• What's McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance like?
    Imagine a studio experience that’s different-

    On entering, you’re warmly greeted by smiling classmates and friends. You share the latest exciting news while your dancer and others are putting on their shoes. Lively jigs and reels begin filling the corners of the room. The pitter patter of feet start and you hear the laughs, the giggles, and the count of 1, 2, 3 . This is Irish dance class. This is McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance.

    Children thrive here because we teach them to become confident individuals who believe in themselves. Most people fear giving a presentation in public, our dancers love to perform! They can’t wait to confidently showcase what they’ve learned. They love Irish dancing because it keeps their mind engaged, and it’s fun. Their coordination helps through those awkward growth spurts and class time fuels their imagination as they dream of the dancer they’ll become.

    Feel welcome, watch your dancer grow, smile, and enjoy the journey. Welcome to McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance.

  • What's a TCRG?
    A TCRG is the required certification by the Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin, Ireland to teach Irish dancing and it allows students to compete in Irish dancing competitions. It's a very important credential to have. By the bylaws of the Irish Dancing Commission, a TCRG must be present at all times during instruction to insure the dance form is learned properly.
  • Where do you teach Irish step dancing in New Hampshire?
    The McDonough-Grimes Irish Dance School currently has classes in Dover, New Hampshire on Monday or Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Rochester, NH classes are on Friday afternoons. . We offer classes for children and adults. More detailed information can be found on the "Classes" page

    Dover, NH is (Mon or Thurs afternoons, Saturday mornings):
    97 New Rochester Rd, Dover, NH 03820
    (Same Parking lot as State Farm Insurance next to Portland Glass on Rte 108.)

    Please contact us for additional information regarding classes at info@nhirishdance.com
  • What levels do you teach?
    Beginners all the way to Champions. McDonough-Grimes is a new school but John teaches all dance levels. Contact him for more information or call the school at 603-923-5011.
  • Will I begin in those tap shoes?
    Not immediately, Irish dance productions showcase lots of the rapid tapping, but all Irish dancers as beginners started in "soft-shoes", a balletic type of dancing that builds the ankle strength and teaches the proper turn out. "Hard shoe" begins about 1.5 years (sometimes earlier) into a beginner's training and many of base concepts transfer over. That's why soft-shoe is taught first.

    While professional Irish dancers make the hard shoe dancing look simple, there is a large amount to be learned before a student progresses to that level. It is fun, but also important to learn it with proper technique to avoid injury.
  • When can I register for classes?
    McDonough-Grimes is a new Irish dance school. We have rolling enrollment. Please send us an e-mail through the Contact us form to find out more information about our classes. As well, you can always e-mail us directly at:


    or call: 603-923- 5011

    We will be happy to answer any questions you have!
  • What are your class prices?
    McDonough-Grimes is a brand new Irish dance school in Seacoast New Hampshire, but we offer instruction at all levels- kids AND adults. To inquire about advanced level classes please contact John directly via phone or e-mail.

    Pre-beginner Class price: $30/month, no registration fee.

    Beginner Class price: $60/month - Includes free registration.

    More than one child registering? SIBLING DISCOUNT: e.g.) $60/month, then $40/ extra sibling.

    *Sibling discount is 2/3 normal rate and applies to all levels of Irish dance in the school.

    John was one of three children taking Irish dance lessons. It is for this reason he offers the sibling discount.

    If you're still unsure if Irish dancing is for you, give John a call or drop him an email to see what can be arranged. 603-923-5011 or info@nhirishdance.com

  • Want to try it out first?
    Give John a call or drop him an email to see what can be arranged. 603-923-5011 or john@nhirishdance.com Trial class is always free.

  • How old can a dancer begin?
    You can start Irish step dancing classes at just about any age! Beginners can start full lessons as early as age 5 when they understand their right from their left. Pre-beginners can start lessons at 3.5 years. Older students must keep in mind this dance form is physically demanding in order to become a champion. Most competitive dancers start early in their childhood and usually do not dance at championship level past age 26. It is possible to simply dance for your enjoyment at any age. We offer an adult class, so why not give it a try? With this in mind, individuals can determine a goal they would like to pursue. Irish dancing is great fun at any age or level!
  • What do I wear to dance class?
    Shorts and a t-shirt work just fine! For shoes, the children should wear ballet slippers or for boys a black jazz shoe. When the children progress, Irish dancing shoes can be purchased. Starting out though, we keep things simple.

  • Do I have to be Irish or have Irish heritage?
    Certainly not! Just like other forms of dance or recreational activities, Irish dancing is welcoming and open to all. It is expanding across the globe into countries with little or no Irish heritage like Japan, China, Russia, and the Netherlands. Everyone is welcomed with open arms, but just remember to keep them by your sides while dancing!
  • Why should I choose McDonough-Grimes?
    McDonough-Grimes gives quality instruction while students enjoy learning new steps and dancing to lively Irish music.

    The instructor John Grimes has top credentials as a World-level competitor and a member of the internationally known Irish dance show, Riverdance. He's also from New Hampshire! At McDonough-Grimes, you get the best of both worlds: the technical know-how of an accomplished Irish dancing teacher and the showmanship knowledge of an Riverdancer. You will be taught at the standard that Riverdance demands.

    Our dancers embody a three-fold approach to competing and class time (the 3Hs): Humbleness, Hard work, and Heart:

    Humbleness: in our accomplishments and in our talents no matter our success- respect our fellow classmates and competitors.

    Hard work: in each lesson, competition, or practice at home.

    Heart: to pursue dreams and never give up in the face of obstacles. It's pride in dancing in the school and rejoicing at every dancer's accomplishments.

    The classes at McDonough-Grimes build the dancer's confidence while being honest in corrections. Mistakes are treated as part of the learning process. Mistakes aren't something to fear, they're how we learn to become better dancers. McDonough-Grimes wants to foster a love for Irish dance.

  • What is Irish dancing like?
    Irish dancing is fun, athletic, and a rewarding experience. Dancers hold their arms by their sides and make intricate footwork look effortless. But beyond the dancing, this art form teaches the life lessons we want to impart to children: the joy of success, the determination to never give up, the belief in pursuing dreams, and the strength to handle temporary defeat with grace and dignity.

    Irish dance allows you to make life-long friends.
  • How is this different from "Riverdancing"?
    The steps the dancers perform in Riverdance and Lord of The Dance all come from competitive Irish dancing. The difference is that the show has added arm movements and more elements of acting which are typically not part of Irish dance.