Policies & Guidelines

There are a number of Policies that you should be familiar with if you are a Culkin dancer. This page is to help answer some of those general questions that come up during the course of the year. You can find our registration and tuition policies below and if your dancer needs to change classes during the year or needs to make up some missed classes, just scroll down to find out how to make this happen!


Class sizes are limited, and will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Classes must have a minimum number of participants to be held. For new students, registration includes one copy of the school practice CD, “One More Time.” CDs will be distributed on the first day of class. This CD is to help students practice at home. (Tunes from this CD can also be found on iTunes and Spotify)

For All Classes:

  • Registration and attendance at, or participation in, Culkin School classes and other activities constitutes an agreement by the registrant to the Culkin School’s use and distribution of the registrant or attendee’s image or voice in photographs, videotapes, electronic reproductions, and audiotapes of such events and activities.
  • You must give permission for your child(ren) to participate in the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance classes, and acknowledge the potential risks of physical harm as a result of his/her participation. You must acknowledge that the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance is relying on your permission as to whether your child can participate in the dance class. If a medical emergency should arise in your absence during the dancer’s participation you must authorize a representative of the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance to consent to emergency medical treatment of your child on your behalf. By agreeing to these terms on behalf of the dancer enrolled in the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance (the “School”), you must agree and understand that all participation in dance classes, recitals, performances, events and/or other activities (collectively the “Activities”) connected with the School shall be undertaken by your child at his/her sole risk and that the School, its owners, managers, staff and/or employees shall not be liable to you or your child for any claims, demands, injuries, damages, actions, and/or causes of action whatsoever, to the person or property of you or your child arising out of or connected with the Activities of and facilities used by the School. Further, you, on your own behalf and on behalf of your child, do hereby expressly forever release and discharge the School from all claims, demands, injuries, damages, actions, and/or causes of action whatsoever, and from all acts of active or passive negligence on the part of the School, its owners, managers, staff and/or employees arising out of or connected with the Activities of and facilities used by the School.


The Culkin School rents several halls/studios in Montgomery County, MD. All of our facilities follow the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Cancellation Policy. If MCPS cancels school because of inclement weather, Culkin School classes will also be cancelled. To get to the MCPS website, just click here. If MCPS has a two hour delay, Culkin classes will be held. PLEASE NOTE: we do NOT follow the MCPS school holiday calendar. To see when classes are being held, click here to see our calendar.

We will post any cancellations on our website blog and Facebook and Twitter pages.


We realize that everyone’s lives are busy and often times dancers have conflicts or get sick and are unable to come to class. Although we encourage dancers to stick with their weekly schedule and come as often as possible, we do permit dancers to make up their missed class time.

If you have to make up a class, we ask that you schedule your make-up class within a two-week period. Dancers can go to other locations as long as the class level is the same level as the one in which they are enrolled. Please let your instructor know you plan to make up a class so they can help guide you. If you plan on attending a class that is taught by another instructor, they will be notified so they can plan on you coming.

NOTE For dancers at levels 4 and up: if classes are missed you may not be able to attend a make-up session as there are limited classes offered at your level.  Attendance at classes other than your level is at the invitation of the teacher only.


Our policy for those who have placed out of a dance is to keep on competing in that dance. We highly encourage dancers who compete in feiseanna to dance as many dances as possible in order to keep up with your material and stay competitive.


  • All dancers should wear a T-Shirt and shorts or stretch/yoga pants in class. NO jeans, skirts or school uniforms are permitted in class. This is because we require dancers to sit on the floor and stretch. Spaghetti strap camisoles are not acceptable.
  • In order for students to learn and advance with the material covered in class, some time outside of class must be spent practicing each week.
  • Please bring your own water bottles – there are several breaks during class and we don’t want dancers getting dehydrated.
  • We highly recommend that parents drop off and pick up their dancer rather than sit in the classroom during class. Parents and dancers must agree to respect the instructional atmosphere during class times. Parents are not to interfere with the instruction time by talking to their dancer or the instructor during lessons. Likewise, the dancer agrees to focus their attention on the instructors and the activities of the class.
  • Non-dancers who accompany our students must be respectful of the property of the hall we rent for class.
  • NO chewing gum in class.
  • Please refrain from eating any peanut butter based snacks in classes. We have several dancers with severe peanut allergies.
  • Socks, ballet shoes or other light soled shoes are fine for Mini-Mester and Summer Camp Programs. We require Beginner dancers in to purchase Irish dancing shoes by the first class in December.  Please see our dance costumes and shoes section for details.


Dancers who choose to perform and/or compete must do so in our school costume. While we don’t require either performing or competing, any dancer who chooses to do so MUST have a costume.

The Beginner Costume is for dancers aged 10 and under who are interested in performing or competing. It consists of a embroidered jumper, white button down top, black tights, and a scrunchie bun for girls. Boys wear black trousers and a black button down shirt and white tie.  Cost for the jumper, blouse, socks and hair bow is $80.  During the winter months the girls can wear black tights.  To order, email CulkinCostumes@gmail.com

Once dancers are in Level 2 and/or in Novice at the competition level, they should upgrade to the school costume. If you are unsure of when your dancer should move into the school costume, just talk with your instructor for guidance.

Solo dresses are permitted only after a dancer has won four of the required eight 1st places at the Prizewinner Level in competition and all dances are at the Prizewinner Level. Once your dancer gets to this level, please get in touch with Sean who will help guide you through the process of ordering a solo dress. All dancers eligible for a solo are REQUIRED to own a school costume for performances and figures.

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