Some common links to available feiseanna are the following:
- Click here for Standard Mid-America Syllabus
Download Slack to stay in touch about feiseanna
We leverage a messaging tool called Slack (www.slack.com) which can be downloaded to your mobile phone. This provides a fun and effective way to message instructors and other experienced parents and dancers prior to and during an event and stay in the know. Our slack instance is under “ShovlinAcademy”; we can grant you access once you download and request it.
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 newest dance competitors. Please also visit the FEIS FAQs in our Shovlin Academy Google Drive.
When can I enter my dancer in a feis?
If you’re open to entering your dancer in a feis, the earlier/younger the better. Dancers are broken up at these events by their age and their level so it will be a caring and positive experience. The younger they try it, the greater their chances of success as success is obtained through experience, practice, trial, and error.
Where do I enter my dancer in a Feis?
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. All 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 with Sheila or Liz but most First Feis and Beginner 1 dancers would compete in Reel, Light Jig and Slip Jig. As a dancer progresses in class, more dances can be entered.
In what grade/category should I enter my dancer?
Every feis has slightly different rules depending on the region they are located in, so please consult the specific rules within the syllabus for the feis you plan on attending. Below is a rough guideline for most North American Feiseanna:
Competitive – “The Grades” 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 – 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 – Dancer who has been dancing more than one year. Once this dancer wins a 1st, 2nd or 3rd they must move into Novice in that dance no later than January 1stof the next calendar year.
- Novice – Dancer who has won a 1st, 2ndor 3rd in that dance in Beginner 2. Once this dancer wins 1stthey 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.
- Many feiseanna offer Grade Exams, a non-competitive option for getting feedback and achieving goals. If a feis offers this option, please see Shovlin Academy instructors for assistance preparing. Page 3 of this link has details of what’s required at each level – https://www.clrg.ie/images/2021_Syllabus_for_Grade_Exams.pdf
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 correct. Usually all is correct but, if not, ask where you may make corrections.
- Registration will also have stage assignments printed. Find your dancer’s competitions and the stages on which your dancer is competing.
- Find those stages!
- Dress in costume! As always, double knot your ghillies. See our separate suggestions for feis attire which includes hair/make-up.
- Attach the competitor number to the front of your costume.
NOTE: QuickFeis has a Live Stage Schedule. You can watch progress from this link on your phone or other device.
The stages have two signs: Competition number that is competing “Now” and the other is the “Next” competition. 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.
When your competition is happening “Now,” the stage monitor will line up the dancers on stage separating (if possible) those dancers in the same dance school. There is an adjudicator in front of the stage seated at a desk. The dancers will be lined up at the back edge of the stage. They’ll come forward (a bit in front of that line) to dance two at a time. The dancers will be competing with dancers from other schools. They learn in class to focus on their steps and not what the other dancer is doing.
NOTE: It’s important to arrive at your stage when your competition is listed as “next” as some competitions have fewer dancers and are completed quickly.
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. The volunteer feis committee does its best to post results as soon as possible after each competition.
If your child is not list 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 competition number. Your dancer will show his/her number card as ID to sign for the award. Congratulations!