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We are excited to announce OPEN STUDIO!

OPEN STUDIO is also an opportunity for students to come in and practice skills using the studio’s facilities. Practice can be solo or team practice.


  • Tuesdays 4:15pm - 5:15pm

  • Wednesdays 4:15pm - 5:15pm

  • Saturdays 2:00pm - 4:00pm

  • Sundays 2:00pm - 4:00pm;

    Additional Hours may be added based on staff availability (e.g. School Holidays. Email requests to

COST: $25/mo. per student. Family Max is $50/mo. (Drop in: $15/day)

HOW TO REGISTER: Sign up via the Parent Portal HERE


  1. Dancers must be registered under “Open Studio Membership” on the Jackrabbit Parent Portal prior to attending Open Studio.

  2. Dancers will check in with the Atlanta Irish Dance Representative prior to entering the studio.

  3. Please give 30 days written notice to cancel. email cancellations to

  4. Additional Hours (for school holidays, etc.) may be requested by emailing We will do our best to accommodate additional hours!

  5. Dancers must wear appropriate dance shoes at all times in the studio. NO dancing in socks or dance sneakers is permitted.

  6. NO roughhousing or running.

  7. Siblings and non-dancers are NOT permitted in the studio area.

  8. Dancers should wear earbuds or headphones while dancing to allow all dancers to practice their dance of choice

  9. Teams & Solo dancers should work together to allow sufficient space for all to have a successful practice

  10. NO food or drink (other than water) permitted during Open Studio Hours.

  11. Please respect the studio, throw away all trash & tape, etc., and be kind and respectful to all dancers and staff members.

  12. Dancers who do not have a membership and are found to attend Open Hours will be charged $15 per day.

  13. Open Gym is for children ages 6 & older only.


We LOVE a good T-shirt Contest!

Each year, our students (or parents!) design the back of the shirt for the Southern Regional Oireachtas, Worlds & Nationals! We love it! Here’s how:

Submit a KICKIN' design for the BACK of the t-shirt for our dancers headed to the next major championship!

 - Draw your Original artwork on an 8.5" x 11" white piece of paper.
- You MUST include:

  • Year

  • The location of this year's competition:

  • An inspirational slogan or thought to become our THEME or MANTRA!

  • Original work only -- no copyrighted images except those held by Burke Connolly

- Include your first & last name on the back of the entry-
- Make it look cool! We want to stand out!

The competition winner(s) receives their T-shirt for FREE!

Here are some previous years' examples:

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Take a trip down Memory Lane!

Will You Help Us

Reach the SKY?

7 years ago, over a cup of coffee & laughs about old times, the Burke Connolly Academy of Irish Dance was born.

We fast forward 7 years to our humble studio that housed our dancers now ranked among the best in the world!

Today is BIG... We are proud to have each of you join us as we launch into a NEW ERA .  Below you will see our vision for the studio, including our WILL HAVES and our WISH LIST. Help us add our wish list items: Check out our GoFundMe page:



Our new studio is a whopping 4200 sq ft! The dance area alone is 5x the size of our current large studio! Our Studio will have:

  • TONS of Parking

  • 2800 sqft of dedicated dance floor space!

  • A Spacious Waiting Room

  • 2 ADA Restrooms

  • Separate Changing Rooms

  • Easy Highway Access to I-85 & I-75

  • Water Fountains

  • Teacher’s Office

  • Storage Closets

  • Wi-Fi

  • 24ft of Mirrors

  • Sprung Professional Dance Floors

 We have the  essentials covered, but we know this is a second home for each of you.  With your help, we can create a more comfortable space, where you and the dancers can work and relax amongst friends.  We will be using the funds raised towards the costs of our Wish List Items:

  • Work Stations for Homework and Parent Remote Working 

  • Upgraded Waiting Room Furniture

  • Additional 24ft of Studio Mirrors 

  • Baby Changing Station 

  • Wall Mural

  • Ballet Bars

  • Trophy Case

We are extremely excited about this since as you may know, finding a space like this in the City of Atlanta is NOT easy!  Help us add our Wish List Items- Check out our GoFundMe page:


Our New Studio is location just a stones throw from the Atlanta Morningside Neighborhood! 2219 Faulkner Road, Atlanta, GA 30324.

Our Cobb County families: Take I-75N to 85N, and it’s just ONE exit up I-85N!

