• Class Rules
  • Costume Rules
  • Restyling Rules
  • General Competition Rules
  • Solo Competition Rules
  • Team Competition Rules
  • Provincial Championship / Qualifier Rules
  • World Championship Rules
  • Penalties
  • Miscellaneous Rules

1.1 Right of Refusal for entry into a School of Dancing is retained by the Teacher(s) of that particular School of Dancing.

1.2 All dancers must register with their Dancing School each year.

1.3 Dancers must show respect and courtesy towards their Teacher(s) and fellow dancers.

1.4 Dancers must seek permission to leave the hall/centre.

1.5 Dancers must seek permission from their teacher(s) to perform in any event/display/concert which is dance related.

1.6 All dancers while in class or attending a dancing event must behave in a respectful and disciplined manner.

1.7 Any dancer on medication or suffering from a medical condition/learning difficulty must inform their Teacher(s) on joining the class.

1.8 Dancers should be dropped to and collected from class at the designated times.

1.9 Chewing Gum is absolutely forbidden.

1.10 Dancers must inform their Teacher(s) when they wish to cease/leave a class.

1.11 Rules are not negotiable.

2.1 A class figure costume is to be the only class costume up to and including Under 9 years.

2.2 Beginners A, B and C are prohibited from wearing Solo costumes.

2.3 An adjudicator may deduct marks at his or her discretion if they find the length of a solo or team costume affects the overall performance.

2.4 That from Under 10 upwards, in the absence of a dancer having either a solo or class costume, where they choose to wear a skater style outfit when competing, they must wear black tights. This applies to dancers in all grades.

2.5 The use of arm aids on costumes or by any other means is forbidden.

2.6 Dancing pomps for all solo and team competitions (including presentation) must be black. White laces are permitted in dancing footwear.

2.7 Emblems or designs on costumes that indicate the former achievements of a competitor are forbidden e.g. “globes”.

2.8 All names and initials are strictly prohibited on solo costumes.

2.9 Dancers must wear the number centre of costume.

2.10 Dancers up to and including the age of 12 are prohibited from wearing face make-up.

2.11 Dancers competing in team competitions where the competition age limit is up to and including the age of 12 are prohibited from wearing face make-up. Dancers competing in team competitions where the competition age limit is over the age of 12 are permitted to wear face make-up.

2.12 All dancers are prohibited from wearing any form of glitter on their face.

2.13 Competitors are requested not to smoke, including e-cigarettes, whilst dressed in their dancing costume.

The An Chomhdháil Restyling period will apply to dancers as follows:

3.1 All dancers moving within or into An Chomhdhail are required to complete a 3 month restyling period before being eligible to take part in feiseanna.

3.2 The restyling period will commence from the date the registration form is received by the relevant Branch Secretary (branch which the receiving teacher is a member of).

3.3 Newly qualified members of An Chomhdháil may not accept dancers from another member of An Chomhdháil for a period of 2 years from the date of registration of a class and vice versa. The 2 year period is effective from the date of registration of the class, notification of which must be forwarded to the Branch Secretary.

3.4 Schools are limited to 6 restyling dancers from within An Chomhdhail per 12-month period.

3.5 The restyling rule should only be applied to new beginners (non Feis dancers) after they have been attending a class for 1 month.

3.6 If any dancer/teacher shall, in the opinion of the disciplinary committee fail to uphold the above rules they may be subject to a written warning and/or sanction as deemed appropriate.

3.7 Associate Members of the organisation are not permitted to accept any dancers for restyling from within An Chomhdháil or into the organisation.

3.8 Dancers moving from all organisations to An Chomhdháil or within An Chomhdhail must compete at a Provincial Championship / Qualifier after the restyling period before they are eligible to compete at the World Dance Championships. This applies to both solo and team dancing.

4.1 Entry into any competitions may be confined in accordance with the following classifications only:

a) AGE: Where there is an age limit for any competition, a competitor’s age shall be taken as that which he/she has reached on or before 1st January of the year in which a competition is held.
b) GRADE: Only the following grades are permitted: Bun Grad A, B and C, Mean Grad and Ard Grad.
c) AREA: Competitions are confined to dancers from a particular area. Area is determined by the branch which the teacher is a member of .e.g. the London Reel, The Waterford Jig, the Dublin Hornpipe, the Rural Reel or the Outside Belfast Reel. Competition rules apply.
d) CLASS: Confined to the pupils of one particular school.
e) SCHOOLS: “Schools” in this particular context means Primary, Secondary or Vocational Schools. In the case of these competitions, entries must be confined to those who are taught by them in the school specified.

4.2 An Chomhdhail Dancers who reside outside Ireland and UK are permitted to take part in Open Platform competitions not registered with An Comhdhail.

