Cincinnati Feis 2015 PC/OC Review

Be sure to take a look at the previous posts. I am streamlining this one a bit so as not to get to repetitive.

Before I get to the review, I want to give props to the Cincinnati Feis Committee. Not only did they read and comment on last years review, but before the feis this year, when I commented on the What The Feis facebook page, a member of the Cincinnati Feis facebook page commented that they had addressed the concerns from last year. Way to be proactive!


 

Cincinnati-Feis-LogoFull

The 32nd Annual Cincinnati Feis was held on November 15, 2015 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, KY. We have attended this feis a number of time, and this is the first year at the Open Champion level.

I did do a few walk thoughs on the second floor where the grades were, but this review captures my thoughts on the Champ area. If anyone has thoughts or opinions on the Grades level, please let me know and I will be sure to get them added, anonymously is you wish.

Venue

The venue was the same as the few previous years, and I have always liked this venue. Last years comments are still appropriate for this year, so I will not repeat.

A few notes from this year:

  • Climate control seemed to be an issue, especially in the camping/dining area on the first floor. Warm in the morning, and cold, not cool, by the end of the day.
  • And speaking of the camping/dining area, and I know the feis committee has no control over this, but the greasy food smell was so overwhelming in that room, we actually moved TGCs dress out of the area so as not to take the smell home with us.
  • The Vendor setup between the camping area and the champs stage area was not optimal. There was a bottleneck where people could pass each other but one vendor table was set up where if anyone was browsing the table, the flow was restricted, and inevitably, people would browse, stop and chat, etc… and traffic to/from the champs area was stopped.
    • There were some vendors on the second level, and there was a ton of room in the side hall that was not being used, hint, hint :)

For more on the venue, please see last years review.

Stages

At the end of the stage review for last year it said:

The stages themselves appeared to be made of plywood (although my dancer insisted they did not feel like normal stages) & were a decent size. However, they were the slipperiest stages I have ever seen at a feis, and we’ve been at this game for almost 4 years now. I saw dancers at every age & level, in both soft shoe & hard shoe slip & fall all day long on all 4 grades stages. My own dancer slipped in 2 dances & took a full out fall in a 3rd (and we did douse the soles of her shoes in sprite to try & prevent slips/falls). The feis did put wet towels at the side of the stage for the dancers to rub their shoes in & I did see stages being mopped during the lunch break, but the sheer number of slips/falls we saw was completely unacceptable.

This alone would keep me from coming back to this feis next year – it is extremely disappointing to have driven 5 hours to a feis, only to find that the quality of the stages is this poor.

This is the exact point the Feis Committee addressed in their comments on my facebook page, and I quote:

you will be happy to know we painted all our stages this year and we have Sticky Mats that were used at the NAIDC to help prevent the slipperiness of the stages from the carpet fibers at the NKYCC! See you Sunday – thanks for your support

And I am pleased to report, it appeared to work!

I did not see any slips this year, and heard no complaints from other feis goers. I did see one dancer appear to trip over a stage seam, but that was really the only issue I saw.

The stage monitors appeared to be watching and picked up any foreign objects between dances.

Good job on the stages Cinci!

Judges

They ran the Champs area like it will be run at Oireachtas. Three dances, three different stages, three judges on each stage, so a dancer was judged by 9 judges. That is some pretty good judging. I think that is great exposure for the dancers and prep for the O.

A side note: As I watched the judges, as one dancer finished their set, one judge turned to another and shook their head, then put their hand up to their mouth and followed their gesture with some comment. Sorry, but that was completely unprofessional.

Music

The three stages had some pretty good separation, but the music bleed in the viewers area was terrible. It did not appear to affect the dancers however, at least not as far as I could tell, but it made it weird to watch.

Food

Sorry, but not a fan. The fact that you could not bring in outside food made your options what was available in the dining area. They had a large selection, but if you wanted anything warm it was a very slow process, and we hit the tables before the lunch rush, so I can’t imagine what it was like on the actual lunch break. The food was not horrible, but not worth the price, and they were charging $3 for a 12 oz soda.

Results/Awards

Cincinnati has a nice podium with 5 places for the PC/OC awards, lots of room for dancers and seats for viewers, and a great sound system so you can hear the announcements. They also have SASHES for the top 5 places, the ultimate prize for the champs! They also give glassware to the top 3 places and candy for all the placements.