Our Decatur, Emory & East Atlanta families- No more highways!

Our Highlands & Morningside families- you can practically walk!

What’s near by?

  • Sprouts Farmers Market

  • Rhodes Bakery

  • Morningside Nature Preserve

  • Taqueria Del Sol

  • Grindhouse Burgers

  • Nakato Japanese & Hibachi

  • Nino’s Italian Restaurant

  • & so much more!

The Mental Game



Our dancers work hard! Why is it that some dancers struggle to dance their best at Shows & Competitions? Mistakes, low energy, and bad habits we haven’t seen before creep out! It’s frustrating to parents, teachers, and the child.

Performing at shows and at competitions is 100% a Mental Game. Students need to practice their mental game as often as they practice their dancing. Here are our recommendations.

BREATHING. We teach our dancers special breathing techniques. A calm mind is a powerful mind. In contrast, a racing mind produces panic & deprives dancers of their ability to think, breath, and perform their best. Breathing brings the brain to a state of calm. Here’s how:


Breathe in deeply through the nose for 5 seconds.

Hold for 1 second.

SIGH out of the mouth for 8 seconds.

(Do not blow the air out with tight lips—this will make you lightheaded.)

Repeat 10 times, or as needed until dancer is focused and calm.

POSITIVE SELF TALK. Our dancers are encouraged to maintain a positive internal dialog and a go-to MANTRA they can repeat when they are feeling discouraged. No “Negative Nellies” allowed! How many adults struggle with the “I’m not good enough” self-doubts? Please encourage your dancers to share their Mantra with you & use them daily.

We also ask parents NOT to talk about their own bodies or their children’s bodies in their presence. One of the BEST things about Irish dance is that there is no “ideal” body type. World Champions are all shapes and sizes. Encourage your child to celebrate their strong legs, focus on their posture, and maintain a positive self-image.

VISUALIZATION. Ask any Olympic gold medalist what helped them most in their training, and they will tell you it is was their ability to visualize success! We encourage dancers to visualize themselves on stage at their next event.

Imagine their hair, costume and shoes look perfect. Visualize walking on stage with confidence. Most importantly, visualize dancing their entire dance to the music, focusing on every single element of their dance being perfect, dancing their best & ending strong! Not only does this reinforce their memory of the details they need to fix, but it helps them walk on stage with confidence because they have already seen their success!

FOCUS. On competition day, remove distractions & worries. Practice ONLY elements the dancers feels confident about. Now is NOT the time to work on that part you sometimes mess up! Dancers should wear headphones/earbuds & listen to their dance music or music that pumps them up. Use the Breathing Technique alone or with dance friends. If watching dancers in their competition brings nerves, they have been instructed to turn their back to the stage and focus on the music and their visualization. If watching their competition pumps them up, they have been told to watch and remind themselves “I can do that! I’ve got this!” Parents: Do your part. STAY CALM & POSITIVE. Remind them how awesome they are!

We're Back from the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!

We are PROUD to Announce:

Our age 8-11 Girls Team placed 12th in the World!
Our age 11-13 Girls Team placed 17th in the World!
12 year old Imani Johnson placed 47th in the World!

**We are holding a SPIRIT WEEK IN CLASS THIS THURSDAY, SATURDAY & MONDAY!  Wear your LIME GREEN and show your school Spirit!!
Recallers- Bring your Medals to Class!***

Fun Facts:

  • Only the top 1% of ALL Irish Dancers qualify for the World Championships. And LESS than Half of the top 1% receive placements & medals!

  • Over 5,000 competitors were in attendance at the 2019 World Championships!

  • The World Championships has only been in the U.S.A. 3 times EVER!

  • Year 2020 will be the 50th Anniversary of the World Championships! 

2019 St. Patrick's Week of AWESOME!

We had a SHOW STOMPIN’ Time!

St. Patrick’s week is the best time of the year. This is where memories are made, friendships (for parents AND students) form, and we get to show off our hard work in lively performances!

We are proud of our dancers, their passion for Irish dance and their curiosity of all things Irish! We also want to say a HUGE thank you to all of our parents for the miles of driving and hours of support!

We wanted to share some of our favorite moments from our 2019 St. Patrick’s Weekend with you. Check them out below! (Click Right and Left on the photos below to scroll!)

