The 2nd annual Greensboro City Feis, held on Saturday October 4th and Sunday October 5th was sponsored by the Walsh Kelley School. After a not so stellar venue in 2013, the organizers secured a different hotel for 2014 -The Greensboro Marriott Downtown.This review will cover my opinion of the U10 and below comps. U11 and above danced later in the day.
The venue was much improved from last year. Overall it was more spacious, both the dance room, vendor room, and hotel lobby. A feis rate of $119.00 was offered (plus parking). There was ample parking in the garage adjacent to the hotel but it wasn’t free. There are restaurants in walking distance however the area around the hotel might be best visited in the daylight and with a group of people. Initially the dance room was stuffy then the air kicked on and it was noticeably cooler.
Stages and Seating
The Feis was held on the bottom, or lobby floor of the hotel. Grades stages were run on on 2 stages (one huge stage divided) and featured a raised stage The stages were durable and not slippery. The size was small/average and dancers went two at a time. On the far end of each stage was a column type support beam which obstructed the view of the audience, though it *seemed* like the judges, who were seated below the stage could look out and around the column. For the young ones the stage size was not an issue, I am interested to read what U11 and above thought. The raised stage created some excitement among the dancers, especially those who will be attending Oireachtas and don’t normally dance on a raised stage.
Dancers rotated stages for each dance. There were 4 adjudicators (from Mid America and West region) -2 sat on one stage, two at the other and they took turns judging the comps. My dancer was judged by 3 of them. All left comments.
Only one musician was needed at this feis, and he (Mark Arrington) did a fabulous job. Music could be heard just fine by the dancers and audience.
Coolers were allowed at the feis which is always a plus. No food or snacks were offered by the host school,which probably had to do with the proximity of the hotel restaurant which hotel was literally behind the room the dancers danced. After the feis it was convenient to go sit and eat. Somewhat pricey, though what you would expect from a hotel.
Again, this is a small feis so the there were only two vendors ( Fab Rince and Callahans) but they sold the most popular kind of Irish Dance needs. I don’t think either were selling shoes but please correct me if I am wrong.
Score 7 (8 if shoes were offered)
The room for dancing was not conducive to camping, but there were a good number of chairs set up for guests. I learned quickly though that if my dancer was on Stage 2, then the best area for viewing was close to stage 1 and visa versa. Outside the dancing room people camped along the hallway. The lobby was huge and offered a nice respite from the action. The second floor (staircase from the lobby or elevator) was also roomy and offered a good place for dancers to practice.
Close to the dancing room. Again this was a smaller sized feis and not all ages danced at the same time so long lines for the bathroom did not exist (thankfully!!)
The feis began on time (8:00) with the beginners dancing all of their dances. Next up were the AB/Nov/PW for U10 and below. The last dance for this group was the U10 non traditional set which commenced at 11:10. Figures went next, then lunch, and finally U11 and above, Beg/AB/Nov/PW. The organizers underestimated the time U11 would start by over an hour. Though the stage schedule read u11- Not before 10:20, it was probably more like noon. Per the committee, the feis ended by 4:00 pm. Better feis math will prevent the second group (U11 and above) from showing up too early. If I were to score just for my dancer’s comps, I would rate this a 9, but realistically and thinking what the next group thought, it deserves a lower
Awards and Results
Results were posted in an adjacent, very large room (the vendors were also in this room along with the dress rack). Let me restate it was a large room! As far as results go I have to tip my hat to the organizers. They had those results up swiftly, at least for the U10 and below group. PW received trophies for 1-3 places, and medals for any place below 3rd. The trophies noted the placement and the first place trophies were taller than 2 and 3. Medals were given for Beg-Nov. groups. Medals came with ribbons.
Overall Score 8
If you were at the 2013 feis in Greensboro and decided not to return in 2014, you missed out on a good feis. It was 100% better than last year leading me to believe the feis committee is open to criticism and suggestions and willing to seek measures to improve. Walsh Kelley *usually* schedule their feisianna with younger dancers dancing in the morning and older age groups in the afternoon. If that schedule suits you, then come on down to Greensboro in 2015. I know we will be there!
Did Y’all Get Down There? ;) What Did You Think?Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.