Competitions & Exams

Irish Dancing
Irish dancing falls into two broad categories: Soft shoe and Hard shoe. When competing, dancers fall into sections and grade accordingly. This is explained in more detail below.

Irish exams (annually) – Preliminary Grade to Grade 12 with international examiners

Highland Dancing
Highland exams (annually) – with international examiners
The Highland dancing umbrella offers a variety of different dances as follows and different levels of exams are held in each of these sections:
• Traditional Highland dances (Fling, Sword, Seann Truibhas, Reel)
• Scottish National dances such The Scottish Lilt, Flora McDonald’s Fancy and many others
• The Irish Washerwoman Jig (Scottish version)
• The Sailors Hornpipe

South African Competitions (Feis) – Irish
A Feis or Féis is a traditional Gaelic arts and culture festival. The plural forms are feiseanna and fèisean.
The term “feis” (pronounced “fesh”) is commonly used referring to Irish dance competitions.

Competitions take place annually in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town culminating in the prestigious South African Irish dance championships (South African Oireachtas) taking place in September each year. The event, which in 2019 celebrated its 15th year since inception, attracts Irish dancers from around the country to compete in a variety of sections with the main event being the Craobh Comórtas (CC) where dancers compete for trophies in their various age groups and aim to qualify for the world championships.

International Competitions
Qualifying dancers from our studio have participated in the prestigious Irish Dancing World Championships as well as in numerous other international competitions. Click below for more details on these competitions and our accolades achieved.

Duncan Studio Accolades
To view our achievements, click here.

Dances, competition grading and levels explained
For full explanations especially for beginners, click here.


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