FAQ & Class Policies
Our Irish dance school, located in Connecticut, has classes for girls and boys aged 4 and older as well as adult classes. We have locations and lessons in Fairfield County and New Haven County, CT: Newtown, Danbury and Southbury.
You do not need prior dance experience or need to be Irish to enjoy the art of Irish dancing. For more information on registration, please see Register or for information on our programs, visit Classes & Camps.
We are proud to teach Irish step dancing to students from Newtown, Sandy Hook, Danbury, Southbury, Brookfield, Bethel, Oxford, Ridgefield, Monroe, Redding, Woodbury, Washington, New Fairfield, Woodbridge, Easton, Middlebury, Trumbull, New Milford, Redding, CT and more!
Newtown Studio: 3 Simm Lane 3L1, Newtown, CT
The Simm Lane complex is located off Route 25 near the Car Wash & Fashion Exchange. Please go in entrance D and up the stairs to Unit 3L1.
Danbury Studio: 1 Memorial Drive, Danbury, CT
The Danbury War Memorial is located at 1 Memorial Drive (on the corner) by Rogers Park. Enter through main doors and go up the stairs on your left to the studio space.
Southbury Studio: 561 Main Street South, Southbury, CT
Park and Recreation Building is located off Main Street in Southbury. Enter through main doors and teachers will come to lobby to bring dancers to studio space when class time begins.
Students are expected to arrive to class 5-10 minutes prior to start time with dancing clothes on, hair tied back in a ponytail/bun, and shoes neatly tied. No sweatshirts, leggings, skirts or yoga pants are to be worn during instructional time (with the exception of adult classes).
GIRLS: Ashurst Academy top or black t-shirt/black tank top, black shorts, poodle socks. Hair must be in a ponytail or bun. No leggings, pants, skirts or skorts.
*Beginner I & II level dancers may wear black ballet shoes or ghillies.
BOYS: Ashurst Academy top or black t-shirt, black shorts, solid color socks. Beginner level dancers may wear regular socks and black jazz shoes or black ballet shoes. More advanced dancers may purchase boys reel shoes.
ADULTS: T-shirt, leggings or yoga pants, regular socks, sneakers or dance shoes.
Ashurst Teamwear can be ordered periodically throughout the year.
Poodle socks may be purchased online at: http://www.shop.celticchoice.com/Antonio-Pacelli-Ankle-Poodle-Socks-ankle.htm or any local feis.
Beginner I and Little Shamrocker level dancers are not required to have ghillies or hard shoes, black ballet shoes will do. From Beginner II level onward or once competitive, dancers should wear proper ghillies or boys reel shoes. We recommend:
GIRLS SOFTSHOES/GHILLIES: Hullachan Pro (via Fay’s) - $85
BOYS SOFTSHOES: Boys Reel Shoes (via Fay’s) - $85
When ready, the teacher will advise students to purchase hardshoes.
HARD SHOES: Fay’s $155-170 (Flexi Level based on dancer preference)
Please purchase all black leather shoes (no white leather accents).
Dancers may use white electrical tape to cover top strap and one layer around ankle rim of ankle only.
NO further taping or alterations to light or heavy shoes is permitted.
USED SHOES: May be available for purchase - please email desired size and shoe type to see if in stock.
To submit used shoes, place the shoes in a plastic bag with the following information on it:
1) Name Who Payment Can Be Written To
2) Asking Price
4) Include an Envelope with your Name
Dress Rehearsal: Fri. May 15, 2020
Performance: Sat. May 16, 2020 (2 pm)
Classes that run full term (Sept-June) will be in our end of the year recital.
Classes not in the recital include: Southbury Park & Rec classes, Celtic Cardio classes, 9-Week Intro Sessions and other short session programs.
More information will be emailed to families.
For the benefit of our dancers’ instructional time, we do not allow observation on a weekly basis. At the discretion of the teacher, window blinds may be closed for the focus of the students. Parents will be invited in at teachers discretion to observe a few minutes at the end of class throughout the season.
Consistent attendance is essential not only for an individuals progress but that of the class. If a child is not going to be in attendance, an e-mail should be sent to the teacher ahead of the class time. Repeated missed classes may impact a students placement for the following year. Classes may be combined or cancelled if registration is insufficient. Likewise, classes will be closed when maximum attendance is reached. There are no deductions, refunds, or credits on tuition for missed classes. For information on make up classes, see below.
If a child misses a class due to illness or other conflict, a student may take a same or lower level class only. Make up classes will expire if not completed within 2 weeks of the originally missed class. Please e-mail teacher to receive class options and to schedule any make up classes. Ceili class cannot be made-up. No refunds, credits or deductions are given for missed classes.
When inclement weather arrives or in the case of any circumstances out of our control where a class schedule will change, the Ashurst Academy will e-mail and also post the closing on its Facebook page. Weather related closings will be posted by 1:30 pm. Classes cancelled due to inclement weather are not made up but a student may request to make up the class as per standards above.
Each class level has required pre-requisites which a student must have complete prior to attending that level. See Class Levels for details. Placement is done on ability, not age. The progress of each student is monitored continuously throughout the year and the faculty reserve the right to change a student’s level when appropriate. Students do not automatically advance to the next level at the end of each year. Many times, students placed in a class too advanced, not yet having grasped and implemented the correct technique for the next level, may find progression hindered with bad habits rather than good ones. It is our goal to push, challenge and encourage each student to do their very best, whilst maintaining a high level of technique. All decisions are subject to teacher's discretion.
For transfer students or students with prior Irish dance experience: It is important and necessary to disclose if you have completed any instruction with another Irish dance school/instructor. We follow the rules of CLRG/An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha with regard to transfer students and competition. Transfer students will be placed in a class deemed appropriate by Ashurst Academy staff.
Solo costumes are not allowed until a dancer is competing fully in Prizewinner. Please contact the teacher for necessary information and guidelines, etc. No dress may be purchased without teacher approval.
Recital costume information will be emailed separately.
All students, recreational and competitive, are expected to practice at home to foster progression, retention of steps and self-confidence. Competitive students are expected to keep a dance journal with them in class to track corrections and use while practicing and stretching daily at home. Focused practice means not just dancing what you know but taking care to try to correct details and corrections from class time. Sometimes this means breaking down a small piece with extreme care and detail to build proper technique and muscle memory rather than just dancing a piece repetitively with no focus on improving technique. If unsure how to form positive practice habits or use a dance journal effectively, ask a teacher.
Please let us know if your child is interested in competing and Ashurst Academy staff member will let you know when your child is ready. Competitive dancers are expected to keep a log of their feis results which should be presented or emailed to a teacher before moving up a level. Decisions pertaining changing levels is up to teacher's discretion and no changes in level may be made without teacher approval. Each log listing should include: Name of the Feis, Date, Dance(s)/Level, Number of Dancers in Competition, Placement, Judges Comments. A feis log serves as a tool to track progression for students, parents and their teachers.
If interested in hiring Irish dancers for an event, please email us for more information. We perform at gigs big and small including: cultural events and Irish festivals, St. Patrick's Day festivities, concerts and theaters, corporate events, weddings and receptions, parades, charity events, school assemblies and more. Our Irish dancers have performed all through Connecticut including Fairfield County, New Haven County, Litchfield County and more.