That being said, I heard some grumblings as to why the Grades got medals and champs got Hershey Bars, and one mom actually said, and no it was not TGCs mom, ‘it’s like they fill the jars with leftover Halloween candy.’ Sorry Cinci, I gotta call it like I hear it. If it is any consolation, TGC really enjoyed the candy last year when she placed in the prelim level.

One other note, it seems like the committee holds results and does a few comps at a time. Though there is room, it would make it less congested to spread the awards out every 15 – 30 minutes if that is an option.

Feis Flow

It was an extremely long day. I am not sure exactly where the PCs ended and the OCs started compared to the lunch schedule, but lunch did not get done till 115ish. By 430, TGC had still not done set, and they were still going strong on all three stages. Needless to say, we were still waiting for awards at 6. If the feis committee wanted to make it like Oireachtas, they did a pretty good job.

I am afraid I have to say that there were lots of grumblings about the flow, from dancers, parents and even from some of the committee.

Sorry, I have no opinions on how to make it better, but faster would be good :)

Summary

As I read this, I think my grumpy old man card is showing. I like this feis, have always enjoyed it in the past, except for that stage thing last year, and think the committee is very dedicated to making this the very best feis they can. This year however, I think they fell a bit short in some areas.

What did you think?

What did you think of the Cincinnati Feis 2015 (on a scale of 1 - 10 with 1 being lowest)?

  • 7 (25%, 6 Votes)
  • 6 (17%, 4 Votes)
  • 8 (17%, 4 Votes)
  • 4 (13%, 3 Votes)
  • 5 (13%, 3 Votes)
  • 10 (8%, 2 Votes)
  • 3 (8%, 2 Votes)
  • 2 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • 9 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • 1 (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 24

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4 Comments

Ohio Dance Mom

We also had a great experience at the Cincinnati Feis. The venue is very nice and there were plenty of vendors. The food was a little expensive, but the options were more diverse than what we usually see at feisanna, so I can’t complain!

However, my dancer is in preliminary championships, getting ready to move to Open. Candy bars were given to the top three dancers for each round. For some this was cute, but for those won a round but didn’t place overall, this is not a lasting memento of the day and some dancers may have food allergies. Also, the majority of the placed dancers were given small Dollar Store candy containers with a handful of candy inserted in them. As someone stated on the VOY boards, more money was spent on the medals for grades than the rounds and placement awards for PC. As expensive as it is to compete in PC/OC it would be nice to see awards that are reflective of the accomplishments of these dancers. I don’t think the feis should spend a king’s random on awards, but less than $2.00 for PC awards seems a little on the cheap. I will add that I am not the only parent (or dancer) who made this observation, as several others brought it up. I didn’t pay attention to the OC awards. Hopefully they were a little nicer.

Another suggestion is to PLEASE do awards regularly throughout the day! My dancer was finished by 10:30 and had to wait over four hours for results. This is a really long time to sit around and do essentially nothing at a feis!

This IS a nice feis to do if your dancer is in PC/OC and is going to the Oireachtas as all three rounds are offered for both PC and OC. The TCs seemed to be there in full force as well, I assume to provide some additional coaching with only two weeks before the Oireachtas.

Reply
Kim Hornyak

It has been a long time since my OC DD competed at this feis and the committee has made many improvements since last time. The day was very long as my DD did Ceili which was first thing and then her solo comp was one of the last to finish. I would recommend doing Ceili at lunch time. DD liked the nice sash. She was on the podium but not top 3 and received nice bowl and candy which was devoured on the long ride home so it was appreciated ?. The completion was tough and DD received some good comments, a couple comments weren’t helpful and one judge didn’t have any. DD loves corrections in the comments as it is very helpful especially just before Oireachtas. Feis volunteers were awesome and super friendly. Nice job Cinci.

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Shauna Arnold

Agree with the awards issue. These girls need to eat healthy a week before leaving for the O. Not a Hershey’s candy bar. Feis really needs to step up the awards for PC/OC. My biggest complaint is not finishing until after 6pm. It’s fine if you live in Cinci but when you live 2 1/2 hours away, getting home at 8:30-9pm is just much too late. My daughter is 11. Something needs to be done with the flow. It was just too long. We will attempt this feis one more time next year. If flow is not fixed we will not go again.

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Peg F

From a grades standpoint, I love that the Cincinnati Feis gives multiple awards/placements. When my Novice dancer has 22 in a group, it’s nice that multiple 2nds and 3rds are given. I don’t think this is a judge thing but is Feis-specific. We had a long summer of huge comps and my daughter not getting on the board, so this was a nice boost in confidence before going to the O. Also, I love that there are medals all the way down to 5th place.

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