About Rising Tide

At Rising Tide, we pride ourselves on offering exceptional dance training through expert coaching, purpose-built dance studio space and endless passion for Irish dance. Our instructors are not just dance teachers; they’re dance coaches. And as coaches, we’re there for our dancers every step of the way, supporting them inside and outside of the dance studio to reach their full potential.

Irish dance is a highly technical dance style that requires practice and refinement of even the smallest of details (that’s what makes it so fun!). Our dance classes are supported by at least two, but more often three or four, coaches at one time. Additionally, dance classes are offered multiple times a week and divided into targeted age groups and levels. This way, each dancer gets the focused attention and specific feedback they need to improve and learn. We know that every dancer has the potential to do amazing things and we’re here to guide them on that journey, right down to the most basic details.

Irish dance also teaches critical life skills, and we take our role as coaches in this part of dancers’ lives just as seriously. Throughout their time in Irish dance, dancers will encounter goal setting, working in teams, dealing with disappointment, giving and receiving feedback, practicing integrity and being personally accountable, all while developing their self-confidence and compassion for others. We love a growth mindset and want to help our dancers learn and develop from each experience they encounter in Irish dance.

“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” ― Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Although we are passionate about training for competitive excellence, community remains our number one priority. Whether it’s our local Team Tide community, or the Irish dance friends and experiences we have around the world, being a part of a team is so meaningful. Our first value is community and we keep that at the forefront of everything we do and every step we dance: ”We are building a fun, spirited and supportive community for everyone at Rising Tide. Everyone who interacts with us can feel it. It’s engaging and something people want to be part of. All are welcome and it’s a community you will never leave.”

Rising Tide opened in January 2015, and has been sharing Irish dance with children and adults across Halifax and Bedford ever since. Rising Tide is registered with An Coimisiún Le Rinci Gaelacha (CLRG) in Dublin, Ireland, the largest Irish dance governing body globally. Through CLRG, Rising Tide also maintains special remote teaching status with the Mount Pearl School of Dance in Newfoundland. This allows those dancers to participate in competition and exams as part of our school through annual workshops.

Our dance studio

Our dance studios acts as home away from home for our dancers and coaches. Our space is complete with a community room, washroom, locker room and two top-quality dance studios. Each studio space is 1,200+ square feet and each includes a sprung dance floor, Harlequin Floors non-slip marley surface and wall-to-wall mirrors. Our purpose-built, dedicated facility provides dancers with the best, and safest, dance environment possible during classes.

Our dance studio spaces are also available to rent and we love to share our space with other dancers and activities. The studio rental rate for Rising Tiders is $15/hour plus tax. The studio rental rate for external users is $25/hour plus tax.

For more information about renting the dance studio, please email us.

Dance studio with black marley flooring and wall of mirrors

Our dance coaches

Our highly qualified Irish dance coaches have years of experience dancing, competing, performing and teaching. Each coach has their own, unique Irish dance journey and those diverse experiences are what makes each coach so valuable. At Rising Tide, we have a strong commitment to ongoing professional development of our coaches as we strive to always be the best for our dancers. Dance classes are staffed by at least two, but more often three or four, coaches at all times to ensure each dancer is provided a first-rate education in Irish dance supported by technique, fitness, music, mental resilience and Irish culture.

Our head coaches and co-owners, Becky and Laura, are licensed TCRGs (teachers) and ADCRGs (adjudicators) with An Coimisiún Le Rinci Gaelacha. They began Rising Tide with big dreams and a huge amount of passion for Irish dance, and growing the profile of Atlantic Canada. Since opening, Becky and Laura became the first two certified adjudicators in all of Atlantic Canada. They have both given their time to the wider-Irish dance community, representing Atlantic Canada on many boards and committees for IDTACe, IDTANA and CLRG.

Our head coaches are supported by wonderful assistant dance coaches who add extra value to our dancers’ learning through their unique strengths and spirit. Our dance coaching staff is also supported by substitute coaches and student coaches. Additionally, Rising Tide’s office and customer service experience is managed by Katie Doiron, operations manager.

Rising Tide is fortunate to also have two regular workshop coaches to round-out dancers’ training. Danielle Poulos is a mental performance coach at Canadian Sport Institute Atlantic and supports our dancers to train mentally throughout the year. As dancers begin competing, preparing mentally becomes as important as preparing physically. Ciara Callanan-Ryan is a renowned dancer, choreographer and musician from Tipperary, Ireland, who workshops with our dancers multiple times each year, bringing a highly valuable international perspective to our studio.

