a non-competitive traditional Irish dance program at

Dance Biz
Longview Plaza--1742 Long Pond Road
Rochester, NY 14606
(585) 227-6614


Class Schedule


Irish Stepdance Classes

Sean Nós and Country Set Classes

Days Off For The Program Year


Rince Na Saor offers instruction in all the various forms of Irish Dance, including Irish Stepdance (softshoe and hard shoe stepdancing, ceili and figure dancing, traditional and modern sets, and family dancing), Sean Nós ("sha nose" = old style Irish stepdancing), and beginner Country Set Dancing. All classes are taught by Kathy Whitfield. The descriptions below will help you choose the style which is best for you.




See Registration to register.

See Lesson Fees for lesson rates.




Irish Stepdance Classes

Irish Dancing developed along two main lines, the "High Style" and the "Low Style". The "High" style of Irish dance is the kind you see in Riverdance, including soft shoe and hard shoe stepdancing, ceili ("kay-lee"--group) dancing, traditional and modern set dances, and family dances. Modern Irish is danced on the balls of the feet, with the arms held at the sides. Dynamic and graceful, it is a choreographed style featuring intricate patterns and high precision movements. It's easy to see why it has taken the world by storm!


Rince Na Saor uses a less extreme style of stepdance than the intense, athletic style typically used in competition. It is not necessary to jump several feet off the floor or kick above your head to do Irish stepdancing, and our less severe style is more accessible and more enjoyable for the recreational dancer.


Rince Na Saor offers 3 levels of instruction in Irish stepdance for children (from age 7) and adults, plus classes by appointment for Traditional Sets, Modern Sets, and Family Dancing. All leveled classes teach soft shoe and hard shoe stepdancing and ceili (group) dancing. All dancers need a pair of Irish soft shoes; most dancers will also need a pair of Irish hard shoes. The number of years dancing listed for each level is approximate because students learn and progress at different rates.



Children's Classes

Children's Level I: Friday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. For children ages 7 and older in their first and second year of Irish dance. Irish soft shoes are required. Hard shoe is danced only in class, not the show; tap shoes are recommended because of the cost of hard shoes.


Children's Level II: Monday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. For children in their 3rd year and higher. Irish hard shoes are required for this class.


Children's Level III: Monday, 7:30-8:30 p.m. For children in their 5th year and higher. Irish hard shoes are required for this class.




Adult Classes

Adult Level I: Friday, 7:30-8:30 p.m. For adults and teens in their first and second year of Irish dance. Irish soft shoes are required; hard shoes are required for show participants. Students may try the class first before deciding whether to invest in hard shoes.


Adult Level II: Friday, 5:00-6:00 p.m. For students in their 3rd year and higher. Irish hard shoes are required for this class.


Adult Level III: Monday, 8:30-9:30 p.m. For students in their 5th year and higher. Irish hard shoes are required for this class.




Special Classes

Rince Na Saor offers special classes by appointment which run Friday, 6:00-6:30 p.m. and 8:30-9:00 p.m. Classes offered this year are:


Set Dances: A set dance is a hard shoe dance where the tune is "set", or the same for every dancer. Although designed as solo dances, they can also be performed in a group, dancing side by side with other dancers. There are two types, modern and traditional:


Modern Set Dances: In a modern set, the steps are choreographed by the teacher. There are many modern set tunes, some old, some new. Modern Sets offered this year are Three Sea Captains (new), Rodney's Glory, and Vanishing Lake.


Traditional Set Dances: In a traditional set, both the tune and the steps are "set", or the same for every dancer. There are several traditional sets which have been passed down over the years, starting in the 1700's. Traditional Sets offered this year are Job of Journeywork (new), The Blackbird, King of the Fairies, St. Patrick's Day, and The Priest and His Boots.


Suitable for: Level III dancers, and Level II dancers with teacher approval. Class is capped at 4 dancers so everyone can see me and hear their own feet.


Duration: Approximately 6 lessons, with brush-up lessons in April/May/June for those who wish to perform.




Family Dances: Designed as a way to share Irish dance with your family, these are short, simple, soft shoe dances which are very popular in Irish dance culture. Usually they take the form of a Parent/Child dance, with a parent dancing with 1 or 2 children, but it could also be a husband and wife, siblings, a cousin who wants to try Irish dance, or any other configuration. Dancers who are new to Irish will learn the 2 basic Irish steps ("3's" and "7's") and typically use whatever shoes they have in their closet which will work for Irish, so no need to buy Irish shoes unless you want to. Performance in our show at the end of the year is optional.


Suitable for: All levels.


Duration: Approximately 6 lessons, with brush-up lessons in April/May/June for those who wish to perform.

Family members may wear suitable street clothes for performance; no need to purchase a costume unless you wish to.




Sean Nós and Country Set Classes


The "Low Style" of Irish Dance is the older, more traditional style, including Sean Nós ("sha nose"--old style) stepdancing and Country Set Dancing.



Sean Nós: Sean Nós dancing is a rhythmic, relaxed style of percussive dance. Steps are danced low to the ground, and the arms are free to move as the dancer wishes. It is an improvisational style where dancers combine steps as they wish based on how they feel and the music they're dancing to. Sean Nós is hugely popular in Ireland, and that poplularity has found its way to America. Those who find Modern Irish Hard Shoe too confining or too fast will love Sean Nós!




Watch Sean Nós:








Sean Nós classes are are currently offered for adults and teens and are organized in short-term sessions of 4 lessons each.



Sean Nós I, Fridays, 8:30-9:15 p.m. No prior experience in Irish Dance is necessary.


March 1, 8, 15, 22



Sean Nós II, Fridays, 8:30-9:15 p.m. Familiarity with beginner Sean Nós or other forms of percussive dance is recommended.


January 18, 25, February 1, 8





Country Set Dancing: Country Sets are group social dances which resemble American square dances. Danced by 4 couples in a square, they are a regular feature of the ceilithe (dance parties) held in Rochester. There is a thriving Country Set Group which meets on Wednesday night at McGinnity's on West Ridge Road in Greece, and beginners are welcome to join.

For those who would like a Country Set class focused on beginners, we offer "half set" (2 couples) classes. I can also work with individuals and a single couple to teach basic set dance movements.



Watch a Country Half Set:





Click to watch a full set of 4 couples.

Country Half Sets are offered by appointment on Friday, 6:00-6:30 and 8:30-9:00 p.m. Take a single class, or a series of classes on evenings convenient for you.




Days Off


Days off for the 2018-2019 school year are:



Monday Night Classes:


October 8--Columbus Day

December 24--Holidays

December 31--Holidays

February 18--Winter Break

April 15--Spring Break

May 27--Memorial Day


Friday Night Classes:


November 23--Thanksgiving

December 21--Holidays

December 28--Holidays

February 22--Winter Break

April 12--Spring Break

April 19--Spring Break



PLEASE NOTE: Rince Na Saor does not follow any particular school district's calendar, so it is entirely possible to have dance class on a day when school is not in session (Examples: Martin Luther King Day, school conference days) or vice versa. These are the only scheduled days off regardless of your local school calendar.






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