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Examination Authority
An tÚdarás Scrúdaíthe

Dancers Certificate and Diploma Examinations.
Scrúdaíthe Teastais agus Dioplomaí Rinceoirí.
The Grade Examination Scheme is a structured framework established to provide dancers with a non-competitive goal to which they can work towards achieving.
It is designed to provide dancer’s with a strong foundation in Irish Dance by developing their physical skills, fitness, musicality and an appreciation and knowledge for the traditional dances and Irish culture. It gives dancer’s a worthwhile sense of achievement whether they dance for recreation, competition or in hope to pursue a professional career in Irish Dancing. 
Grade examinations are unlike competitions in that each candidate is individually examined and receives a detailed written assessment of their performance and knowledge of the grade being attempted.

They are open to all dancers regardless of age or ability.
About the scheme

The scheme consists of 12 grades (with an optional Preliminary Grade). Each grade is progressively more demanding as it assesses a dancers skill, knowledge and ability of both traditional and non-traditional dances as well as their knowledge of Traditional Ceili (group) dances. 


A dancer who successfully completes all 12 Grades will be awarded “The Diploma of the Irish Dancing Commission”.


Once a dancer has received this diploma, they are then eligible to apply for the Teacher's (TCRG) Examination.

Exam Syllabus


Easy Reel  (122-124)
Light Jig (116)

Grade 1

Easy Reel  (122-124)
Light Jig (116)

Grade 2

Easy Slip Jig  (124) 
Easy Single Jig (124)

Grade 3

Primary Reel (116-118)
Basic Heavy Jig (96)

Grade 8

Advanced Hornpipe (113)
Job of Journeywork - traditional (138)
Humours of Bandon

Grade 9

Two modern set dances, one in 6/8 time and the other in 2/4 or 4/4 time. 
High Cauled Cap

Grade 10

Two modern set dances, one in 6/8 time and the other in 2/4 or 4/4 time (different from those in Grade 9)

Eight Hand Jig

Grade 4

Primary Slip Jig (120)
St Patrick’s Day (Traditional - 94)

Grade 5

Advanced Reel (113)
Basic Hornpipe (144)
Walls of Limerick

Grade 11

Advanced Reel (113), Advanced Slip Jig (113), Advanced Heavy Jig (73). 
King of the Fairies (130)
Two modern set dances selected by the examiner from a list of 5 submitted by the candidate (different from those in Grade 9,10)
Eight-Hand Reel and Harvest Time Jig

Grade 6

Advanced Slip Jig (113)
Blackbird (Traditional - 144)
Siege of Ennis

Grade 7

Advanced Heavy Jig (73)
Garden of Daisies - traditional (138)
Four Hand Reel 

Grade 12

Light Jig (116), Single Jig (124), Advanced Hornpipe (113)
Three Sea Captains (96) and Jockey to the Fair (90). 
Two modern set dances selected by the examiner from a list of 5 submitted by the candidate (different from those in Grade 9,10,11)
Morris Reel and Sixteen Hand Reel



Applications to participate in any grade examination must be submitted by your CLRG registered teacher. Please speak to your teacher regarding your intention to complete any grade as part of the scheme.

You may participate in any public grade examination even if it is not directly organised by your registered teacher or region.
Grades 11 and 12
An application form must be completed by the candidate and must be approved by the Examination Authority (Údarás).

Each of these two Grades must be taken by a different examiner and that examiner must be from the Examination Authority (Údarás). Candidates must be 16 years or older to attempt grade 11 and 17 years or older to attempt grade 12. 

Exam Fees


GRADES 1 - 3

GRADES 4 - 6

GRADES 7 - 10

GRADES 11 - 12










A candidate must take all grades in order, beginning with Grade 1 (the Preliminary grade is optional). Each grade must be passed before a candidate may attempt the next grade.


Rules for Grade Examinations

  1. A candidate must take all grades in order, beginning with Grade 1 - the Preliminary grade is optional.

  2. Dance costumes should not be worn.

  3. Each Grade must be passed before a candidate may attempt the next grade.

  4. A certificate is awarded for each grade. Grade examinations are unlike competitions in that each candidate performs the dances individually and receives a detailed written assessment.

  5. A grade should be awarded for each solo dance performed and averaged to achieve the overall grade. Ceilí Dances should not be included in the average grade. Comments should be noted on the theoretical knowledge.

  6. Dancer’s Date of Birth must be included on Grade Exam Result Sheet.

  7. Candidates must be able to adequately demonstrate practical and theoretical knowledge of all ceili dances as per “Ár Rincí Céilí ” as specified in the syllabus for Grades 5 -12 inclusive. The candidates must not be asked to teach these dances.

  8. A candidate would be permitted to retake any grade for a better score upon submission of a specific written request to the Udarás Scrúdaithe, with the understanding that the second result would replace the earlier one and that the dancer would be required to pay the usual fee for the grade being taken.

  9. A candidate may only attempt a maximum of 3 consecutive Grades at any one sitting.

  10. A three month period must elapse before the next grade is attempted.

  11. All candidates must produce previous reports before proceeding to higher grades. Reports must be presented at the examinations.

  12. Grade examiners must ensure that all grades have been taken before examining the next grade. Please ensure that all grades are in order, as at a later stage the exams taken may not stand.

Rules for Grade Dances

  1. Only Basic Steps may be danced in the Preliminary grade and Grades 1, 2 & 3.

  2. 40 bars of music must be danced for all Reels, Single or Hop Jigs, Light Jigs, Slip Jigs, Heavy Jigs and Hornpipes.

  3. St. Patrick’s Day, Blackbird, Garden of Daisies, Job of Journeywork, King of the Fairies, Three Sea Captains, and Jockey to the Fair must be performed in a traditional style and manner.

  4. The same set dance must not be performed in more than one of the grades from 9 to 12 inclusive.


Arranging Grade Exams

To apply to hold grade exams, please send completed application no less than 8 weeks in advance of your desired date

Australian teachers interested in arranging Grade Examinations from 1 to 6 for their pupils should contact an Australian Examiner who will then seek appointment from the Údarás Scrúdaithe (Examination Authority) of An Coimisiún.

The following examiners may be contacted re Dancers’ Grade Examinations from grade 1 to 6:

Jan Berne SDCRG  (NSW)

Catherine Cosgriff SDCRG (VIC)

Janice Currie-Henderson SDCRG (NSW)

Carmel Doyle SDCRG (SA)

Christine Portbury SDCRG (VIC)

Gabrielle Hall SDCRG (VIC)

Elizabeth Lewis SDCRG (NSW)

Breeda Peirce ADCRG (QLD)

Cherie Hearn ADCRG (QLD)

Cheryl Young ADCRG (QLD)

Vicki Lynagh ADCRG (QLD)

Charmaine May ADCRG (NSW)

Donna Cannon ADCRG (NSW)

Kathleen McAleer ADCRG (VIC)

Mary Grantham ADCRG (VIC)

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