New name, NEW LOGO!

We are excited to share our NEW LOGO featuring our new name, Atlanta Irish Dance!

We loved our original logo but felt it didn’t fully describe WHO we are and WHAT we are. By keeping our original “BC” we will be able to seamlessly transition over to using our new logo. Our “BC” is currently on all our dresses, capes, bumper stickers, you name it!

Stay turned as we roll out new merchandise featuring our new design with exciting new products that you have been asking for!

We are ATLANTA, We are IRISH DANCE, We are BURKE CONNOLLY and now our Logo proves it!

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St. Patrick's Day Parade Information for SPECTATORS


Thank you for being an Atlanta Irish Dance Supporter!

We have a super energetic cheer section every year, and we love to stop and do a performance for you (if they parade officials aren’t too cranky!).


The Parade Begins at NOON. Atlanta Irish Dance Spectators are gathering at the corner of Peachtree Street & 7th Street to cheer us on & easily join us at the end!  (Get off at the MIDTOWN Marta Station, walk East on 10th St., Turn Right on Peachtree, and walk 3 blocks to 7th Street)  

Please let us know if you have any questions.  This is going to be a really fun event!! 

We look forward to seeing you at the Parade SATURDAY, March 16th!  This is one of the best events of the year!

Be sure to join us for a family friendly After-Party at the Elder Tree Pub in East Atlanta! 1:45pm-4:00pm Lots of dancing and craic to be had by all!

Route MapHERE

Road Closures: HERE


  • If possible, please use MARTA.  Get off at the MIDTOWN Marta Station, walk East on 10th St., Turn Right on Peachtree, and walk 3 blocks to 7th Street. This is just 2 blocks from the end of the parade for easy meet up with your parade walkers!   

  • Drivers:  See Info about parking here.  

RAINS: This event is RAIN OR SHINE. 

St. Patrick's Day Parade Information for our Dance FAMILIES

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Important Parade Information

Parade is Sat March 16,2019  

Arrival Time: 10:15AM

Parade Start Time: NOON

We are so excited to have you join us at the Parade! Please read the info below & plan to join us at our SCHOOL PARTY afterwards at the Elder Tree Pub!


  • All Atlanta Irish Dance Students MUST be accompanied by an adult during the parade.

  • Only Students may ride on the parade float.  If you have family members who are unable to walk the entire distance (>1 mi.), don't worry! We have a BC CHEER Section!  See below.

  • You can pass things out to the crowd, but NO THROWING ANY OBJECTS into the crowd!


  • If possible, please use MARTA.  Get off at the ARTS CENTER Station (Red & Gold Lines), just 2 blocks from our starting spot!  

  • Drivers:  See Info about parking here.  

  • Road Closures: HERE

Where to GO:

CLICK HERE: REVIEW THIS MAP! (the yellow highlight is a good drop off zone) When you arrive, please report to the WHEELS #1 AREA in the Marshaling Area at 10:15 AM SHARP.  That Marshaling Area is located on Peachtree St. between 16th St. & West Peachtree.  **Our Unit Number is Unit 16.  Volunteers will meet you upon arrival to direct you.

What to WEAR:

  • Students- Costume & Tennis Shoes (Bring Dance Shoes for Later but leave them in the Car!!).  NO WIGS.  Hair clean & half up with Burke Connolly Headband.   Plan to wear poodle socks.  If it’s Cold we will email Friday Night for girls to wear Opaque Black Tights instead of poodle socks. You may also wear hats and/or gloves, but we are trying not to cover up the Costumes. Key words : LAYER UNDER!!! 

  • Parents-  Your Black or Green Atlanta Irish Dance or Burke Connolly Tee w/Jeans or Black Pants. If it’s Cold---wear a Long-Sleeved Black T-shirt or Turtleneck UNDER the Tees.  You may also wear hats and/or gloves, but try not to cover up the T-shirts. Layer!!

What to BRING:
Bring SNACKS and DRINKS while waiting in the Marshaling area. We will use marshaling time to practice our parade performances and also just have fun!

This event is RAIN OR SHINE.  If the forecast predicts rain, please bring a clear poncho for you and your dancers!! We love you, but we cannot provide ponchos for close to 100 people. :)


The Parade Begins at NOON. Atlanta Irish Dance Spectators are gathering at the corner of Peachtree Street & 7th Street to cheer us on.  (Get off at the MIDTOWN Marta Station, walk East on 10th St., Turn Right on Peachtree, and walk 3 blocks to 7th Street). This is just 2 blocks from the end of the parade for easy meet up with your parade walkers!     

