Here’s some information to help get you started. Keep in mind that all the feisanna are a little different. Competing at a Feis is another way to get your daughter/son more involved in Irish dancing and working towards their goal of competing against other dancers at their age level from area Irish Dance Schools.
What to Bring to a Feis
oDance Costume/Head Band
oPoodle Socks/sock glue.
oBrush and hairspray
oHair pins/bobby pins
oSafety pins for the cape
oSafety pins or a thin ribbon
for the entry number
oCamera - no video is allowed
oBand-aids/Ice Pack/General First Aid items
oSyllabus and directions
oStage sheets if available
*If possible – put the wig or bun cover on before you leave the house.
** Sometimes the cape comes unhooked while dancing. Safety pins can be used to secure it.
*** The competitor number needs to be worn in front of the costume. If you don't want to put a hole in the costume, make a little hole in each corner of the card. Thread the ribbon through each hole and tie around the waist. Some feisanna have a hole puncher at the check-in desk – or bring your own!
Arriving at the Feis
oArrive at least an hour before your scheduled time (more if you need to put your wig on) – they are rarely early – but they just keep going if they are.
oGo to the check in/registration table to get the competitor card if you didn’t get one from your teacher.
oBuy a program – this usually has the stage sheets (or check outside the doors of each stage area)
oFind the stage where your child will be dancing and an area where you can put all your stuff.
oEat a little snack/use the rest room
oGet your costume on and warm up!!
Point out a meeting place if you and your child get separated. There are HUNDREDS of people at these competitions. Make sure your child knows what the school dress/sweatsuit look like – if they can’t find you, they can find someone from the school.
Competing in an Event
oEach stage will have a poster or white board stating the current event and next event.
oEach stage will have a check-in person, a "launcher", a judge and a musician.
oWhen your event is next, send your child to the check-in person.
oThe check-in person will check the competitor card to verify it's the right event.
oThe check-in person will direct your child to the standby location next to the stage.
oWhen your event begins, the "launcher" will take a group of competitors onto the stage.
oThe competitors will then stand in a line at the end of the stage.
oThe "launcher" will tell the first 2 children to come forward.
oThe music will start.
oAt the beginning levels, the "launcher" will begin counting measures so the kids know when to start dancing.
oThe launcher will tell the next pair to get ready when the prior pair are almost done.
oWhen all the competitors have danced, they will bow to the judge and walk off the stage.
If possible, try not to stand next to another McInerney dancer on the stage. Any differences in performance, intentional or not, will be apparent to the judge.
Keep dancing even if you make a mistake - DON'T STOP!
oResults from each event will usually be posted on large pieces of poster board/or sheets of paper.
oThe location of these posters varies with each feis.
oResults are posted about 20 minutes after the event. It varies with each feis.
oLook for the event number in the left column of the poster.
oReading across, there are boxes for first, second, third and possibly honorable mention.
oDepending on the level, there may be a few competitor numbers in each box.
oIf your child's number is in one of the boxes, go to the trophy table with the competitor number card (they won’t check your results without it!!)
oThe volunteer will verify things and present the medal or trophy.
Getting the Marks or Scores
oOnce the results have been posted, you may get the scoring results if available.
oResults are usually next to the medals and cost about $2-$3
oGet in line early as it can be a long wait. Some schools will send them to you through email – you just give them the money and sign a form.
oThese results will detail the score for each place and what your child scored.
oIn addition, it may contain comments from the judge – which are very useful.