All competitors and members of the public who attend any WIDA event are hereby agreeing that their image may be used for printing, internet & public broadcasting at the discretion of WIDA and these images may only be used with the written approval of WIDA.
Feiseanna are open to ALL dancers from ALL organisations in the world. Dancers can also be independent, i.e. do not have to be part of an organisation or dance school.
In matters pertaining to dance the adjudicators' decision is final.
If someone wants to object to an adjudicator's decision the objection has to be presented in writing on the day of the feis together with a fee of 50 €. If the objection is upheld, the fee will be returned; if not, the fee will be retained by WIDA.
Musicians employed by the Feis Committee will be solely under the direction and management of the Feis Committee on the day of the feis.
WIDA reserves the right to refuse an entry.
Conduct at feis
No smoking, drinking of alcohol or use of hairspray in the dancing hall.
The use of flash, videos, digital or motion picture cameras is prohibited except during award presentations, introduction and breaks. This is in accordance with child protection laws and prevents misuse. Anyone found to be photographing/filming dancing/dancers during competition will be asked to leave the venue. If the Feis Committee suspects that potentially inappropriate images/videos are stored on the device, the police will be informed.
Musicians and adjudicators may not be approached except by the Feis Committee.
Teachers, parents or instructors are not allowed to give instruction or direction to dancers while they are competing.
Only competitors in the current event and the Feis Committee are allowed sidestage during a competition.
Beginner, Primary and Intermediate Competitions are open to those dancers who have not moved up from that respective grade in that dance for any organisation.
Dancers may participate additionally in one grade up per dance at a feis in the same age group. E. g. Beginner and Primary for the Reel under 25.
In Beginners competitions where there are 15 or more participants, dancers who place 1st, 2nd or 3rd will move up, where there are 10 - 14 participants dancers who place 1st or 2nd will move up and where there are 5 – 9 participants, dancers who place 1st will move up.
In Primary competitions where there are 10 or more participants, dancers who place 1st or 2nd will move up, where there are 5 – 9 participants, dancers who place 1st will move up.
In Intermediate competitions where there are 5 or more participants, dancers who place 1st will move up.
In Beginner, Primary and Intermediate: If there are less than 5 dancers, no dancers will qualify to move up. WIDA reserves the right to merge age groups to form qualifying competitions.
In the competitions Under 5 and below there is no grading, i.e. dancers in those competitions cannot move up. However, a dancer aged Under 5 can move up if they dance in a competition Under 6 or above.
First Feis competitions are open for young children who have not danced a feis before. Dancers are required to dance on the spot either 16 jump-2-3s or 16 hop 1-2-3s (promenade step). A dancer can only take part in a First Feis competition once. First Feis competitions are designed for Under 5s – exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Feis Committee.
Awards will be determined in proportion to the number of competitors.
Dancers must be in FULL costume including shoes when receiving awards. Dancers who are not in full costume will not be allowed to accept an award.
Dancers and teams must dance in numerical order. Dancers who arrive at the stage late and join the end of the line or who are not standing in correct numerical order will not be allowed to dance.
If a dancer fails to start at the correct time after the introduction is played, OR if a dancer stops and does not continue, then this dancer cannot score more than 1 point. No exceptions will be made.
Any dancer who does a false / early start will be awarded only one point for the round. A false / early start is defined as moving the back foot away from the usual standing position before the actual start of the step. As long as the ball of the back foot stays on the ground, the dancer may go up on toes. A point of the front foot is allowed, as well as a cut or similar movement. Examples for common movements that will be penalised, amongst others: taking a step before beginning the dance, doing an extra jump etc. The Step should be the same on both right and left foot. Anything that will not be done on the left foot should not be done on the right foot of the start. In the case of doubt and/or complaints/objections lodged via the official procedure, adjudicators of oireachtasai will be able to consult official WIDA videos of competitions for clarification purposes (where available). Official videos are currently taken at the European and World Championships. For event where no official videos are made, dancers may be asked to re-dance to clarify potential rule-breaking queries. The official video only will be considered evidence of rule breaking.
A dancer will be penalised for “barging” / intentional bumping (i.e. awarded 1 point only for all rounds). In the case of accidental barging (particularly on small stages at local feiseanna), penalties will be at the Adjudicator’s discretion.
