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The center for Irish culture and education in Pittsburgh

Please note that you can only take up to 3 grade examinations at one sitting.  In addition, you must wait 3 months between sittings.

In all there are 12 grades plus a Preliminary Grade.  Different dances are specified for each grade and are listed hereunder. Each grade must be passed before a dancer may attempt the next grade.  A certificate is awarded for each grade passed. A dancer who passes all twelve grades receives “The Diploma of the Irish Dancing Commission”.  Grade examinations are unlike competitions in that each dancer is individually examined and also receives the detailed written assessment already mentioned.

The examinations are intended and equally suitable for both dancers who compete regularly and for the very many who are not competition orientated. A system of Credits towards the TCRG and ADCRG will be awarded as follows, thereby exempting the candidate from re taking the Solo Dancing section of each exam.

TCRG 71% (B-) or over needed on Grades 7-12 inclusive
ADCRG 81% (B+) or higher needed on Grades 7-12 inclusive

In recent years, many prospective teachers in Europe have begun to take the Grade exams as a means of obtaining Credits towards their TCRG and ADCRG exams:

Rules and Regulations:

·         Only basic steps may be danced in Grades 1, 2, 3 and in the preliminary Grade.

·         The number of bars of music to be danced for all reels, jigs and hornpipe is 40.

·         The number of bars to be danced for slip jigs is 40.

·         Set-dances in Grades 4, 6, 7 and 8 must be performed in the traditional style and manner.

·         From Grade 9 upwards only non-traditional sets can be danced.  Once performed a set-dance cannot be repeated in a higher grade.

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

·         A dancer must take all grades in order, beginning with grade 1, the preliminary grade being optional.  However, any number of consecutive grades may be taken on the same occasion.

·         Candidates must know (orally and practically) all ceili dances from the book "Ar Rinci Foirne" specified for Grades 5 - 12 inclusive.

·         Dance costumes should not be worn at what are examinations, not competitions.

·         Grade 9 may not be taken under 16 years of age, and Grade 10 under 17 years.

·         A special application form will apply for Grades 11 and 12.

·         Candidates must be in their 19th year to sit Grade 11 and in their 20th year to sit Grade 12.

·         Grades and Required Dances (Ceili Dances Underlined)











Ríl Éasca nó Port Eadtrom Dúbalta


Easy Reel or Easy Light Double Jig




Bun Ríl & Bun Port Dúbalta


Basic Reel & Light Double Jig




Bun Port Luascach & Port Singil


Basic Slip Jig & Single Jig




Tús Ríl & Bun Port Trom


Primary Reel & Basic Heavy Jig




Tús Port Luascach & “Lá Féile Phádraig”


Primary Slip Jig & “St. Patrick’s Day”




Ríl Cruaidh, Bun Cornphíopa & Ballaí Luimní


Advanced Reel, Basic Hornpipe & Walls of Limerick




Port Luascach Cruaidh, “An Londubh”, Ionsaí na hInse


Advanced slip Jig, “The Blackbird”& & Siege of Ennis




Port Trom Cruaidh “Gáirdíní na Nóiníní” & An Ríl Ceathrair


Advanced Heavy Jig “Garden of Daisies” & The Four-Hand Reel




Cornphíopa Cruaidh, “Greas Giúrnála” & Pléaracha naBandain


Advanced Hornpipe,“Job of Journeywork” & Humours of Bandon




Dhá rince Leithleach, ceann acu in am 6/8 & an ceann eile in am 2/4 nó 4/4 (Nach Rincí traidisiúnta iad) agus Caip an Chúil Aird


Two set-dances, one in 6/8 time & the other in 2/4 or 4/4 time (Which are not traditional Dances) & High Cauled Cap.




Dhá rince Leithleach, ceann acu in am 6/8 & an ceann eile in am 2/4 nó 4/4 (nach rincí traidisiúnta iad) & an Port Ochtair.


Two set-dances, one in 6/8 & the other in 2/4 or 4/4 time (which are not traditional dances) & Eight-Hand Jig.




Ríl, Port Luascadh, Port Trom, “An Londubh”, “Lá Feile Padraig”, móide dhá rince leith-leacha nua a roghnóidh an scrúdaitheoir as liosta cúig rince a sholáthróidh an Iarrathóir (éagsúil ó iad i nGrád 10) & na rincí céilí An Cor Octair & Port an Fhómhair.


Reel Slip jig, Heavy Jig, “The Blackbird”, St.Patrick’s Day”, plus two modern set-dances selected by the examiner from a list of 5 submitted by the candidate (differerent from those in Grade 10) & Céilí dances The Eight-Hand Reel & Harvest Time Jig.




Port Eadtrom Dúbalta, Cornphíopa, Port Singil, “Greas Giúrnála”, “Gairdín na Noiníní” Móide dha rince leithleach nua a roghnóidh An scrúdaitheoir as liosta cúig rince a soláth- Róidh an iarrthóir (éagsúil ó iad i nGrádanna 10 & 11) agus na rincí céilí Cor Muirghéis & Cor Sé Dhuine Dhéag.


Light Double Jig, Single Jig, Hornpipe, “Job of Journeywork”, “Garden of Daisies”,  plus two modern set dances selected by the examiner from a list of five submitted by the candidate (different from those in Grades 10  11) and the Céili Dances The Morris Reel & The Sixteen-Hand Reel.



Grades 1-3   $30 each

Grades 4-6   $40 each

Grades 7-10   $50 each

Grades 11 and 12    $90 each



Irish Centre of Pittsburgh