What is the Crossroads School of Irish Dancing?

The Crossroads School is an Irish dancing school dedicated to teaching Irish dancing strictly to adults. Instruction is designed to help adult dancers learn and master Irish dancing in a supportive and fun environment.

Who are the instructors?

Classes are taught by:

  • Joanne Collins Schneider, T.C.R.G.
  • Colleen Erb, T.M.R.F.

What does “T.C.R.G” mean?

T.C.R.G. is abbreviation for the Irish title that means “Teacher registered with Comisioun Rince Gaelaca”. An Comisioun is the body that regulates Irish dancing and Irish Dancing teachers. A registered teacher has attempted and passed a series of examinations on music, dancing and teaching competence.

Why should I care if an Irish dancing teacher has a T.C.R.G?

Registered, qualified teachers offer students a guaranteed level of instructional and dance competence. Also, only students of qualified, registered teachers are eligible to compete in local, regional and national feisanna (competitions).

Why does your school teach only adults?

Adults require a different instructional style than child learners. Adults learn at a different pace than younger dancers and frequently need material broken down into discrete, easily mastered segments. They also often require more repetition to master steps. Although some adults are quite comfortable in classes with children, many find that the pace of learning is geared to the children and they do not have the time to master their material before the class moves on. Adult classes allow students to move at a comfortable pace without the pressure to keep up with the kids.

What is the difference between ceili dancing and step dancing?

Ceili dancing is done in groups of two to 16 people. It’s similar to square dancing, but the dances are not called, they are learned. The dances are all jigs and reels. All ceili dancing is done in “soft shoes” or reel shoes. Ceili dancing is a great social activity and there are many ceilis in and around the Philadelphia and Trenton area to practice your skills. Step dancing is solo dancing. In addition to jigs and reels, the step dancer learns the slip jig, treble reel, treble jig, hornpipe, and traditional and modern sets. Step dancers wear “soft shoes” for their reels, light jugs and slip jigs and “hard shoes” for the treble reels, treble jigs, hornpipes and sets.

You mentioned competition. Is it necessary?

No, but many of our dancers enjoy competition.. Some dancers take classes for fun and/or exercise, but the step dancing and competition and performance classes are designed to prepare students for competition, both individual and figures (group dances). The Crossroads dancers regularly travel to regional feisanna and enjoy both the fellowship and the competition. Our dancers won the 2002 National Adult 8 Mixed Hand Competition at the North American Championships held in Boston. They also won first place in the Adult Mixed 4 Hand Competition at the Regional championships help in Philadelphia.

Does your class do anything beside competition?

Yes, we dance in the annual Philadelphia St, Patrick’s Day parade and perform at local Irish events and festivals.

I have never done any Irish dancing. Is your class for me?

Beginners are always welcome in our classes and may start anytime.

How old are your dancers?

Dancers ages range from the early 20’s to 80!

What do I wear to class?

Beginners should wear comfortable clothing (a tee shirt and shorts or leggings) and bring a water bottle. Light, flexible shoes that stay on your heel when you stand on your toes are a must. If you decide to pursue Irish dancing, reel shoes and/or dance sneakers can be purchased.

Can I observe a class?

You are more than welcome to come to class and observe. Please let me know when you plan to attend so that I can schedule some time to meet you. You can contact me through the website.

When and where are your classes held?

All class information is on the Class Information page.

What is Joanne’s contact information?

E-mail: crossroadsdancers@gmail.com
Phone: 215-750-6152