Coming into effect from 1 August 2017: After having achieved the second part of the TCRG exam, teachers are no longer allowed to participate in solo competitions or solo championships. On completion of TCRG part 4, teachers are no longer allowed to participate in either solo or team competitions or championships. There is no change on completion of the TMRF exams; teachers who have completed the TMRF exam are still allowed to participate in any competitions.
In the Solo Competitions dancers will dance 32 bars of each dance (excepting the Traditional Set). The dancers will be in a line on stage and they will come forward two at a time to dance their steps. There will be no break in the music between each two dancers.
Age group is determined by age as of the current year. E.g. If a dancer was born in the year 2000 they are then under 14 for the year 2014.
The Feis Committee reserve the right to merge, cancel or add age groups and competitions on the day of the feis.
Amended / merged competitions and age groups will count for grade promotion purposes.
In solo grade competitions where there are 20 or more dancers competing in any dance, the competition will be split into an A and a B competition. The split will be determined by date of birth.
All official Céilí Dances as described in the book "Ár Rinci Fóirne" or otherwise accepted by WIDA (e.g. Tara Reel) can be entered for the Céilí Competitions. At Oireachtasai the Céilí dances that can be entered are determined by the syllabus of the respective event.
Céilí teams may only have 50% of the team from another age group. In all age groups except U12 and O30 only half of these 50 % may be all of an older or all of a younger age group. Céilí teams in the U12 age group at the event may have up to 50% of the team from an older age group, while teams in the O30 age category may have 50% from a younger age group. At a major event a team with the same set-up may only enter in one Céilí competition (example: a team with four dancers U12 & four dancers U17 may dance in either U12 OR U17).
U12 ceili teams: Minimum of 50% of team must be U12. The remaining 50% of the team may be older. For example, in a ceili team of 8 dancers, this means that a minimum of 4 dancers must be the correct age for the U12 age group and a maximum of 4 dancers may be older.
U17 ceili teams: Minimum of 50% of team must be the correct age for the U17 age group. A maximum of 25% of the team may be older and a maximum of 25% of the team may be younger. This means that in a ceili team of 8 dancers, a minimum of 4 dancers must be the correct age for the U17 age group, a maximum of 2 dancers may be older and a maximum of 2 dancers may be younger.
U30 ceili teams: Minimum of 50% of team must be the correct age for the U30 age group. A maximum of 25% of the team may be older and a maximum of 25% of the team may be younger. This means that in a ceili team of 8 dancers, a minimum of 4 dancers must be the correct age for the U30 age group, a maximum of 2 dancers may be older and a maximum of 2 dancers may be younger.
O30 ceili teams: Minimum of 50% of team must be O30. The remaining 50% of the team may be younger. For example, in a ceili team of 8 dancers, this means that a minimum of 4 dancers must be the correct age for the O30 age group and a maximum of 4 dancers may be younger.
In Céilí dances teams must dance either basic jump over 2,3s for the dance or a combination of promenade step and jump back 2,3s. Teams must not combine Jump over 2,3s with promenade step or jump back 2,3s. Teams that fail to follow this rule will be placed at the bottom of a result.
Each time a movement starting with Promenade step begins, it should be started with the right foot.
Each dancer is only allowed to be part of one team within a given age group. Dancing for several teams in different age groups is allowed.
Length of the dances:
All progressive dances (e.g. Fairy Reel): once through
Cross Reel, Duke Reel, 8-Hand Jig, 8-Hand Reel, High Cauled Cap, Morris Reel, 16-Hand Reel, St. Patrick’s Day, Trip to the Cottage, Tara Reel: up to and including 1st Tops doing 1st figure
Gates of Derry: up to and including the Gates after the Telescope
Glencar Reel: once through
Lannigan’s Ball: once through
Sweets of May: up to and including See Saw
Three Tunes: up to and including Hook and Chain
4-Hand Reel and Humours of Bandon: the first 96 bars
Recommendation on embellishments: Embellishments are defined as additions to ceili dances that are not included in the ceili book/annotation. A definitive rule regarding embellishments is to follow. In general, it is advised that everything that is included in the ceili book/annotation be included in the dance, while anything not included in the ceili book/annotation may be considered an embellishment. Movements that are in the ceili book/annotation but are not more closely specified (e.g. where footwork is not specified/hand counts, etc.) are open to individual interpretation.
