McGovern Irish dance competition hub


McGovern Irish Dance has been a member of CRN and participating in CRN sanctioned competitions, or feile (rhymes with Shelagh) since 2003. In the summer of 2020 we have started exploring WIDA (World Irish Dance Association ) competitions and due to COVID there are opportunities for competing virtually and in pre recorded methods - often referred to as Digital or Virtual Feis. There is also a company called Digital Feis that we can compete with in as well.

What is CRN then?
(and WIDA, RTN, An Comhdiall)

Just like sports, Irish dance has governing bodies that guide how competition should run and what the criteria for that competition will be. Cumann Rince Naisiunta (pronounced koo-mon rink-a now-shoon-ta) is the National Dance Association of Ireland and is a professional organization of Irish Dance teachers based in Dublin. It has been in existence since 1981 and has branches in Ireland, Wales, Holland, Japan, and the newest branch the United States. The website is

Since CRN is an Open Platform organizaton our dancers can compete outside of CRN at other organizations such as WIDA, RTN, An Comhdiall etc. McGovern Irish Dance is a member of CRN and follows their style and curriculum., however starting in the summer of 2020 we have and will continue to add in other organization's curriculum and styles so that we are producing well rounded dancers that will compete well in any open platform feis.

Do you have to compete just because you are dancing with us?

Absolutely not! But, I highly encourage the activity. It is a wonderful opportunity to see how you compare to other dancers in your level and age group and with other dancers from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Wales, Scotland, Holland Australia, Ireland etc. It is also a good motivating factor to continue to practice and hone your Irish dance skills. Competition encourages the dancer to strive for continual improvement.

But, the best part of competition is that it is a GREAT opportunity to travel and make new friends from all over the place. It is also a great bonding experience for you and the members of your class and the rest of the school. Not only is the dancing part great fun, but there is lots of time to get to know the other members of the organization, not just your classmates, but the members of the entire organization and usually their family members as well.

How do competitions work?

In general, solo competitions are broken into age and skill level sets and the dancers are graded on their performance by qualified adjudicators for each organization and dancers move thru the ranks of competition by levels. Specifally for CRN, the first 3 levels of CRN Irish dance consist of compulsory material which gets gradually more intricate level by level. To move from one level to the next, the dancer must win a first place in a competition that has more than 7 dancers. Levels 4-5 consist of more creative choreography that is unique to each CRN teacher and school. Movement between levels 4-5 are based similar to the criteria as lower levels, but with a few more stipulations. Each of the Open Platform organizations run in a similar fashion but each has their own "twist" involved.

Team Dances/Ceilis/Figures
There is also the opportunity to compete in team competitions, called Ceilis (kay-lee). In these competitions, the dancers compete as a team of 2, 4, 6, or 8 dancers performing as a group in a traditional ceili dance. Team competition is great fun and really brings the dancers together as friends and mentors. Dancers that are not as experienced in the team have the opportunity to dance up to their more experienced team mates and learn from them. The more experienced dancers have the opportunity to step into a leadership or mentoring role. All of these opportunities are great experiences for everyday life and what they learn from this will bleed into other areas of life.

How Do I Enter A Competition?

Generally an email will come out announcing a competition McGovern Irish Dance will be competing in and you sign up through that commitment form and then Shelagh will enter you into the competition. Entry fees will be due BEFORE the entry is submitted. Dancers accounts must be in good standing to enter any Irish Dance or Irish Dance related competition.

With the advent of Digital/Virtual feisanna, there will be more widespread announcements of competitions via social media etc. however NO McGovern Irish Dance member may enter ANY Irish Dance or Irish Dance related competition without the express permission from the McGovern Irish Dance Director (Shelagh) All competitions must be entered and submitted through the MID Director.

All competitions, no matter the organization forward competitor lists to the teachers of the schools they belong to, so if you attempt to bypass this rule it will be known. If you enter a competition without permission, you will be pulled from that competition and quite likely the organizer will NOT refund your entry fee, and that is totally their call. Also, you will be not allowed to compete in the next 3 competitions on the calendar, no matter the organization or if it is through the Digital Feis Company.