationals (July) and The Great Britains (October)
These competitions alternate as the qualifier for the World Championships. In order to attend you will need to check with Elaine first. Please email Elaine if you are interested. Dancers must be in Open Championship to qualify and will be considered at the discretion of the teacher.
6. The All Scotland Championships (February)
In order to attend you will need to check with Elaine first. Please email Elaine if you are interested. Dancers must be in Open Championship to qualify and will be considered at the discretion of the teacher.
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