In this edition of cutting edge, I’m looking into The Irish Dance Network. It’s a new service designed to give back to the Irish dance community!
I got the chance to talk to IDN recently and here’s what they had to say about the new venture!
Why did you develop the IDN?
We developed the Irish Dancing Network (IDN) with the idea of giving something back to everyone involved in Irish Dancing. The dancers, their families and the businesses that make Irish Dancing what it is today. We have been involved in Irish Dancing for many years and through the years have heard the same story over and over again. The dancers and their families always talk about the high and increasing costs of participating in Irish Dancing and the costs associated with competing. The businesses and vendors have also experienced increased costs of production and higher overhead due to the world wide struggle in the economy.
What’s the current status of IDN and where do you see it going?
The IDN is still in the early stages of its giveaways. Even though we have not officially opened for members to join, we have already given away hard shoes, a wig, garment bags, clothes and spray tans. We are still in the process of securing our new member sponsors. Our new member sponsors offer a coupon to all IDN members, to be used on the products or services they sell. Once we secure all of our new member sponsors, the giveaways will increase dramatically and we will officially open for membership. Giveaways to our members will consist of everything Irish Dancing. Shoes, wigs, Feis entry fee’s, class registration fee’s, costumes, hotel stays, airline tickets and everything in between. Giveaways to our sponsors will range from journal advertising to having their vendor fee’s paid for by us to special marketing campaigns promoting their business as a business that is giving back. Our goal is to give away as much as we can to as many dancers and businesses as possible. All while promoting our sponsors as the businesses that are making it all possible.
What inspired the IDN?
The inspiration behind the IDN first evolved during a fund raising event. We saw the excitement and genuine gratefulness of the dancers who benefited from the fundraiser. Should any family be shut out of competing in a sport that they truly love? Absolutely not! If everybody in the I.D. community does a little to contribute, we can give back a lot in return. We want to put smiles on the faces of the dancers and their families, while simultaneously helping the vendors and businesses in a way they have never experienced before.
How do you develop business sponsorship?
Our criteria for sponsorship weather it be new member sponsors, giveaway sponsors or any of our 6 sponsor opportunities is a genuine belief that giving back is a good thing. Through our market research and surveys of current Irish Dancers we can confidently say that giving back will help support the future of doing business in Irish Dancing. Why is giving back good business?
1) The IDN gives back to the businesses that give back to their customers.
2) Giving back creates an immediate and long term positive impact on their business.
3) Customers feel good about spending money with businesses that give back.
4) Customers love to be thanked.
5) Giving back enhances a businesses reputation in the Irish Dancing Community.
6) It builds winning culture while making a positive difference in dancers’ lives, all while boosting customer morale.
7) Showing appreciation to customers goes a long way and is never forgotten.
What else does the IDN feature?
The IDN is very proud of our Community Connections forum. Our forum offers helpful information, advice and positive networking with a zero tolerance for disrespect. The Community Connections also increases the chances of winning our giveaways. Register for free and your chances of winning our giveaways will be increased every time you post in the forum. As the IDN grows, we will increase the value of our member and sponsor giveaways.
What is the long-term goal of the IDN?
Our long term goal is to increase the number of families registering their children for Irish Dancing classes. We feel that if everybody does just a little to make Irish Dancing more affordable the enrollment numbers will increase. The IDN is confident that with the help of our sponsors, we will be able to reach this goal.
So what are some of the upcoming giveaways like?
When we officially open for members to join, the giveaways will be plentiful as well as amazing. (A free costume to one of our first 300 members, a $6,000.00 trip to Paradise Island, Bahamas to one of our first 2,500 members etc.) The IDN will continue to run single giveaways until our membership grand opening. These single giveaways are being funded directly by the staff at the IDN as well as some of our giveaway sponsors that have already agreed with our philosophy that giving back is good for business.
So who are the current IDN sponsors? They are (as of Sept. 5th)…..
Feis Faces – www.feisfaces.com
Your online dance journal! It’s “a place to record your marks and results, share your feis experiences, and preserve them forever.” I haven’t personally used it, but it sounds like a great program!
Celtic Curls – www.celticcurls.com
A great source for wigs and accessories! I personally love the look of their more natural Alanna Bun. Very stylish bun look!
Kelso Custom Covers – www.kelsocover.com
A classic Irish dance vendor, Kelso leads the pack in Irish Dance dress bags. A wide selection of styles and sizes and the option to add embroidery and patterns to make it perfectly your own! The travel wedge (below) is a constant dancer favorite.
Dancebling.com – www.dancebling.com
A fun store with fashionable Irish dance clothing, accessories and dresses. I love their “Irish Dancers Kick Butt” pinny! It’s a style that’s been on the rise as off-duty competition wear!
Feistan – www.feistan.com
Exactly what it sounds like! A company specializing in spray tans for Irish dancers. I know that considering the amount of stress I put myself and my mother through trying to get that perfect tan, someone to do it for you can be so valuable. They’ll be at the Mid-Atlantic and New England Oireachtas this year.
J&K Designs – www.jkdesignsar.com
Features a huge variety of custom items for Irish dancers! They also have items for brides, cheerleaders and other occasions so check them out for the nondancers in your life as well! I can’t pick just one item – they’re all too cute. Check out the embroidery figures here though! Love it.
Treasures of the Garden – http://www.etsy.com/shop/claredances
Selection of teas and herbs to gear you up for competition. Check out the Feis and Performance Kit to get ready to compete! All purchases fund the owner’s trip to the University of Limerick Blas International Summer School.
Used Solo Dresses – http://www.usedsolodresses.com/
Exactly what it sounds like! Buy and sell used solo dresses. Search by designer, sizes or prize!
Jan’s Custom Clips – http://www.janscustomclips.com/
Custom and premade number holder clips! Cute way to add even more color and sparkle to your outfit! I love the detail in their filigree clips!
Feis Feet – http://www.feisfeet.com/
Love these! Adorable slippers shaped like ghillies that launch in November! Too cute.
Shamrock Photo – http://www.shamrockphoto.com/
A leader in Irish dance event photography! They’ve been doing Irish dance events for 15 years and do a great job at capturing emotion and dancing.
What do you think? Would you join the Irish Dancing Network? Any companies that really excite you that they’re partnered with?
Stay Fashionable, Feisers!