  • Danielle Poulos
    Danielle Poulos workshop coach, mental performance
  • Ciara Callanan-Ryan
    Ciara Callanan-Ryan workshop coach, Ireland

Our dancers

Rising Tide dancers range from sweet two year olds, to lifelong dancers to international competitors. Our dancers participate in feiseanna (Irish dance competitions) and exams at all levels. We are proud to have been a part of the journey for several world qualifiers, oireachtas champions and podium finishers, competitive ceili teams and grade exam graduates at the highest level.

In addition to competition and exams, Rising Tide dancers have performed for many audiences, ranging from broadcast news, city festivals, Irish associations, corporate functions, community events, and more, bringing their music, fast feet, and exciting energy to all. Past performances include Symphony Nova Scotia, Heather Rankin, Wendy MacIsaac, The Chieftains, Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, Halifax Celtic Festival and more.

If you would like to hire Rising Tide dancers for a performance, please reach out by email.

About Irish dance

As an art form and an athletic pursuit, Irish dance offers something for everyone. It’s an opportunity for creativity, physical exercise, individual and team activities, and opportunities to compete locally, nationally and internationally. We use hard shoes (similar to tap shoes, but with fibre glass tips) and soft shoes (similar to Highland dance shoes or ballet slippers). In this way, Irish dance can be percussive and powerful yet athletic and elegant.

Irish dance was popularized by such shows as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. But originally it was a social form of group dancing performed at weddings, fairs and holidays. It’s rooted in the dances taught by traveling dance masters throughout Ireland in the 16th and 17th centuries. Famously, Irish dancers move only their legs, keeping their arms tightly by their sides⁠. This is a tradition rumoured to have begun as a way for dancers to perform in crowded pubs without the risk of knocking over pints.

Today, Irish dance is taught and performed all over the world. Irish dance classes and schools can be found across North & South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Our governing body of Irish dance, CLRG, allows dancers to participate recreationally or competitively. This allows dancers interested in a competitive track the opportunity to compete. Dancers can compete at local competitions (feiseanna), national feiseanna, such as the North American Championships, and international feiseanna including the World Championships. Visit CLRG to learn more.

Mission, values and code of conduct

Mission

Rising Tide’s mission is to build a community of passionate and skilled Irish dancers, and their families, committed to exemplifying the Rising Tide values and elevating the profile of Irish dance in the region.

Values

Community

We are building a fun, spirited and supportive community for everyone at Rising Tide. Everyone who interacts with us can feel it. It’s engaging and something people want to be part of. All are welcome and it’s a community you will never leave.

Trust

We as coaches, dancers, and Rising Tide community members will do what we say. We have each other’s backs and start with a positive assumption about each other’s intent.

Transparency

Community members can expect open, clear and timely communication on all matters affecting dancers and the school.

Professionalism

As Coaches: In every interaction with Rising Tide community members and the broader Irish dance community, we operate with a mindset of respect, honesty and integrity. We interact with our colleagues in a friendly manner. We are gracious in victory and defeat and work to exemplify good sportsmanship at all times. We are responsible to promote the Rising Tide brand and are seen as a reputable, professional organization in our region.

As Dancers and Rising Tide Community Members: In every interaction with fellow dancers, Rising Tide community members, and the broader Irish dance community, whether in class, at a competition, or elsewhere, we operate with a mindset of respect, honesty, and integrity. We are gracious in victory and defeat. We support our classmates and competitors, and work to exemplify good sportsmanship at all times.

Accountability

As Coaches: We will add our full value in every interaction with dancers and Rising Tide community members. Our aim is to help each dancer reach their full potential.

As Dancers: Rising Tide dancers are responsible for their attitudes and behaviours in and outside of class. Dancers represent Rising Tide. Dancers own their careers as dancers and, together with their coaches, work to reach their full potential. Dancers add their full value and actively participate in every class.

As Rising Tide Community Members: We are representatives and stewards of the Rising Tide brand. We add our full value in every interaction with each other and the wider world. We have each others’ backs.

Dancer code of conduct (signed upon registering)

As a student at the Rising Tide Irish Dance Academy, I commit to:

Taking responsibility for my attitude by:

  • Coming to each class with a positive mindset
  • Trusting that my coaches and classmates have my best interest at heart

Taking responsibility for my behaviour by:

  • Arriving on time to every class with proper footwear and attire, prepared to learn
  • Actively participating in each and every class
  • Supporting and encouraging my classmates
  • Acting in a respectful, honest and supportive manner to instructors and students
  • Courteously accepting, and giving, feedback
  • Demonstrating good sportsmanship and being gracious in victory and defeat

Taking responsibility for my own dance career by:

  • Practicing at home to improve my skills
  • Setting goals that push me to be better
  • Living up to the commitments listed here

By signing this code of conduct, it means I understand what is expected of me, and promise to live up to these commitments each and every day.

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