Please let us know if you have any questions.  This is going to be a really fun event!! 

We look forward to seeing you at the Parade SATURDAY, March 16th!  This is one of the best events of the year!

Route Map HERE

Road Closures HERE

All Irelands Recap!

Last week, 4 of our champion dancers traveled to Killarney, Ireland to compete in the All Irelands Championships. Two came home with medals in competitions of over 200 dancers (Imani receiving 25th Place & 51st Place in her solo rounds, and Eva 50th Place in a solo round). Hear what they have to say below!

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Oireachtas Rince h'Eireann! (All Irelands)

Did you know?

  • Oireachtas Rince h'Eireann is the oldest Irish dancing competition, established in 1932.

  • Competitiors from all over the world attended, including:

    Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, USA, Austria, Germany, Russia, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, & the Netherlands

  • 3000 competitors participated 

  • Competitors could win prizes by speaking Gaelic to the vendors and were encouraged to ask for their number in Gaelic.

Hear from our dancers!

Imani on Stage at the All Irelands

Imani on Stage at the All Irelands


1. What was you favorite thing/experience in
Ireland? -
I really like how everywhere you go everything is really green and fresh looking. I also really like when I went to the Book of Kells and saw a piece of history of Ireland. 

2. What was something you learned while in Ireland? - I learned from the Book of Kells that the book has it own alphabet. I thought that was really cool. 

3. What skill/technique did the dancers have there that you would like to incorporate into your dancing? -In some of my competitors steps the had a lot of spins and birds. They also had some slices in treble jig and more rhythmic fancy footwork pieces. In some of their lead-a-rounds they had lots of slides and glided across the stage. 
4. What was your favorite thing about the All Irelands Competition? -I really liked how you can recall in just an individual round so you get more opportunities to go home with a medal. 

Eva performing her final move in her first Round at the All Irelands

Eva performing her final move in her first Round at the All Irelands


1. What was you favorite thing/experience in Ireland? -I had so many incredible experiences in Ireland, but I think my favorite part
 of the trip was getting a day before the dancing started to just explore and enjoy the fact that we were in Ireland. We went to the Muckross House and got to go hiking through this amazing forest near a beautiful lake, and the entire experience seemed so surreal.
 I love hikes and to be able to do that in a place like Ireland was just incredible and made me so grateful for the opportunity.

2. What was something you learned while in Ireland? –I actually learned a lot of random things like how to count to ten in Gaelic,
 that house pets in Ireland are not typically kept inside, and probably some other unrelated facts that aren't relevant at all. Other than that, the most useful thing I learned was that before I dance, I need to put myself in a different mentality than I do
 now because for me, when I think about how badly I need a certain placement and how good I need to dance, I think about all that could go wrong and start to put myself in a bad position. Rather, I learned to put myself in a mentality that makes me feel like
 I need to show off because when I know I'm with a lot of amazing dancers, I feel like I need to prove myself and dance the best I can. Obviously, that's not the best advice for everyone, but I think I dance the best when I'm trying to show off or prove myself,
 so that works for me!

3. What skill/technique did the dancers have there that you would like to incorporate into your dancing? - I think that overall the dancers there had amazing overs, birds, and other jumps like that, so that is definitely something I will be working on this year because they look so beautiful and I think my dancing would really benefit from having better jumps.

4. What was your favorite thing about the All Irelands Competition? - I think my favorite thing about the competition itself was, oddly enough, the practice room. It was really interesting to watch all of the amazing dancers and it really helped me to try to imitate some of their techniques I really liked on stage. Like I said, I dance best when I'm trying to show off, so being in a room like that really helped me to try and practice my hardest.

As far as additional comments, I really want to thank Ms.Emma and Ms.Erin for encouraging me both at the competition and in the weeks leading up to it. I didn't get the placement I wanted, but because of them, I was able to dance my best, and I can't wait for Nationals.