Figure (2-, 3-, 4-Hand)
The age groups will be determined by entry numbers. As a guide, please assume that the ceili age groups will be used (i.e. U12, U17, U30 & O30), but WIDA reserves the right to change or merge age groups depending on entries.
2-Hands and 3-Hands must be 48 bars in length
4-Hands must be 96 bars in length
Each dancer is only allowed to be part of one team (2-, 3-, 4-Hands) within a given age group. Dancing for several teams in different age groups is allowed. For example, if a dancer dances an U25 2-hand, they cannot exit the stage and dance another 2-hand in the U25 age group. However, they are allowed to dance another 2-hand in the U30 age group (given that age requirements are met).
4-Hand Figures can either be traditional book dances or individually choreographed dances.
Figures (=2-, 3-, 4-hands) can only be danced to Reel music, the exceptions are traditional Céilí dances that are danced as a 4-hand (e.g. Humours of Bandon)
Figures must be done in soft shoes. Dancing a figure dance in hard shoes will result in immediate disqualification.
Traditional as well as modern footwork may be used in 2- and 3- hands. 4-hands must use traditional footwork only, i.e. any footwork found in the ceilis in the ceili book/annotation.
Figure Choreographies are free Céilí choreographies. Traditional céilí footwork has to be used, no modern steps. Own music or music by the feis musician but only instrumental (no words, no voices) music may be used. The following types of music may be used:
Traditional Irish Music
Music originated from an Irish Dance album (produced by Irish dance musicians)
Traditional Music with Modern Influences (i.e.: Techno Beats, Folk, Celtic, Celtic Fusion music etc.).
Minimum of 10, maximum of 16 dancers. Minimum of 3 and a half minutes and a maximum of 5 minutes for the performance.
Political and religious intonations, overtones, practices or bias towards or against any political or religious belief in any manner is strictly prohibited at all WIDA events. This includes themes for show championships and figure choreographies.
Minimum of 10, maximum of 20 dancers. Minimum of 3 and a half minutes and a maximum of 6 minutes for the performance.
Any storyline but only instrumental music (nor words, no voices) is allowed. The dancing must only be Irish dancing. Dance must occupy a majority of the performance time.
Any team or dancer who does not follow the footstep and music requirements of their respective competitions may be penalised or disqualified. The adjudicators of these competitions will be made aware of the rules regarding step and music requirements and the committee reserve the right to make the adjudicators aware of any infractions that may have been missed.
All members of a show team must be on stage from the start and no member can leave the stage during the performance. For any member of the team to do so means the team cannot finish in the top three of the result. Scenery screens can be put on stage which can be used for costume changes during the performance of the show but they must be of a mobile, temporary and leightweight nature.
Political and religious intonations, overtones, practices or bias towards or against any political or religious belief in any manner is strictly prohibited at all WIDA events. This includes themes for show championships and figure choreographies.
Premiership / Championship Rules
Dancers may only participate in one premiership at a feis (exception: Oireachtasai - participation in one Premiership and Open Championship is allowed at Oireachtasai).
Dancers may only participate in Premiership or Open Championship if they danced at least 2 solos in the grade competitions (except Oireachtasai without Open Grade competitions).
Participants in the Beginners and Primary Premierships have to dance the Reel and the Light Jig.
Participants in the Intermediate Premiership in age groups younger than U12 have to dance a Reel and either a Light Jig or a Treble Jig. Dancers in age groups U12 and over must dance Reel and Treble jig in Intermediate Premiership.
The scores on both dances will be combined to an overall score. The winner will be awarded a trophy (instead of a medal as in the single competitions).
The youngest age group in the Premiership is Under 6.
The following three dances determine which grade premiership a dancer may enter:
- Light Jig
- Treble Jig
Beginner Premiership is for dancers who are in beginner for 2 or 3 of the above dances.
Primary Premiership is for dancers who are in primary for 2 or 3 of the above dances.
Intermediate Premiership is for dancers who are in Intermediate for 2 or 3 of the above dances. A dancer moves from Intermediate Premiership to Preliminary Championship when they have won 4 dances in Intermediate, 2 of which must be hardshoe dances.
