The 2014 Detroit International Feis was held on Saturday, June 7th at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac, Michigan
Huge, open space to hold a Feis. There were 4 stages set aside for the grades and there was ample spacing between each so that music didn’t bleed over and confuse the dancers. There was plenty of space set aside for camping and bleacher seating was always available when sought out. My only suggestion would be to set up a few practice areas with a flat/dance friendly surface. It was difficult for my dancer to warm up and run through her dances on the turf areas and the rolled out temporary surfaces that covered the turf areas.
The parking lot was large and parking was free. We arrived an hour after the Feis started and were able to park in the 3rd row right in front of the doors. I did notice when we were leaving for the day that an arena employee was out front with a giant golf cart “limo” offering rides to families if they so desired. Nice touch!
For the size of the Feis and the amount of competitors, I think it went really fast even though we were there until 4:30. We really enjoyed an actual lunch break with time to rest and regroup in between soft and hard shoe dances. Our stage was very timely and there were no real lulls in the dancing except for a 10 minute break when the musician needed to run to the endless line in the bathroom!
5 judges for 5 dances. Doesn’t get much better than that.
I will admit I was very leery of how this would all play out because this Feis doesn’t split grades until numbers in a comp reach 30 and with some comps reaching 28, I thought there would be a lot of tears across the board with so few having the opportunity to place. I was pleased to learn that the Feis committee required the judges to place at least half of the total comp numbers regardless of how small or large they were. Medals were awarded 1-5 place and ribbons were given for 6 and 7 place winners. We have a rule studio wide that results are not to be checked until the end of all your dances so I can’t speak to how quickly the results were posted on the wall but they showed up on Feisworx within 10 -15 minutes of the completed dance. I was able to show the awards staff my daughters HP results via Feisworx before it was posted on the wall and we were able to collect all her medals and leave before it came out from the results room.
Total disaster for anyone who attempted to order from the concession stands. They were completely overwhelmed and could not keep up with the throngs of families that all showed up during the lunch break. I spoke with people who waited over an hour for their food that never was produced. Lots of people were issued refunds and were not able to eat. The venue did not allow outside food or coolers to be brought in but didn’t really enforce it. Saw lots of people eating picnic lunches in the camping areas and also several who gave up on the concessions and made a run down the street to the corner to one of the several fast food restaurants located there. We had ample time to eat our lunch and snacks that we packed and enjoyed the break outside in the sun on the front lawn.
Standard Feis fare. Nothing out of the ordinary there. I will say that I did like the choices and the prices for the Feis T-shirts being sold at the registration table.
This was one of our favorite Feisanna to date. I am very glad we decided to give this one a try and we will definitely go back next year! On a side note: I have been told that the Feis committee is reevaluating their split policy for next year. I hope they lower it to the more customary 24 split guideline most follow.