Nora mid-Jump in her first round at the All Irelands

Nora mid-Jump in her first round at the All Irelands


1. What was you favorite thing/experience in Ireland? – The size of the competition was a big thing for Nora. She liked that

2. What was something you learned while in Ireland? – Nora learned to count to 10 in Gaelic and to learn that the most important thing at a big competition like that is to do your very best

3. What skill/technique did the dancers have there that you would like to incorporate into your dancing? -Higher on the toes

4. What was your favorite thing about the All Irelands Competition? - The fact that there was SO many dancers, you can actually take the time to watch the competition and see all the different choreography and styles.

Anna Kate Celebrating with a “CurlyWurly” chocolate bar after her 1st round - a much sought after treat for our dancers :)

Anna Kate Celebrating with a “CurlyWurly” chocolate bar after her 1st round - a much sought after treat for our dancers :)


1. What was you favorite thing/experience in Ireland? - I loved seeing all the mountains and fields going on for miles- I loved running around our family farm. One of my favorite times was meeting and spending time with my relatives from Ireland

2. What was something you learned while in Ireland? -I learned that there are a lot of amazing dancers in Ireland and that the time difference is so confusing.

3. What skill/technique did the dancers have there that you would like to incorporate into your dancing? -They had REALLY good turnout and their front clicks and kicks were really high.

4. What was your favorite thing about the All Irelands Competition? -Performing on a big stage with World Qualifying dancers.

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Learn Some Gaelic!

Ordering Costumes

Our Beginner Skirts, Embroidered Leotards, Capes & Headbands!


New Costumes can only be Ordered Twice a Year: In January & September

NOTE: Costumes are not mandatory for beginners. If you are not ready to purchases a costume, please read about our PRE-Costume HERE.

Our Costumes are HAND MADE & Tailored to your child. You will measure your child and submit the measurements electronically. It is easy! Details on Measuring & Ordering below!

Pricing From Dressmaker HERE


Girls have 3 options:

  1. Beginner Zipper Skirt Costume (Skirt, Cape & Embroidered Leotard);

    • NOTE: we have a leotard FIT KIT at the studio. Please try on the leotards to find your size.

  2. School Dress Costume; or

  3. The PRE-Costume (ALL BLACK) (Read about it HERE.)

    Girls also need to Order a Headband. Headbands are handmade.  Please e-mail  Mary Morley at to order. Ask for a Burke Connolly School Headband.

Boys also have several options:


• Lime Green Tie or Bow-tie; and

• Black Dress Pants, Black Dress Shirt & Black Dress Socks

Pricing From Dressmaker is HERE


Use these Links to order. The links contain the list of measurements you need & helpful photos!

Pricing From Dressmaker is HERE

Need some help with measuring your child?  We're here to help!

  1. Measure your child at home  before coming to class & write down measurements

  2. Bring your measurements & a tape measure to class.

  3. Your child should wear fitted  Tank & Shorts to class for measurements.  Do not wear leggings or bulky clothing.

Parents, due to time constraints, please MEASURE your child at home and take necessary pictures.  We will VERIFY measurements in class.

Our School Dresses & Headband

Our School Dresses & Headband

Our Boy’s Vest Costume with a bow tie!

Our Boy’s Vest Costume with a bow tie!

PRE- Costumes!


It’s important to NOTE: Buying a costume is NOT required, unless you are a member of our Senior Ceili Class (Levels 4 & above)!

PRE-Costume Options!

In between costume order dates, or not quite ready to buy?  Grab the following items and you'll be all set:

  1. Basic Black Skirt:  Any opaque black skirt that hits  3-4" above the knee will do!

  2. Black, Long-sleeved Turtleneck Leotard: Available at Dance Fashions on Roswell Road (or on their website HERE)

  3. Poodle Socks & Soft shoes (Blog Post HERE)


  1. Long sleeved, Black Dress shirt

  2. Black, Flat Front Dress Pants (no pleats!)

  3. Black Dress Socks

  4. Hot Lime Green Tie MENS; BOYS OR Hot Lime Green Bow TieMENS; BOYS

Practice Floor Options

There are several ways to go about building a dance floor at home:

Shower Pan Liner (Easiest Option)

For around $40 you can buy shower pan liner (Gray or Black) from Home Depot or Lowes. You can either buy a big square piece in a package or you can buy it off of a roll:

This is a good option if you have an appropriate subfloor. However, if the subfloor is concrete or other hard floors like tile it has no flex/spring and can cause injury. Also if you are doing more advanced movements there is a chance that you might poke a hole through the floor with the sharp edge of the hard shoe.