If a dancer is in 3 different grades for the listed dances then they enter the premiership of the middle grade. Example:
Beginner - Treble Jig Primary - Light Jig Open - Reel Premiership - Primary
Participants in the Preliminary Championships have to dance either a Reel (48 bars) or Slip Jig (40 bars) and either a Treble Jig (48 bars) or Hornpipe (40 bars).
Preliminary Championships take place at Local Feiseanna only - not at Regional/National or International Events.
Please note that dancers progress from Intermediate Premiership into Preliminary Championship when they have a total of 4 dances in Open, two of which must be hardshoe dances. A dancer who has not yet reached this qualification may continue to dance Intermediate Premiership until he/she has done so. Dancers only become eligible for the Open Championships at local Feiseanna when they have won 2 Preliminary Championships in which there have been a minimum of 3 participants.
Participants in the age groups Under 12 and over in Championships at local feiseanna have to dance either a Reel or a Slip Jig and either a Treble Jig or Hornpipe and if required a Modern Set Dance. This will be at the judges’ discretion. If there are 10 or more dancers in the championship a recall of 50 % of the dancers is required. The dancers with the highest scores in the first two rounds will then be recalled to dance a Modern Set.
For dancers in the age groups Under 10 and younger please check the current syllabus.
10 dancers = 5 recalls 11 dancers = 6 recalls
Any dancer who has won an Open Championship including Soft- and Hardshoeround at any time in front of 3 judges and a minimum of 3 participants is ineligible to dance Preliminary Championship. Thus, when a dancer wins an Open Championship (provided that the above requirements are met), they may only dance Open Championships from this point onwards.
Open Championship is for dancers who have won 2 Preliminary Championships or have won an Open Championship at any time in front of 3 judges and a minimum of 3 participants. (Exception: Regional/National or International Events – any capable dancer may enter in the Open Championship). Upon winning an Open Championship (including at oireachtasai/international events), dancers will automatically move into open for all dances that were previously in other levels prior to the championship. This renders dancers who have won an open championship under the aforementioned conditions ineligible to dance solos in any grades other than open. Exception: Dancers in the younger age groups who only dance softshoe in a championship. In this case, the dancer would move into open for softshoe dances only and not for hardshoe.
If a dancer wishes to dance at the World or European Championships they must compete at a regional oireachtas of the previous year, i.e. to dance at Worlds and Europeans 2016, a dancer must compete at one of the regional events of 2015 – Irish, British, German, Siberian, East European, East Coast or West Coast Open.
To qualify to dance the World Championships, dancers must dance Open Championships at the European Championships. To qualify to dance the European Championships, dancers must compete in at least two solos and a premiership/championship at the regional qualifier.
In the case of injury, a dancer must provide a medical certificate, enter and attend the Oireachtas event and stand on stage and point their toe at the Oireachtas to qualify for the Worlds and European Championships. The medical certificate must be submitted to Jelena Haramis in advance. Inability to complete these steps means that a dancer is ineligible to compete at the World and European Championships.
Steps in Solo Competitions
Dancers can but do not have to dance a lead around and a sidestep; they can dance any 32 / 40 / 48 bars if they prefer to do so, provided that the following rules are complied with.
Dancers must when doing steps do right and left for the entire step. A dancer may be disqualified if they start a step with the left and switch back to the right foot after the first bar. This means that all lead rounds must be danced on the right and left feet (see below). Set dance steps must also be completed on the right and left foot. A dancer may be asked by an adjudicator to dance their step again to confirm that they have complied with this ruling.
As of January 1st 2010 ALL lead rounds in dances must be RIGHT and LEFT foot. Failure to follow this in competition will make the dancer ineligible to finish in the top three of a solo or championship result. Light Jig, Beginners Reel and Beginners Slip Jig are exempt from this rule.
Dancers in all levels have to dance 32 bars in the respective grade dance, except in the Traditional and Open Sets.
Participants in the Open Championships have to dance 40 bars in the Slip Jig and Hornpipe and 48 bars in the Reel and Treble Jig. Dancers from the age groups “Over 25” have to dance 32 bars in the Slip Jig and Hornpipe and 40 bars in the Reel and Treble Jig.
