A certified Irish dance teacher affiliated with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha is known as a T.C.R.G. which is the abbreviation for the Gaelic Teagascóir Choimisiúin le Rinci Gaelacha. Most people, especially outside of Ireland, never learn how to properly pronounce that lovely Gaelic way of saying "certified Irish dance teacher", so saying "T.C.R.G." is more common when referring to Irish dance teachers.
What does it mean to be a T.C.R.G.?
Well, it means that that person has sat for their Irish dance teacher's exams and passed those exams showing their knowledge of and ability to execute and teach both traditional and more modern Irish dance steps. That person is then recognized as a certified Irish dance teacher by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, the international Irish dance organization with whom the majority of the world's (and most of the United States') Irish dance schools are affiliated.
An Comhdháil Na Múinteoiri Le Rincí Gaelacha (also known as An Comhdháil) is another organization which uses a T.C.R.G. certification process for their Irish dance teaching members. Different organizations use other methods which vary in the time, knowledge and experience required for certification.
What are the steps to become a certified Irish dance teacher with An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha?
1.) Check the schedule for upcoming certified Irish dance tests.
2.) Be twenty years old or older at the time you apply to take the T.C.R.G. test.
3.) Contact the director of your Irish dance school or a certified Irish dance teacher that you know, and let them know that you are applying for the certified Irish dance teacher's exam. You will need a personal recommendation from a registered Irish dance adjudicator (A.D.C.R.G.) or teacher (T.C.R.G.). This recommendation must state that the applicant is able to perform all required dance steps for the practical Irish dancing test, that there is no reason that they know of that the applicant would be unable to be a good Irish dance teacher, and that they personally know the applicant.
4.) Fill out the application found here. When you apply for T.C.R.G. testing, send in your application at least six months in advance of the test date as there is a limit on the amount of applicants who can test at one time. Make sure to send any required fees and documentation such as birth certificate or copy of passport.
5.) Dance, prepare, and study like crazy! The syllabus with more detailed information on the exam can be found here.
Darlene M.White ~ Irish Central