Practice Pad (Portable Hard Shoe option)

This is a patented roll out mat that is great for practicing hard shoe and drilling. The Practice Pad has a specially designed SprungTECH foam layer to give the feel of a sprung floor and help combat hard surfaces. It also has a Grid can be used as a visual aid by dancers of all ages, from beginner to championship level, to self correct alignment, turn out, cross, control and placement. Not a big mat, but great for drilling and beginners!

Jubilee Dance Floor (Very Portable)

Individual 2' x 2' sprung, lightweight, interconnecting tiles. This is a more expensive option depending on how many tiles you buy.

Harlequin Dance Floor (Most Professional & Durable)

Harlequin sells floors to dance studios but also has a few at home options. For their complete line of at home practice floors see below: Wood Floor (Most Popular, Very Durable) This is the most popular type of dance floor for at home practice but it is the least portable and requires some labor. This is a DIY custom built floor made of plywood sheets and 2”x4” found at your local hardware store. You can make it any size you want and is typically placed in an unused garage or basement. Once the plywood sheets are screwed into the 2”x4” frame you can used duct tape or gaffers tape to cover the seams. Here is an example of a structural layout:

If the wood is too loud you can cover it with Shower Pan Liner or other vinyl coverings bought from professional floor companies. The vinyl material is often called “Marley”, which was a poplar flooring manufacturer that is now out of business.

Progress Reports!

Each session, students & parents receive feedback from teachers. We break down the various skills & steps for each level and give child-specific comments on where your dancers is with respect to those skills.

The video below shows how to access your dancer’s progress reports via the Parent Portal!



We challenge ALL OF OUR DANCERS to a 30 Day Practice Challenge! 

It’s Turn it UP November!!

We are only 3 WEEKS out from the Feis ATL and 5 WEEKS away from the Southern Region Oireachtas!  

The CHALLENGE: If ALL dancers in a class practices at home 3 days a week in shoes & to music we will have an Ice Cream Social in that class!

How long should a practice be?

Levels 1 & 2: Take your child's grade at school and multiply by 5!  (Eg. Kindergarten or 1st grade: 1x5 = 5mins a day!) 
Level 3: 20-30 mins a day
Level 4: 35+ mins a day (big focus on Traditional Set & "walking skips")
Level 5 & 6: At least 1 hour

How will I keep track?

Your child will receive a PRACTICE WORKSHEET at Class. They will get to color in 1 shamrock for each time they dance a step with 5 GOOD repetitions of a move or dance. :)

What else?

Please send us photos and videos of your dancer in action! We love to pump eac hother up with images of our hard working students!

The Beginner "FEIS LOOK"



Girls have 3 options:

  1. Burke Connolly Beginner Skirt Costume (Skirt, Shawl & Embroidered long-sleeved Leotard);

  2. Burke Connolly Dress Costume; or

  3. ALL BLACK (The PRE-Costume) - Black long-sleeved Leotard & Black Opaque Skirt that hits 3-4” above the knees.

Poodle Socks- champion ankle length only!! No tall socks :) Click HERE to order. Use Code BURKECONNOLLY for 10% off!

Boys also have several options:

• Main Costume: Black Dress Pants (flat front), Black Dress Shirt & Black Dress Socks

• Lime Green Tie (HERE)or Bow-tie (HERE)

• Burke Connolly Vest (Optional Add-on for beginners)



Girls’ hair should be curled. You can curl hair naturally or purchase a wig.

NATURAL CURLS: Curl hair using sponge rollers or pin curls. HOW TO VIDEO on curling Hair with sponge rollers.

  • Start with DRY hair

  • Use SMALL sections of hair (The smaller the section of hair, the tighter the curl!)

  • Use Mousse (they don’t in the video. That will not hold!)

  • Do not twist the hair before rolling into the curler. That’s a different look.

  • Sleep in curlers overnight.

  • Take all curlers out the following morning.

    • DO NOT brush the curls out.  They should be tight.

  • Put hair in half pony tail, creating volume at front of head

  • Separate each curl into 3 smaller curls

  • Spray with aerosol hairspray

WIGS: Please talk with your teacher about which wig is preferred, as styles change.