4.3 All Competitors must have their Birth Certificates registered with the Secretary of the Local Branch.

4.4 Competitors are required to be appropriately attired at all times when attending a Feis and the Committee has the right to ensure that the Rule is adhered to.

4.5 Once a dancer has won a 1st prize in a competition they are not eligible for that dance in that particular grade, for forthcoming competitions even if entries have been pre-paid.

4.6 Feiseanna may only use the word Championship when the following applies:

a) 1 or 3 Adjudicators officiate (5 in the case of World Championships)

> The winner of a Championship adjudicated by 1 Adjudicator is deemed to be open for the dances performed for the year concerned.
> The winner of a Championship adjudicated by 3 Adjudicators is deemed to be open for life for all dances.

b) Light and heavy dance to be performed (Treble Reel at same tempo acceptable in the case of Boys Championships). Boys over 11 years must wear soft shoes when dancing Reel in Solo or Championship.

4.7 To be eligible to compete in Championship or Perpetual Trophy Competitions competitors must have competed in at least one Open solo competition excluding treble reel and both solos in Championship.

4.8 Open Championship permitted from Under 10 years only. An exception is made for Provincial Championships / Qualifiers where Open Championship under 9 is permitted.

4.9 Any competitor winning a Championship is automatically debarred from Beginners A, B, C, and Pre-Open and remains so debarred unless a period of two years elapses without said competitor winning a medal in the Open section, in which case application for re-grading may be made through the Branch to the Executive of An Chomhdháil. This rule does not apply where there is only one competitor in the competition.

4.10 The rules for Confined competitions under 1 or 3 adjudicators are as follows:

U/10 Upwards

(a) A confined competition (under 1 or 3 adjudicators) should be listed as a confined dance e.g. Confined Reel on syllabi and referred to in this way for results etc.
(b) Dancers who have not won an Open Championship (under 3 adjudicators) are eligible to compete.
(c) The winner of a confined competition under 1 or 3 adjudicators becomes open for that dance for the rest of the year.

Up to Under 9

(d) Confined competitions up to and including U/9 should be danced under 1adjudicator only.
(e) Confined competitions should exclude those who win the Championship Cup in those age groups.
(f) Upon reaching U/10 age group all dancers are eligible to compete in Confined Competition until an Open Championship has been won.

4.11 Beginner Cup Competitions

(a) Dancers must have performed in a light solo for light cup competition or a heavy solo for a heavy cup competition in the grade
(b) Dancers must be Beg. A, B or C for the dance selected in the relevant grade.
(c) Dancers can only do one Cup Competition in a particular grade in their own age (or up one if age not provided) at any one feis.
(d) The winner will progress a grade for the dance performed.

4.12 Pre-Open Cup Competition

(a) Dancers must have danced at least one of the pre-open dances in their own age group or up one age.
(b) Dancers must be Pre-Open for the dance selected
(c) Dancers can only do one Cup Competition in a particular grade in their own age (or up one if age not provided) at any one feis.
(d) The winner will progress a grade for the dance performed.

5.1 Beginners “A” Bun Grad

  • Confined to competitors who have never won a 1st place in that particular dance in any age group.
  • Competitors must dance basic steps in Reel, Light Jig, Slip-Jig, Single-Jig, Hornpipe, Treble Jig and Traditional Set Dances. Beginners “A” competitions Any Age are permissible.

5.2 Beginners “B” Bun Grad

  • Confined to competitors who have never won a 1st place in that particular dance in any age group.
  • Competitors may dance a slightly harder version of the basic steps in Reel, Light Jig, Slip-Jig, Single-Jig, Hornpipe and Treble Jig. Traditional Set Dances remain unchanged. Beginners “B” competitions Any Age are permissible.

5.3 Beginners “C” Bun Grad

  • Confined to competitors who have never won a 1st place in that particular dance in any age group.
  • Competitors may dance a further progression of steps from Beginners “B”. Traditional Set Dances remain unchanged. Beginners “C” competitions Any Age are permissible.

5.4 Mean Grad – Pre Open

  • Confined to competitors who have never won a 1st place in a particular dance in the age group specified. Age the competition is under to be specified. Competitors may only dance one year above their age in this grade.

5.5 Ard Grad – Open

  • Open to all competitors. Competitors may not dance out of their own age group (may dance up one age group only if own age group not provided for).

5.6 Lead around in heavy dances must be performed on right and left foot. In light dances, it is permitted to perform the lead around twice on the right foot.

5.7 In Beginners A, B and C competitions there must be a minimum of 10 Competitors, and in Pre Open Competitions there must be a minimum of 5 competitors, before the winner progresses to the next grade. If there are less than these minimum numbers it is at the discretion of the Adjudicator to issue either an award or a 1st place, based on the standard rather than the number in the competition.

