King O Sullivan Winterfeis 2018 – Grades Review

King O Sullivan Winterfeis was held January 26-27, 2018 at the Marriot Evergreen Resort within Stone Mountain Park, Georgia. Instrumental music and vocal competitions were held Friday evening. Grades, championships, figures, specials, art, and baking competitions were held Saturday. New this year were the additional Second Chance competitions for Novice, Prizewinner, and Championship dancers. This feis is the traditional start of the new feis season for Atlanta area dancers. Sadly, due largely to the severe flu going around, attendance was lower than usual. read more

Feis ATL 2017 – Grades Review

Feis ATL was held November 18, 2017, at the Renaissance Waverly Marriott, in Atlanta, GA. This feis is hosted by the Drake School of Irish Dance. Usually, this means fun, fabulous, crowded, and chaotic. Thankfully, this new venue handled the crowds and chaos beautifully. See also Venue.

VENUE: 10 out of 10

The Renaissance Waverly Marriott was a new experience for the Wilkes family. Hotel feisanna are not my favorite. This hotel convention center was a surprise. The ballrooms were large enough to handle the crowds. Music carry over was not an issue. Bathrooms were kept cleaned and stocked. Ash had a couple of options for his feis coffee, which made the feis more pleasant for the entire family. For younger siblings, there were a few entertaining options. Besides the escalators in the lobby, Feis ATL used a rented ballroom to show How to Train Your Dragon. Those staying in the hotel also had the option of a heated indoor pool. read more

Celtic Rose Feis 2017 – Grades Review

Celtic Rose Feis 2017 was held October 21, 2017, at the Atlanta Marriott Century Center, near Emory University. The Celtic trilogy feiseanna are all hosted by the Rowena Ryan Irish Dance Academy. This feis offered several specials and cultural competitions, in addition to the regular ones. These included Gaelic spoken word, parent/child, Celtic art, soda bread, soft shoe, and hard shoe specials. This was the first feis, in a two feis weekend.

VENUE 7 out of 10

Hotel feis. Not my personal favorite. Crowded, chaotic. A Fire Marshall nightmare. It was also quite a challenge to reach. That being said, the Wilkes family did stay in the hotel. It was well appointed, clean, and the staff we encountered were friendly. Except when they were dealing with ballroom access bathroom problems. Or when the Georgia Tech football team event and the feis couldn’t seem to work out hallway traffic difficulties. They did get chairs out of the back closets for grandparents waiting in the confusion, which was kind of them. It also appeared to be strongly encouraged by the Georgia Tech football team staff. Velvet ropes were put into use in a couple of areas. But, otherwise, the staff was friendly. Several feis attendees were seen posing for photos with the football players. read more

North Coast Feis Eats, 2018

Apparently my luck for finding good food around Cleveland is pretty good, 2018 was no different. Be sure to visit the Feistaurants link for previous Cleveland based entries, but for this year we have two to add covering dinner and breakfast.

Click on any pic to see a bigger view and cycle through all of them. Oh, and please read the entire PJs review to find out why I might sound a little mean to start ;)

Hyatt Regency Schaumburg, IL – Best Customer Service Ever!

I have experienced some pretty good customer service in my life. Some came with the cost of whatever I was doing, so you would kind of expect it, and some was pure luck. Once, what I believe was a case of mistaken identity* got me the penthouse overlooking Tumon Bay in Guam, and that had some ‘perks’. That said, I think every previous customer service experience was bested by the staff at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg this past weekend.

For Irish Dance readers, you don’t need much explanation, but since I expect others to see this, a little back story. read more

Irish Dance Terms .v3

Irish Dance Terms are our attempt to label those Irish Dance things we know, but which don’t have a ‘real name’.

clusterfeis

noun clus·ter·feis \ˈklə-stər-fɛʃ\
1 : a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation : a muddled mess, when it comes to anything related to Irish Dance
2 : a way to say what you are REALLY thinking when your Irish Dancers are in earshot and you can’t say what you are really thinking.

examples of clusterfeis

  • The construction on I-65 North driving home from Nationals was a real clusterfeis
  • read more

    North Coast Feis Eats 2017

    Seems like I only eat on odd years at North Coast, since I have Feistaurant Reviews for North Coast Feis Eats 2013 and North Coast Feis Eats 2015. 2017 is no exception.

    For this year, we stayed out in Independence instead of our usual stay downtown. We did not have to get up to early for the feis and we found one of our go to hotels at a very reasonable rate. When we checked in, the front desk staff offered us a area restaurant list that was 4 pages long… now thats what I am talking about. The list had some of the chains, a local Winking Lizard (I reviewed the downtown location in the 2013 Eats link above) and a bunch of stuff we were not familiar with. So overwhelmed, we just went down to the desk to ask for recommendations. read more

    Muggivan Feis Grades Review 2016

    Muggivan The Inaugural Muggivan Feis took place on October 23, 2016, hosted by the Muggivan School of Irish Dance-Virginia on the grounds of the Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games in Richmond, VA. The Muggivan Feis is a casual dress feis, with all dancers wearing the event t-shirt and dark bottoms. The t-shirt design was beautifully done on front and back of a white short sleeve t-shirt. There was a feis rate available at the host hotel for those needing hotel rooms.

    Venue/Attractions/Food

    The Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games take place on the grounds of the Richmond Raceway, in a grassy area outside of the racetrack. There was ample parking available and plenty of space within the festival grounds to accommodate all attendees. There was also a Highland dance competition happening on the same day, so plenty of dancers and dance families around if anything was needed! Only 1 dance vendor was present at this event, but there were plenty of Scottish and Irish vendors throughout the festival for an eclectic shopping experience. This festival also had a large selection of food vendors for breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare. This event did serve alcohol (arm band required). read more

    Rhythm of Ireland Feis 2016 – Grades Review

    Booster LogoThe Rhythm of Ireland hosted their annual feis the weekend of October 15-16, 2016 in Williamsburg, VA. This review covers the Ceili/Grades competition on Sunday.

    What The Feis Editors Note: Thanks to new contributor DD Feis Mom for this review. The review is the opinion of the reviewer, and does not necessarily reflect those of What The Feis, especially since I was not there.

    Venue

    The Rhythm of Ireland (ROI) feis is hosted at the Doubletree by Hilton in Williamsburg,VA. The ballrooms were spacious and organized around 2 central hallways on the opposite side of the hotel from the occupant rooms. A feis rate was offered at the host hotel for those attending this feis. read more

    Shoe Shining – You Got What It Takes?

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    Last week I received a message from a Facebook follower that highlights the potential dangers of pre-Feis shoe shining. Thankfully, she saw the humor, and admits she is accident prone, so she wanted to share the story.

    I was upset that she had been injured, but saw the humor in her story, and asked if I could share. She approved, with some ‘editing’ and if I promised not to use her name. Read the story, would you admit if it was you?  ;)

    So, without further ado…

    Hello! I thought I would share this story, because in retrospect, it IS a little funny. read more