HAIR ACCESSORIES: Burke Connolly Headband.  Ask your teacher for the contact (orders take several weeks to Fill!!)

  • Note: Bows are permitted on beginner dancers ages 6 and under ONLY.

Boys hair should be Clean and Neat and remain out of the eyes while dancing.


Beginner & Advanced Beginners:

NO make-up is permitted on Beginners under the age of 12.

Light make-up, consisting of light blush, lipstick or lip gloss, and neutral basic eye make-up (no crazy colors like blue!) may be worn on Beginners ages 12 & Over.

What is a FEIS?

What is a FEIS?

 You might have heard this strange word around the studio by now.  Other than performances, a FEIS is something our students LOVE to do!  

First, a wee bit O'history..

“FEIS”  (pronounced FESH)  is a Gaelic word that means festival. Many years ago in Ireland, the local towns would hold a Feis where the community would gather--Many entered contests to show their baking, music, dance and art skills.  

We keep these traditions alive today!  At a feis, registrants can compete in a variety of Irish cultural activities. In addition to the dancing competitions, we encourage our dancers and their families to enter the other competitions available: music, baking, singing and art!  Even our parents have entered (and won!) baking competition! Yum! 

Onstage action!

Onstage action!

What happens at a Feis?

At a Feis, competitors are split into age-groups such as U9 & U10-- meaning "under 9" and "under 10".  This is based on the Child's age on January 1st of the current year.

Dancers are then split into levels based on their ability and success at previous feiseanna (plural of feis).  

The levels are:  Beginner; Advanced Beginner; Novice; Prizewinner; Preliminary Championship; and Open Championship!  Dancer's move through the levels by fulfilling certain criteria. Each Year, the State of Georgia has Several Competitions:

January-  King O'Sullivan Winter Feis, in Atlanta
February  Feis Na Tara, in Atlanta
MayPeach State Feis, in Atlanta
NovemberFeis ATL & HOTlanta  in Atlanta

Finally, Click and Read :

"What to Expect the Day of the Feis" and "The Beginner Feis Look"

Some of our beginners practicing together at their very first feis!

Some of our beginners practicing together at their very first feis!

Don't forget to Practice!

The best way to ensure a fun and exciting feis is to help your dancer feel prepared!  

In class, we use visualization and roll playing techniques to make sure your dancer knows what to expect when they get on stage.  

At home, you can help, too!  Practicing at home will help ensure that they feel confident about their steps, which is key to creating a healthy relationship with the stage--whether it is at a feis or a performance!

Remember, a week between classes feels like a CENTURY to a child!  So, we've put together VIDEOS of each dance and skill your child is learning in class!  

They are all available on our private Students Only Page. From our Homepage, simply scroll to the bottom, click the "Students Only" button and insert the secret password!

 Kids can practice at home with Ms. Emma! :)

Feis Levels Explained

Which FEIS LEVEL Should My Child Dance In? (Specific Dance Registration suggestions found BELOW RULES)

Keep track of your Dancer's scores and placements from the past year's feiseanna. Once you have those, compare them to the rules below!  Remember- Each dance can be in a different level so dancers can be in MULTIPLE Levels at one time!

Grade (level) Definitions & Rules:

Beginner: A beginner is a competitor who has not taken a full year of Irish Dance lessons, thereby giving beginners a full year with such status. A Beginner must move into the Advanced Beginner category for the next year.

Advanced Beginner: An Advanced Beginner who wins 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place will advance to the Novice category in that particular dance.

Novice: A Novice dancer who wins a 1st place in a dance will advance to the Open (Prizewinner) category in that particular dance. In addition, if there are twenty or more dancers, a dancer who wins 1st place or 2nd place in a dance will advance to the Open/Prizewinner category in that particular dance. (Dec. 2012)

Open (Prizewinner): A competitor who does not qualify as a Beginner, Advanced Beginner or Novice. (see “Novice” for Prizewinner qualifications).

NOTE: The status of the dancer does NOT change unless there are five or more dancers in a competition.

Competitors have the option to remain in the same category for the remainder of the Feis year (until the following January 1st).

After entries have been closed, in any competition where five or more boys are entered, the feis committee will run a separate competition for these boys.

A feis committee may only combine two consecutive calendar year age groups (within that grade only) when fewer than five (5) competitors are entered in either age group, with the exception of the oldest age group listed.

