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Frequently Asked Questions

What should my dancer wear to class?

A. Steel students are required to wear a class uniform.  The uniform consists of:

Girls - black shorts or skort, a black or white t-shirt, racer tank, bodysuit or polo and white poodle socks with the appropriate footwear

Boys - black shorts, a black or white t-shirt or polo with socks and the appropriate footwear

Tiny Toe dancers - black shorts or skort, a black or white bodysuit, t-shirt, tank or polo and white poodle socks with either soft shoes or any other form of dance shoe (ballet shoes, jazz shoes etc-preferably black)

Black shorts/skort can be store bought, or purchased through the STEEL order form.  For all tops (t-shirts, tanks, polos) we recommend purchasing from STEEL, however, plain black or white bodysuit, polo, plain crew neck t-shirt (black or white) or a black/white racer back tank top is also fine.  


Poodle socks can be purchased from the school for $12/pair

How should my dancer wear their hair?

A.  Hair should be secured tightly in a pony tail or bun away from the face.  Bangs and loose hair should also be pinned back.


Do I need Irish dance shoes?

A. Beginner dancers may start with sock feet or a pair of ballet or soft soled jazz shoes.  All dancers must have a proper pair of shoes by the end of their first month of dancing.  We have consignment shoes available at the Cloverdale studio, otherwise, new shoes should be purchased using one of our suggested suppliers.

It is unsafe for advanced beginner dancers and higher to be without proper shoes.  Dance sneakers may be worn when a dancer is recovering from an injury but should not be relied upon as they enourage laziness in the arches.


Dancers taking hard shoe classes must own and be wearing hard shoes at all classes.


Tiny Toe dancers may wear soft shoes or another form of dance shoe (ballet, jazz etc)


Where should I purchase Irish dance shoes?

At the Cloverdale studio we always have consignment shoes available.  If we do not have the size or style that you are looking for, or if you'd prefer to purchase new,  we are happy to recommend a vendor to purchase them from.  Unfortunately there are no local stores that carry proper Irish dance soft or hard shoes.

It's important to note that both soft and hard shoes are in UK sizes. Please use the sizing charts and do not order the same size dance shoe as they're wearing in running shoes because they will be too big!

New Shoe Vendors

Brogs Irish Dance Wear and Accessories

Fay Shoes

Sizing Chart:

Rutherford Shoes

Sizing Chart:

Beginner Hard shoes 

Antonio Pacelli - Essential Jig Shoe

Here’s how to measure:

And here’s the measurement guide to determine what size:


Rutherford Hard shoes Beginner - Inishfree shoes

Sizing Chart:

What should my dancer bring to class?

A. Dancers should bring socks, proper shoes, and a water bottle to all classes.  Dance bags are to be left outside in the cubby area.  Dancers participating in extended classes may bring a healthy snack, but food must be eaten outside of the studio area.


Can I view the class?

A. Parents/visitors may not enter instructional areas.  This can be very distracting to the students in the class. Classes are on a tight schedule and should not be interrupted. There are many other opportunities to see what your child is working on and is able to do: Winter Performance, St. Patrick's Day performances, community performances, at home practice, occasional videos posted to social media and viewing days.


How do I reach the instructor?

A. Email is the preferred method.  Please email your instructor using


How are classes arranged?

A. Generally all beginners will start together, no matter their age.  If registration warrants, large beginner classes will be split according to age.  As a dancer continues, they may select classes appropriate to their level, both competitive and recreational. The director will have final say in all class placements.  Dancers progress with practice, mastery of material as well as competition success (if your dancer decides to take the competitive route.)  


Do I need a costume?

A. All dancers registered with the school will participate in our Winter Performance, therefore all dancers will require a costume. School costumes are rented yearly for $50 per year for our beginner dress. Irish dance has a bad name for having expensive costumes.  Ask your instructor about how we keep costumes affordable!


Is competition mandatory?

A. Competition and performances are always encouraged, but neither are mandatory.  

How do I make up a missed class?

A. A student who has missed class due to a stat holiday, illness or injury is encouraged to attend a make up class (1 make up class per month per student).  Classes must be scheduled and made up within 30 days of the missed class.  Please always confirm a make up class by email to avoid being charged for a drop in class.  Missed classes may not accumulate.  If you need assistance determining an appropriate class/time, please contact the school. 


Handouts/Newsletters:  In the name of being environmentally friendly, Steel School rarely gives handouts in class.  All news and updates will be sent by email.  Please make sure that we have an up to date email at all times or check our online news often.


Images and Recording: From time to time STEEL will take pictures or record a STEEL class or event.  These pictures and recordings may be used online and/or for promoting the school.  If a student should NOT be included in these pictures or recordings, please make note of this on your registration form. 


Withdrawal Policy: Students wishing to withdraw from the studio must give written notice 30 days in advance of the next scheduled payment, up until April 1, to receive a refund of fees.  All STEEL costumes (skirts and dresses) must be returned before future payments are returned.  Once all STEEL property is returned, all un cashed cheques following the 30 day period will be returned to you.  After April 1, no refunds will be given.




Didn't find the answer to your question?  Please contact us and we'd be happy to help you out!

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