All traditional and modern sets are danced step on right and left foot and set on right foot only except in Open traditional set where the set is also danced on the left foot pursuant to the table below.
The following applies to all traditional and modern sets danced in open grade solos and/or championships:
Traditional sets a local feiseanna: step right and left foot, set right foot only
Traditional sets at national oireachtasai (qualifiers): step and set right and left foot
Traditional sets at the European Championships: step right and left foot, set right foot only
Traditional sets at the World Championships: step and set right and left foot
Modern sets at local feiseanna: step right and left foot, set right foot only
Modern sets at national oireachtasai (qualifiers): step right and left foot, set right foot only
Modern sets at the European Championships: step right and left foot, set right foot only
Modern sets at the World Championships: step right and left foot, set right foot only
Movements on the points (toe stands, toe walks etc.) are not allowed for dancers in the age groups up to and including Under 11. In the DOUBLE year age group Under 12, under 11 dancers are allowed to do toe movements.
Triple clicks are not allowed for dancers in the age groups up to and including Under 12.
For safety reasons quadruple or higher multiple clicks are not allowed in any age groups.
In Beginner competitions the following movements are allowed: Skips, threes, sevens, hops, jump over / leap, cuts, points, single heels, jump, stamp, toes (at the back, no weight), kick the heel (as in St. Patrick's Day), trebles, brushes/tips.
Rocks are only allowed in St. Patrick's Day.
In Primary competitions the following movements in addition to the beginners material are allowed: Front clicks, through clicks (passing clicks), rocks, quarter turns.
Not adhering to the guidelines given above will result in deduction of points and the respective dancer cannot place 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
In intermediate and open competitions all movements are allowed.
Single Jig and Light Jig steps may only be comprised of basic moves regardless of the level. The allowed moves are: Skips, threes, sevens, hops, jump over / leap, cuts, points, single heels, jump, stamp, toes (at the back, no weight), kick the heel (as in St. Patrick's Day).
Dancers who transfer to another school may not dance or teach any material they learned at their previous school in their new school (except traditional sets) regardless of the organisation from which they have transferred, unless the express permission of the former teacher is provided in writing. Failure to follow this rule could lead to disqualification of all affected dancers from competition. The steps danced by a student in their new school must be visually different from those of their former school. If required a comparison may be requested by the former teacher to address any concerns that may be raised (the comparison will be adjudicated by a panel of independent W.I.D.A. teachers). WIDA does not, however, enforce a competition ban on dancers who have transferred to a different school.
Dancers in beginners competitions have to dance to beginners speed.
The Reel and Slip Jig in primary and intermediate competitions are danced to open speed.
Participants in primary competitions can choose either beginners or open speed for the Treble Jig and the Hornpipe.
Beginners Reel, Slip Jig, Single Jig: 121
Light Jig: 116
Beginners Treble Jig: 85
Beginners Hornpipe: 138
Open Reel, Slip Jig, Hornpipe: 113
Open Treble Jig: 73
- St. Patrick’s Day, Jockey to the Fair: 92
- Blackbird: 146
- Job of Journeywork, Garden of Daisies: 138
- King of the Fairies, The Hunt, White Blanket: 130
- Three Sea Captains: 88
-Minimum Jig set speed: 66
-Minimum Hornpipe set speed: 76
Variations may occur on the day of the Feis. Neither musicians nor the Feis Committee can be held liable for variations in speed.
A L L dancers at a WIDA event in Beginner competitions up to and including the age under 12 MUST wear the following costume:
Dancers registered with WIDA schools: Dark green skirt and white polo shirt with the WIDA logo attached. Skirts of other green colours are not considered the appropriate WIDA beginner uniform and dancers wearing incorrect costume will be penalised accordingly.
Dancers NOT registered with WIDA schools: A dark green skirt and a white polo shirt. Boys must wear black trousers and a white polo shirt.
Failure to follow the above rules will mean a dancer will be unable to place in the top three of a result. If no dancer in the competition is following the rules then no dancer from this result can be promoted to the Primary level at the next WIDA event.
Dancers in beginner grade competitions from the age group U13 and above (i.e. age groups U13, U14 and U15) may wear the WIDA green and white beginner outfit or a class costume. In this context, a costume is considered a class costume if a school has at least 4 identical costumes (or matching costumes in the case of boys’ costumes).
