Claddagh School of Irish Dancing


Irish dancers progress through the levels or 'grades' by competing in Irish Dancing competitions                                     

A Guide to Irish Dancing Grades

The names of the grades and requirements to progress vary slightly from country to country and between organisations.

UK and Ireland

Grades are all for a specific dance. It is possible to have all dances at different levels and it is common to span two levels. If there are less than 5 dancers in a competition the results do not effect a dancers grade. In the UK and Ireland you must move up to the next grade in your next feis.



Bun Grad

Dancers start in this grade

To move up to Primary you must come 1st, 2nd or 3rd in that dance



Tus Grad

To move up to Intermediate you must come 1st or 2nd in that dance



Mean Grad

To move up to Open you must come 1st in that dance



Ard Grad

The highest level. Dancers have the option of returning to the Intermediate grade at the start of a new year (1st January)


Age Groups

Dancers are also split into different age groups. The dancers age is taken as of 1st January of that year and most groups are 'under' a certain age.

For example the U9 age group would be for all dancers who were 8 on the first of January that year, even if they are now 9.

The youngest age group is usually U6 although some feiseanna have an U5 age group. The oldest age specific group tends to be between 17 and 20 for Championships with a Senior category for older dancers.

In large feiseanna competitions may be split between boys and girls (or men and ladies), others will be mixed.

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