Advancing with Digital Feis: By the Numbers

Digital Feis suggests dancers move up a level when they earn an 80 in that dance. An 80 is the adjudicator saying “Yes, this dancer is ready to advance.”

That’s not the only way to advance in Irish dancing. In fact, it’s unusual! Most Irish dancing organizations require a certain placement (first, second, or third) and a certain number of dancers in a competition.

Digital Feis wants to make sure it’s possible to advance with our results, based on the rules of your open platform organization. We’ll start with numbers.

  • Right now, we want at least 7 dancers in all grade solo competitions. This includes Beginner, Primary, Novice, and Prizewinner. This meets most open platform minimums for advancing with first place.
  • Long term, we want at least 15 dancers in these competitions. This meets most open platform minimums for advancing with first, second, and third place.

Because of this, Digital Feis will merge age groups where developmentally appropriate to form qualifying competitions. We will not merge children’s and adult competitions.

Let’s take a look at each organization’s basic requirements.

The Alliance of Irish Dance Teachers (AIDT)

From AIDT’s Rules page:

  • If a competitor obtains 1st place in a dance they must compete in the new grade for that dance regardless of which organization they won the dance at.
  • Unless there are 5 competitors in a solo competition, the grade of the 1st prizewinner will not be affected.

Smallest Number Desired: 5

Celtic Association of Irish Dance (CAID)

CAID rules include:

  • All first place winners must move up to the next grade in their solo dances.
  • First, second, and third place winners in Beginner must move up to the next grade if the competition has 10 or more dancers.

Number Desired: 10

An Comhdháil Branch of the Americas

From the Sarasota Highland Feis syllabus:

  • In Beginner A, B, and C competitions, there must be a minimum of 10 competitors, before the winner progresses to the next grade, at the discretion of the adjudicator.
  • In Pre-Open competitions there must be a minimum of 5 competitors, before the winner progresses to the next grade at the discretion of the adjudicator.

Smallest Number Desired: 10 (Beginner grades), 5 (Pre-open)

Cumann Rince Dea Mheasa (CRDM)

According to CRDM’s Feis Information — Organisation Core Rules:

  • There must be a minimum of six competitors in solo or figure competitions for the result of the grade of the winner to be affected. Feis organisers will reflect this on their result sheet.

Smallest Number Desired: 6

Cumann Rince Gaelach (CRG)

According to CRG rules:

  • There must be 10 competitors in any 1 competition in Beginners and Primary to make the result valid and 7 competitors in Intermediate and Open.

Smallest Number Desired: 10 (Beginner/Primary), 7 (Intermediate/Open)

Cumann Rince Náisiúnta (CRN)

CRN rules that apply to advancement include:

  • In competitions for Bunghrád, Ullmhúchán and Meanghrád, whenever the number of competitors is less than seven, the winner will not advance in grade.

Smallest Number Desired: 7

Open Platform Irish Dance Federation

According to the OPIDF Rules shared with us by the organizers:

  • If there are 10 or more competitors in age under 7 and above beginner grade categories, the 1st–3rd placed competitors will move up to the next grade for solo and trophy reel competitions.
  • If there are 9 or less competitors in age under 7 and above beginner competitions, only the 1st placed competitor will move to the next grade.

Smallest Number for Advancement: 9 or fewer
Desired Number for Advancement: 10

Rince Tuatha Nua (RTN)

According to the RTN rulebook:

  • Beginner and Intermediate must win first place in competitions with five or more competitors to advance to next proficiency level. If there are less than 5 dancers in the competition, they must win first place two times.
  • Beginners who place second or third in a competition with five or more dancers may advance to the next level in that dance, per their teachers’ discretion.

Smallest Number Desired: 5

World Irish Dance Association (WIDA)

From Competition Rules — Competitions — General on the WIDA website:

  • In Beginners competitions where there are 15 or more participants, dancers who place 1st, 2nd or 3rd will move up, where there are 10 – 14 participants dancers who place 1st or 2nd will move up and where there are 5 – 9 participants, dancers who place 1st will move up.
  • In Primary competitions where there are 10 or more participants, dancers who place 1st or 2nd will move up, where there are 5 – 9 participants, dancers who place 1st will move up.
  • In Intermediate competitions where there are 5 or more participants, dancers who place 1st will move up.
  • In Beginner, Primary and Intermediate: If there are less than 5 dancers, no dancers will qualify to move up. WIDA reserves the right to merge age groups to form qualifying competitions.

Smallest Number Desired: 5 (15+ Preferred)

In order for a first place to advance you, your competition must have at least five dancers in it. For any top three placement to advance you, your competition must have at least fifteen dancers in it.


Digital Feis cannot guarantee that any teacher or organization will accept outside results for advancement. We will still hold ourselves to standard.

Your own teacher may have their own requirements for your advancement. It’s best to listen to your teacher!


Organizations: If corrections should be made, please contact Ashley at hello@digitalfeis.co.