The following rules apply to all dancers in Beginner grade competitions in all age groups up to and including U15:
No embroideries on WIDA beginner costumes or diamontes are allowed on ANY of the above costumes that would change their appearance in any way. This includes any tiaras and sparkly headbands.
No school logos or names are allowed to appear anywhere on the costume, no school tiaras or school headpieces or sparkly hairbands.
No full wigs. Bun wigs are acceptable.
Dancers in beginner grade competitions aged over 15 may wear any costume. WIDA recommends that costumes be appropriate to the grade.
The following rules apply to all dancers taking part in WIDA open platform Solo competitions:
Dancers up to and including the age of Under 12 entered in primary and intermediate competitions must wear a school costume or a beginner outfit. Dancers who fail to follow this rule cannot finish in the top three of a result.
Primary dancers in age groups U13, U14 & U15 may wear the beginning costume or a class costume only (ie NO solo dresses). Dancers in intermediate grade competitions in the age groups U13, U14 and U15 may wear solo costumes.
Dancers up to and including the age of Under 15 in beginners, primary and intermediate competitions may only wear bun wigs in competition. Full wigs are not allowed and may result in a dancer being dropped from the top three of a result if this rule is not followed. Tiaras may be worn in primary & intermediate competitions.
Dress and skirt length have to be appropriate so as not to cause offence or embarrassment. Necklines must also not be too low (i.e. lowest point of neckline should be around the collarbone). This also applies to costumes where leotards are worn. The final decision as to what is appropriate will be determined by the adjudicator who is judging the feis. Dancers who do not wear appropriate costumes in these respects will not be able to finish in the top three of a competition result.
Outfits that include any kinds of light (e.g. LEDs or similar) are not allowed. Dancers who fail to follow this rule will be disqualified from the competition.
Soft Shoes: Footwear worn for all soft shoe competitions including team events must be of a plain black leather construction. No patent leather or coloured shoes are permitted, even for prize awarding/presentations/parades of champions.Both the shoe and shoelaces must be black in colour.
Hard Shoes: Footwear worn in all hard shoe competitions must be of a plain black leather construction. No patent leather or coloured shoes are permitted, even for prize awarding/presentations/parades of champions. A white strap which attaches the shoe to the closing buckle to assist in keeping the shoe on the foot is allowed. The actual shoe itself and the shoelaces must be all black in colour. Buckles are not allowed. Dancers wearing buckles will not be able to place in the top three of a result.
Dancers in all grades and ages may if wearing poodle socks only wear plain white poodle socks (no diamontes, coloured socks etc.) in Solo and Ceílí competitions.
Dancers in the age groups up to and including Under 11 are not allowed to wear make-up or fake tan.
A dancer may be allowed to re-dance if a Costume malfunction occurs as long as the dancer waits for the adjudicator to ring the bell. If a dancer stops dancing due to a costume malfunction without the adjudicator's permission, the dancer will be disqualified from the competition.
For safety reasons, dancers may:
Wear stud earrings only
NOT wear dress rings or necklaces while dancing.
NOT wear shoe buckles.
Dancers in breach of these rules will not be able to place in the top 3 of a result.
The following rules apply to registered members of WIDA and their dance companies and members thereof:
Class dresses should be more basic in style compared to solo dresses, if unsure please contact your regional coordinator before purchasing class dresses.
Traditional celtic design be incorporated in costumes (STRONGLY recommended)
The policy of the World Irish Dance Association (W.I.D.A.) in regards to the transfer of students between schools is as follows:
When a student leaves one school to move to another it is the responsibility of both the student and the new teacher to inform the former teacher in writing (by letter or e-mail - texts/sms are not acceptable) of the change in situation.
It is recommended that the transferring student and new teacher keep printed copies of all communications in relation to transfers with dates attached.
There is no period of refrainment (ban) from competition when a student moves to a new school.
A student who moves from one school to another may not compete using the steps danced at the former school (except traditional set dances). They may only compete when they are able to dance the steps of the new school.
It is the policy of W.I.D.A. that the student is the person who has the choice of teacher and school. Therefore when a student decides to leave a school the teacher has no cause to complain or object.
It is also the policy of W.I.D.A. to accept that registered students may only dance for one Irish dance school at a time.