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.
PARKING 8 out of 10
Hotel parking was not a problem for us. We arrived the evening before. Ash was able to secure a spot with little trouble. I cannot speak to parking on the day of the feis, since we did not experience it. Also, since we waited quite awhile for dances to post, leaving the parking area was also not difficult. Getting a bell cart, and luggage assistance was a challenge. Ash ended up bringing out a cart himself, then going back inside to finish checking in.
MUSIC 10 out of 10
One musician for the grades stage. One for the championship stage. Thankfully, the grades stage musician was a talented accordianist. Which was a blessing, considering the crowded room and cramped staging area. He was exceptionally talented. He also dealt with cramped conditions and having his lunch pushed back until nearly 2pm with grace.
JUDGING 8 out of 10
Grades stages were rotated. All three of our little darlings danced for each of the three grades judges. Really, we could not have asked for better, given the cramped conditions of the ballroom. In a perfect world, though, each dance would have a different judge.
RESULTS 3 out of 10
The tabulation room was under staffed, and running behind. This impacted results. We experienced 30 minutes to an hour from dance to post. We noticed a couple of dances that were longer to post. A couple of families gave up waiting, and just went home. We stayed until all the dances that included our family were posted. For us, it was worth the wait. See also AWARDS. Adults from other local schools offered to help out in tabulation, which was happily accepted. This was an iFeis.net tabulated feis. We were not able to get the feis stage page to load. Apparently, we were in the minority, with a few other families. It was surprising to see a feis tabulated by this company run results posting so slowly. My only answer is the understaffed tabulation room.
AWARDS 8 out of 10
Red ribbon medals. Wooden long stem roses. Large, Ornate, gold and red trophies were given to those who placed in a soft shoe or hard shoe special. Treble reel and traditional set also received trophies. First place in prizewinner received crystal boxes. Each dancer who won an award received a wooden, long stemmed rose.
VENDORS 3 out of 10
We only noticed two vendors. Both were set up in the hallway, outside the championship room. It was so crowded and disorderly, that we did not venture further. This was disappointing, considering the far superior arrangement and assortment of vendors in the past.
FOOD 3 out of 10
Right. Food. Well, none at the feis. There was food available at the hotel. And a coffee shop. Always important for Ash Wilkes and his feis coffee. We ate elsewhere. Ash opted for in room coffee in the morning, due to long lines at the lobby shop. His mid feis coffee was from the lobby shop. He did not find much difference between the two cups.
FEIS FLOW 5 out of 10
Ish. The time which seems to drag out in waiting for a feis to begin. Or dances to be checked in. Stages to load. Then unload. And for the process to begin again. What time is it? Ish. Meaning they are taking all the time they want to run the feis. Don’t get me wrong, the volunteers were doing all they could, in the cramped space given them. We saw dancers struggle to get through to the front on several occasions. The volunteers did work to finish the grades dances before the lunch break. Which meant that the lunch break happened after 1:30pm.
SOCIAL MEDIA 6 out of 10
The feis sported a Facebook page and website linked from the school page. It was also run by iFeis.net, which ups their score. The Facebook page was updated regularly, in the days coming up to the feis. It was not, to our notice, used for updates during the feis. The website was up to date.