Feiseanna

Feiseanna Schedule - Feis Competition Categories - Feis Guidelines

If you are uncertain of your dancer's level, please email Sheila or Liz. For complete feis rules, go to: http://www.northamericanfeiscommission.org/Standardized_Syllabi.html

Feiseanna Schedule

Check http://www.northamericanfeiscommision.org/ for a full list of feiseanna throughout the world.

Below are a sample of our local feiseanna and some close to Pittsburgh: 

  • North Coast Feis - February 6, 2016
  • West Virginia Feis - Saturday, March 19/20, 2016
  • Akron Feis - May 28, 2016
  • Cleveland Feis - May 29, 2016
  • Celtic Fling Feis - June 25, 2016
  • Tessie Burke Reel Feis - July 16, 2016
  • Columbus Feis - August 5/6, 2016
  • Pittsburgh Feis - September 24/25, 2016
  • Feis Culkin - November 5, 2016
  • Pittsburgh Winter Feis - December 30/31, 2016
For a complete feis schedule, visit the North American Feis Commission. Some competitions reach cap/limit before the feis deadline so enter as soon as possible if you want to attend a particular feis. 

Feis Competition Categories

*First Feis - Dancer competing in their very first feis. Once a dancer competes in the First Feis category, the dancer moves to Beginner 1 or Beginner 2.

*Beginner 1/Beginner - Dancer who has been dancing for one year up to no later than January 1st of the dancer's second year of instruction.

*Beginner 2/Adv.Beginner - Dancer who has been dancing more than one year. Once this dancer wins a 1st, 2ndor 3rd they must move into Novice in that dance no later than January 1st of the next calendar year.

*Novice - Dancer who has won a 1st, 2ndor 3rd in that dance in Beginner 2. Once this dancer wins 1st they must move to Open/Prize winner in that dance no later than January 1st of the next calendar year.

*Open/Prizewinner -Dancer moves into Open/Prize winner as a result of placing 1st as indicated in Novice in that dance. 

Feis Guidelines

The Irish dance world provides an area of competition know as the "Feis", the Irish word for festival. Dancers compete in age and ability categories with dancers from other dancer schools. Dancers are prepared in class to win but we strive to place importance on the positive aspects of the experience: courage, grace, leadership, teamwork and friendship. 

In preparation for our local Feiseanna and others, the following are some guidelines for new competitors. For a full listing of Feiseanna, please visit: http://www.northamericanfeiscommission.org
Where do I enter my dancer in a Feis?
Most feiseanna have arranged for entries to be accepted through: www.efeis.com or www.feisworx.com. Set up a family account at either of these sites. Then all future feiseanna will only require choosing the feis and dances for your dancer.
How early should I enter a Feis?
Each feis has an entry deadline. It is best to enter as soon as you know your family schedule allows for your dancer to attend. Some feiseanna have a cap/limit and will cause the feis to close entries earlier than the entry deadline. Record your competition numbers for Feis Day.
In what dances should I enter my dancer?
Check in class but most First Feis and Beginner 1 dancers would compete in Reel and Light Jig. Choose the ability level (competition category) tab for your dancer; then click the dance choices. As a dancer progresses in class, more dances can be entered.
In what catagory should I enter my dancer?
*First Feis - Dancer competing in their very first feis. Once a dancer competes in the First Feis category, the dancer moves to Beginner 1 or Beginner 2.
*Beginner 1/Beginner - Dancer who has been dancing for one year up to no later than January 1st of the dancer's second year of instruction.
*Beginner 2/Adv.Beginner - Dancer who has been dancing more than one year. Once this dancer wins a 1st, 2ndor 3rd they must move into Novice in that dance no later than January 1st of the next calendar year.
*Novice - Dancer who has won a 1st, 2ndor 3rd in that dance in Beginner 2. Once this dancer wins 1st they must move to Open/Prize winner in that dance no later than January 1st of the next calendar year.
*Open/Prizewinner -Dancer moves into Open/Prize winner as a result of placing 1st as indicated in Novice in that dance.
Full standard feis syllabus for all Mid-America Feiseanna (includes Pittsburgh) can be found at: http://www.northamericanfeiscommission.org
For a full list of feiseanna in North America: http://www.northamericanfeiscommission.org
Suggestions for Feis Day... plan in advance to:
Check on whether the feis has posted stage assignments online (our local feiseanna and others post stage assignments a few days in advance) or obtain the morning of the feis. Find the stage/s for your dancer's competitions on the stage assignment list.
Bring folding stools/chairs for you and your dancer and maybe a blanket to create your own space. Chairs are often available but it can be crowded so it's good to be prepared.
Bring pins and approx. one yard of thin navy blue ribbon for your competitor number.
There is always food sold at feiseanna but it's also good to pack your own sandwiches/snacks/bottled water. Bring these guidelines with you for the big day!
When should I arrive?
Most feiseanna begin at 8:00am but check the feis website for start time. Most First Feis and Beginner 1 competitions are scheduled first and early. For first-time feis goers, plan to arrive early.
What do I do when I arrive at the Feis?
Go to the Registration Desk and pick up your dancer's competitor number. On the reverse side are the competitions for which your dancer is registered. Verify that these are the correct. Usually all is correct but if not, ask where you may make corrections.
Registration will also have feis programs which includes the stage assignments or a separate sheet for stage assignments. As mentioned above, find your dancer's competitions and stage/s on which your dancer is competing.
Find that stage! A larger feis may post a map in their program book. Our local feiseanna stages are easy to find.
Please check to see where some of our other dance families might be located within the feis area.
Dress in costume! As always, double knot your ghillies! See our separate suggestions for feis attire (including hair/make-up for the ladies).
Attach your competitor number by pinning or using a length of navy blue ribbon (hole punch available at registration). The ribbon can usually be purchased at one of the vendors or you can bring ribbon/pins from home.
Dancers Competing!
The stages have two signs:
-Competition number competing "Now"
-Competition number competing "Next"
Arrive at your stage as soon as your competition has been listed as "next." Check in with the stage monitor (each competition has a list of those dancers registered). Once checked in, stay at the stage. The stage monitor will line up dancers separating those in the same school.
NOTE: It's important to arrive when your competition is listed as next as some competitions have fewer dancers and are completed quickly.
Once your competition begins, all dancers are lined up across the back of the stage. Dancers will come forward two at a time. Beginner 1 and Beginner 2 dancers are given assistance with starting their dances.
Note: Always direct any questions regarding the competition to the stage monitor or another feis committee member and not the adjudicator.
Dancers are taught in class to start on their own at all levels, but Beginner 1 & 2 level dancers will receive assistance from the stage monitors.
Beginning a dance on time and completing steps correctly are all part of the learning experience. There may be mistakes in starting on time or dancing their steps but recovering with grace offers more growth.
Where do I check whether my child has won?
Awards for each competition are in an area referred to as "Results" and posted by competitors' number. (A feis map can help locate this area or a large crowd of dancers in a particular area will indicate results.) Awards given are 1st through 3rd place in the very small competitions but often up to 8 places and with ties in the larger competitions. The volunteer feis committee does its best to post results as soon as possible after each competition.

If your child's number is not listed, reinforce the importance of the performance in front of a crowd and other positive features of the experience that day.

If my child has won, where do I go?

To the Awards desk! Inform the volunteers at the awards desk of your competitor number.  Your dancer will show his/her number as ID and sign for the award.  Congratulations!

Good luck and, as always, good sportsmanship!