Are you studying for your TCRG exam?

You've come to the right place...


This site will help you get started... or if you're already started, you'll find some tools here to help you on your way.

If you're having trouble opening any of the documents, email me saying which doc's you'd like and I'll send them to you.

~*~ Sorry, I've had to delete the guestbook as it was constantly getting spammed ~*~

[TCRG Related Links]  [Practice Exams]  [Study Guides]

Getting Started 1. Read the Syllabus.

2. Find out exam dates and decide when you will take the exam... if you're anything like me, you'll need a target date or you'll keep putting off the study 'til later!  Check out for information about upcoming exam dates and locations, or ask your teacher to contact the exam organizer for your region.

3. Borrow/buy a copy of Ar Rince Foirne (ARF).  You may purchase this directly from the CLRG or from the CeltiCottage website.  If you intend to purchase the book from the CLRG office, you will need to send a letter and a check for €7 to An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, 6 Harcourt St, Dublin 2, Ireland.

4. Go through each section below and work out what you still need to learn.


Section 1: Practical Test in Step Dancing Do you know the following dances?

Reel - 2 steps


Double (Heavy) Jig - 2 steps


Slip-Jig  - 2 steps


Single Jig - steps


Hornpipe - 2 steps


Garden of Daisies - 2 steps


Job of Journeywork - 2 steps


St. Patrick's Day - 4 1/2 steps


The Blackbird - 5 steps


9 Set Dances - 4 in hornpipe timing, 4 in jig timing, and 1 in either jig or hornpipe timing

If you do... Wow!!  If you don't... start to learn them.  It might be useful to get the dances you need to learn on video, then you can learn them at home.

If you can't find anyone who can teach you the complete full length version of the traditional sets, get a copy of Olive Hurley's "Step by Step" Traditional Set Dance video.


Section 2: Written Ceili Dancing Test

1. Download some study guides.


2. Memorize the ARF.


3. Do some practice exams.  Keep doing practice exams until you consistently achieve a mark of at least 80% (the passing mark is 70% - give yourself room for error).

Section 3: Practical Test in Teaching Ceili Dancing 1. Grab SIF's - Seven Imaginary Friends (thanks to 'sifr' from the TCRG voy board for this expression!), or seven real ones if possible and dance through all the ceili dances.

2. The more you have prepared for section 2, the more you will be prepared for this section.

3. If you are having problems trying to interpret a move from ARF with your SIF's, you may want to refer to Olive Hurley's Ceili video's "Step by Step".  You shouldn't rely solely on these videos as there are some errors in them, but they are a good backup if you can't visualize how a movement works when you read the ARF. You can also use the videos to test yourself by saying what the next movement is before it begins.  The "Step by Step" videos are available to purchase from CeltiCottage.


Section 4: Practical Test in Teaching Step Dancing 1. Pick one step from each dance and level to be your designated teaching steps for this section.  Pick steps which don't have any fancy turns or special timing... it'll make your life easier.  Remember: You're not there to show off your dancing skills (that'll be taken care of in section 1), you're there to show your teaching skills.  Also, make sure you know a boys reel step... just in case.

2. Listen to reel, jig, slipjig and hornpipe tunes.  Practice lilting (singing) these tunes while dancing.

3. If you don't already, ask your TCRG if you can help out as a teachers assistant at classes.

4. Find some 'guinea pigs' (aka willing dancers) and teach your steps to them while lilting.


Section 5: Written Music Test 

1. Download the list of setdances in Word Document format or JPG format.

2. Memorize the list.

3. Purchase a Setdance music CD.  I recommend Kevin Joyce's "The Final Round", or Pat King's "Teacher in Training".  Both CD's are available from CeltiCottage.

4. Listen to the CD repeatedly... make up silly words to help you remember the tunes.  Here are some of mine.


Section 6: oral Irish language test (optional if candidate lives outside Ireland) 1. You will be tested on Irish Dancing terms.  Make sure that you understand the irish for basic questions such as "What is your name?" etc, and know the translation of the Irish Sections in Ar Rince Foirne.  You may be tested on the rules and regulations as laid out in the Worlds Syllabus.
Some of the most important advice I can give you is to visit the Voy TCRG Exam Forum at regularly for support, inspiration and help with those tricky questions!

Thank you to all the wonderful "Teachers in Training" on the TCRG Exam forum for helping me to compile all of this information.


Contact me at


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