The Great Lakes Feis was held on August 19th, 2012 at The Lansing Center, Lansing, MI.
Venue – The venue was great and and all the stages were in the same huge room. The champs at one end of the venue and everyone else at the other. I made it sound bigger than it is, and it isn’t THAT big, but there was good separation. The stages were a good size, had good seating and room between. The camping was very plentiful so the ‘camping squatters’ were annoying. You know them, the ones who set up in the viewing seats and spread out their stuff.
Parking was available a short walk from the center and was about $2 an hour where we parked.
Judges – Two different judges rotated through my daughters 4 dances, so rotation was OK. We had one judge view soft shoe, and another viewed hard shoe dances, and my daughter didn’t place in soft and placed really well in hard shoe.
We have all experienced the judge that appears to have a preference for a style (or something that puts our children at a perceived disadvantage) and I sort of felt that occurred this weekend, so I wonder if there is a way they can switch judges between dances and not ‘shoes.’ I guess we all go thorough that once in a while. One of the positive things about this feis is another reason they probably couldn’t do it for this feis (see Feis Flow below).
Music – Like Niagara Falls last week, there was a musician at each stage and the musician at our stage took very short breaks, and only a few of them, so music was continuous. Great job on the musicians.
Food – Typical convention center food at typical convention center prices. They did have salad and wraps that were not bad, and added some healthy to the normal convention fare.
Vendors – Standard vendors, the feis tshirt guy, George the shoe guy, some wigs, clips, crowns and hair accessories etc… There was some nice Irish gift things, more jewelry than usual, Guinness shirts and Irish swag. If you are interested, you can view the vendor list.
Results – well done. I would say the results were out in under 20 – 30 minutes for most dances. Also like Niagara Falls, the folks giving out the awards pulled up results on computer monitors. Well run. Same suggestion I made for Niagara Falls I make to you guys? Ever consider tweeting the results? I say that hoping I didn’t miss them.
Feis Flow – I thought this feis was very well run for a different reason than last weeks. They grouped the dances by age, grouped so tight that there was only one dance between my daughters dances. If it wasn’t for the fact the lunch break fell in there we would have been done in about an hour, but instead, she was the first dance after lunch, but we were still done by 1.
Good thing about this, as long as you have a system for knowing when you will start, you won’t be there to long, but if you plan wrong, you may miss your whole set. The bad thing, other than maybe missing your set, is the potential to have poorer judge rotation (see above).
They had a lunch break, but at least on our stage it was kept to about an hour so that was 0good.
And the WTF Rating – Overall I was impressed and give this feis a 8.5.