Posts Categorized: Safety

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.

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It’s August, it must be creeper season…

Sorry for the title, trying to get your attention. If you have been a What The Feis groupie for a while, you have probably already seen the article I posted last August about the guy videoing dancers at a feis. If not, here is the link again.

Why am I bringing it up, well, it happened again this weekend and I wanted to share the story from a follower who messaged it to me via Facebook.

Wanted to write to you and let you know that we were at the Missouri State Championships in St. Louis this weekend and while watching the PC/OC stage we sat next to an older gentleman. We noticed that he was not just watching one particular child and when a young little dancer would walk by him he would write her number down on a sheet if paper. When I took a closer look at the sheet he was writing on there were LOTS of different dancers numbers. We went to let the volunteers know and in about five minutes staff of the Feis and hotel security were talking to the man. He stated he was just watching his “granddaughter” but he became very uncomfortable while they talked with him. Staff then looked like they were leaving but the hotel security guard sat two rows back. We watched as this man crumpled the numbers sheet up and dropped it on the floor and then he got up and walked out of the room. The security guard followed him out. We later caught back up with the staff and security guard and they stated they took his photo and all staff would have his picture for Sundays Feis. It was just scary to know that this happens even though we read about it this hit home for our school and we spread the word for dancers to be vigilant about what they are walking around in and also who is talking/watching them.

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What goes online, stays online…

foreverThis morning, while getting caught up on things in my home office, with my ever present social media streams going on the monitor, I saw a well-known dancer who I have always admired post a rather derogatory over-generalization.  I won’t say who or what, you can probably find it, and that is the point of this post.

I know people use social media for all kinds of reasons; to praise, to complain, to share, to seek, to buy, and so on. What lots of people seem to forget, or maybe not realize in the first place is, that temporary rant that is on your screen right now, and off it 15 seconds from now, is still out there.

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F.E.I.S. Recommendations

This F.E.I.S. (First Everyone Is Safe) Recommendations list is the consolidation of thoughts from a few other posts. If you are new, this is the third in a series of posts regarding feiseanna safety. You can see Part 1 and Part 2 to get caught up if you need to.

Based on input from you, and some of my own observations, this is a concise list on what contributors think can help make the feiseanna environment  safer:

  • No dancer name/school lists posted in the ‘clear’ on any website – access can be granted to teachers and parents with the appropriate login credentials.
  • Posted results use numbers only to keep dancer/school anonymity in the feis environment.
  • While at a feis, use of the buddy system for all dancers, whether it is dancer/dancer or dancer/parent buddies.
  • Appropriate dresscode before, between and after all dances. ‘Appropriate’ can be determined by governing bodies.
  • Age appropriate makeup – IMHO, none of the girls are old enough to wear the makeup typically seen at feiseanna.
  • Visual identification for parents, other family members and friends, obtained at registration or upon paid entry. Registration would have more control to prove ‘association’ with a dancer. Recommendations have been wristbands and brightly colored stickers.
  • Presence of feis security – even a few school dads with ‘SECURITY’ or possible ‘SAFETY’ t shirts wandering the venue would help.
  • Safety signage that shows the feis is paying attention to safety. Examples might include:  ‘report incidents’, ‘be observant’, ‘no videography’ etc…
  • Observation – everyone needs to be observant and proactive.
  • Enforcement of the standards issued by the governing bodies, and common sense. This is top-down from the dance organizations, to schools, to competitions, to parents and the dancers themselves.

So, what do you think? Any obvious omissions? Again, please keep comments brief if possible.

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F. E. I. S. – First Everyone Is Safe

After my post from Monday, I was amazed to find that that type occurrence is more common than most of us think, and I was glad to hear that people had ideas on how to help reduce the potential of incidents like that from happening again. There were posts of Facebook, Voy and this blog, and probably others.

I would like to keep the momentum we had on Monday and Tuesday going, and want to gather those ideas to present them to whatever dance governing bodies will listen. My goal is to capture them here, in one place, instead of having to go to multiple websites to find them, and hope to keep them to just the ideas (and not any background stories) so that readers can scan them quickly.

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Parents & Dancers PLEASE Read

At the McMenamin Academy Feis in Milwaukee this weekend, I witnessed a rather disturbing event that I thought would never happen at a feis. I suggest all parents and dancers read this, and share with anyone you think needs to read it…. I suggest all parents, with or without dancers.

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NOTE: Please see the comments below this post and on our FB page. This is not the only time ‘creepy’ has invaded our feiseanna.

I have added a second post to capture ideas to be presented to governing bodies on ways to make feiseanna safer. Please also visit that if you have suggestions.

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