5.8 Non-Championship Holder (NCH)

a) Open to dancers who have not won a Championship. (judged by 1 or 3 adjudicators)
b) One Adjudicator officiates.
c) Light and heavy dance to be performed.
d) The winner will be Open for dances performed up to the age danced under.
e) Having won this type of competition, competitors are debarred from further entry.

5.9 Banned movements will incur disqualification:

a) En Pointe up to and including Under 14. (This movement can be performed from September prior to dancer being under 15).
b) Due to Health and Safety, the horizontal split jumps are banned with immediate effect (September 2019).
c) Bunny hop, and Charleston movements are permitted.

5.10 Dancers/Teams whose performance is interrupted through their own fault i.e. lace, fall, wig, vomit etc. are allowed to re-dance one more time in any competition Solo/Championship/Team Championship. A second incident results in disqualification.

5.11 Three competitors or teams constitute a competition in Open and Championship Grade, excluding Provincial / Qualifier and World Championships.

6.1 In all Figure Dancing competitions and Championships, the basic 123 rhythm must be performed correctly in both reel and jig time – no variations to be accepted.

6.2 Beginner figures confined to Beginners “A” and “B” dancers in the Reel, Light-Jig, Slip-Jig or Single-Jig only. Basic steps and movements only to be performed.

6.3 Intermediate team sections are permissible at local feiseanna. Intermediate teams to be made up of dancers who dance in Beginner A,B,C solo dances only as defined in rule 6.2.

6.4 In the case of Ceili and Figure Dance Competitions where it is specified over a particular age, it is permissible to have 1 in 3 competitors of the team younger than the age specified. Where syllabus states under an age, all dancers under that specified age are eligible.

6.5 In mixed Figure Dancing Competitions a minimum of ONE boy will be required in Fairy Reel and Eight Hand Ceile championships at Provincial / Qualifier and World Championships.

6.6 Where there are one/two boys in a Mixed Ceili Dance competition, the boy/s must perform in leading and opposite tops position, i.e. must perform the figure, where applicable.

6.7 In the Fairy Reel, from Leabhar Rince Ceili, the eighth movement (The Arches) should be omitted up to and including Under 10 years.

6.8 Invention Figure Dance Competition:

a) This is a formation dance of 200 bars including introduction, comprising of a maximum of 16 dancers who will dance in light shoes.
b) The dance may not contain solo dance steps. It should reflect steps of ceili dances and movements from Leabhar Rince Ceili, including stamps, claps, roly-poly, sevens, rising and sink and grind steps, promenading steps in whatever direction chosen (once a basic 123/7’s step is performed) to interpret the dance story – therefore no intricate movements that could be interpreted as a solo dance step.
c) The dance may not contain – Majorette movements, arm movements used in swimming, Egyptian head and hand movements, disco movements, airplane arm movements or kneeling down.
d) A ‘point and point’ or ‘toe and point’ will be permitted as a finish to the dance.

7.1 Dancers may only compete at one Provincial Championships or Qualifier – Solo and Figure Dancing.

7.2 Provincial Championships / Qualifiers must run between the end of one World Championships and the commencement of the next.

7.3 At Provincials and Qualifiers, dancers up to and including under 14 will dance their heavy round in three’s.

8.1 Dancers must compete in Solo Provincial Championships to be eligible to dance in the World Championships, except in extenuating circumstances, which must be notified in writing to the Branch, within 10 days of the said Provincial Championship. Extenuating circumstances are defined as those outside of the control of the dancer.

8.2 Schools must be represented at Provincial Championships in Figure Championships in order to be eligible to compete in the World Championships.

8.3 The dance order for competitors at the World Championships is randomly generated each year.

8.4 At the World Championships, all dancers will dance their Heavy Round in 3s up to and including Under 18 where the Championship takes place on the main stage.

8.5 At the World Championships, all dancers will dance their Light Round in 2s.

8.6 That Under 21 and Over 21 Boys competitions at the World Championships be combined to Over 19 if there are less than 10 entered in either competition.

9.1 Competitor dancing in the wrong grade – 3 months suspension.

9.2 Competitor dancing in the wrong age – 12 months suspension.

9.3 Trophies not returned at the correct time – 2 months suspension.

9.4 Should a Teacher wish to suspend a pupil within his/her class, communication must be made to the Branch Secretary, stipulating the time involved (also reason stated). No other Teacher may accept a pupil so suspended during the time specified.

10.1 Any form of unauthorised photography which captures a dancers’ image whilst taking part in competition is expressly forbidden. This covers photography by means of mobile phones, tablets, video camera, cine recorder or portable electronic devices, with or without flash facility.