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Tips for Hiring an Irish Dancer for your St. Patrick's Day Party

Hiring an Irish clogger, or more commonly known as step dancer, complete with traditional costume to give a demonstration of the dance and entertain your guests at your St. Patrick's Day party.

Depending upon when you'll have the dancer arrive, you may ask the clogger to greet guests at the entrance of your party and set the tone for what you have in store for the rest of the celebration.

Prior to hiring the dancer, decide if this type of entertainment is a good fit for your party guests. Is it something they will find of interest and exciting?

Assuming you move forward and hire a dancer, below are a few tips to keep in mind.

There are a plethora of websites and entertainment companies that can provide you with an Irish Clogger. 

First, do your homework and due diligence. You will want to review and see their dance routine, costume and overall appearance either through a video, DVD or through a first-person experience. Never book entertainment sight-unseen or just through still photographs.

Once you have made a selection and move forward in booking the Irish Clogger for your St. Patrick’s Day party, inquire about the cost, fees and minimum time for their performance. 

Is it a 2-hour minimum?  Is there 15-minute break between their routine? Do they come self-contained with their own audio system and music? In addition, inquire about any overtime rates, rider clause (food, per diems, transportation reimbursements, etc).

If you are expecting an authentic Irish Clogger, make sure that’s what you’re getting.

Inquire if their costume is authentic, how long they have been performing, where they have performed, etc.

Speak directly with the entertainer relative to any specific needs for their performance. 

For example, will they require a certain amount of square footage to perform an Irish jig?

Does their performance need to take place on hardwood surfaces?

How do they engage the audience?

Are they willing to teach the dance steps to your guests as part of their performance?

Do they seem organized and enthusiastic in their conversation?

Be concise and communicate clearly with the entertainer relative to your expectations of them (no smoking, no drinking of alcohol, being prompt and energetic, having the appropriate appearance and attitude). 

Ask for references and reach out to those references for their feedback and comments. 

Ask whoever you decide to hire for a contract or Letter of Agreement, the same as you would any other party vendor, and carefully review the terms. 

What are the cancellation clauses? Is a deposit required? Is there a hold harmless clause? Is the correct date, time of performance and location indicated on the contract? Does it specify they will be responsible for their own sound equipment?  Do they have liability insurance?

In essence, get everything in writing and don’t make assumptions. If you have any doubts or concerns, speak directly with the entertainer before signing the contract.

If all looks good, you are ready to proceed with your St. Patrick’s Day party entertainment and hopefully – you and your guests will experience an enjoyable celebration!

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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