Championship Level Definitions & Rules:

A) Preliminary Championships are open to those who, at any NAFC recognized Feis, have:

1. Placed 1st in both an Open (Prizewinner) light and heavy shoe competition; and

2. Never won 1st, 2nd or 3rd in Open Championship.

B) A dancer who wins two (2) first place preliminary championship awards in one calendar year will move on to Open Championship the following year (as of Jan 1); if the second first-place win does not occur in the same feis year as the first win, as soon as the second win is achieved, in any age category, the dancer must move up to open championship level immediately. Only in the case of a back-to-back Feiseanna (successive days) the first-place win in the first Feis will not change the dancer’s status for the second Feis.

C) A dancer in a preliminary championship is required to perform a light shoe dance (reel or slip jig for ladies and reel only for men) and a hard shoe dance. A Feis can opt to offer either (a) a set dance) or (b) a jig/hornpipe or (c) both a set dance and jig/hornpipe

D) Boys and Girls will be combined in preliminary championships –Please note the separation policy involving five or more boys

E) Preliminary Championship competitions must be offered separately in the syllabus for the minimum required age groups, yet the feis committee may combine an age group with the next higher age groups if there are fewer than 5 competitors entered in the lower age group. A feis committee is not permitted to combine dancers from one preliminary championship age group with any age group which is more than one age group higher than the age group in which the dancers are entered.

NOTE: Placing in a Regional or National Oireachtas does NOT change the status of a competitor. If after competing for two full feis years at the Open Championship level, a dancer has not placed first, second or third, he/she may opt to return to Preliminary Championship status.


Confirm with your teacher and/or your dancer if you are unsure, but generally, dancers should register for the following:


  • Reel

  • Light Jig

Advanced Beginner

  • Reel

  • Light Jig

  • Single Jig

  • Slip Jig

  • Hornpipe (traditional Speed) HARD SHOE DANCE


  • Reel

  • Light Jig

  • Single Jig

  • Slip Jig

  • Traditional Set (St. Patrick’s Day) HARD SHOE DANCE




  • Reel

  • NOTE: Light Jig is typically NOT offered at this level

  • NOTE: Single Jig is typically NOT offered at this level

  • Slip Jig

  • Traditional Set (“St. Patrick’s Day “or “Job of Journeywork”) HARD SHOE DANCE



  • Any “Specials” you would like

Preliminary Champion

  • Preliminary Championship competition consists of two rounds: Soft Shoe & Hard Shoe

  • Dancers should register separately for their traditional set (or if U11 or older NON-Traditional set)

  • Any “Specials” you would like

Irish Dance Music Speeds

When dancers practice at home it is important that they use music that is the correct speed. When we perform or compete the musicians use a metronome to ensure they are playing at an appropriate speed for dancers. Below we list the different levels Burke Connolly dancers are in and the dances and speed of music they will need for practicing. Happy practicing! 

Visit our Spotify page for easy access to our Burke Connolly practice playlist: CLICK HERE

Level 1 (Beginner)

  • Reel: 122
  • Light Jig: 115

Level 2 (Beginner 2)

  • Reel: 122
  • Light Jig: 115
  • Slip Jig (Beginner/Novice): 122

Level 3 (Advanced Beginner)

  • Reel: 122
  • Light Jig: 155
  • Slip Jig (Beginner - Novice): 122
  • Fast/Traditional Hornpipe: 138
  • Fast/Traditional Treble Jig: 92
  • Traditional Set - St.Patrick's Day: 94

Level 4 (Novice - Prizewinner)

  • Reel: 113
  • Slip Jig: 113
  • Treble Jig: 73
  • Hornpipe: 113
  • St.Patrick's Day: 94
  • Job of Journey Work: 138

Level 5 & 6 (Championships)

  • Reel: 113
  • Slip Jig: 113
  • Treble Jig: 73
  • Hornpipe: 113
  • Traditional Set - St.Patrick's Day: 94
  • Traditional Set - Three Sea Captains: 96
  • Traditional Set - King of the Ferries: 130
  • Non-Traditional Set - Three Sea Captains: 71 (School Specific)
  • Non-Traditional Set - Blackthorn Stick: 69 (School Specific)
  • Non-Traditional Set - The Piper: 110 (School Specific)
  • Non-Traditional Set - Kilkenny Races: 110 (School Specific)