Holy Angels Feis 2014, PC/OC Review

holyAngelsThe Holy Angels Feis was held on Saturday May 10th in Charlotte, North Carolina. Originally, the Preliminary Champions were scheduled for Friday the 9th but after some feedback and people wanting to travel to the event, all events were changed to Saturday. This was a welcomed change and in glancing at the competitor list, many traveled from Florida, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland.

Intro

This feis had a lower cap with 150 PC/OC dancers and 250 grade level dancers. It appeared to be capped primarily because of space limitations since the school/church where the competition took place was not that large. Parking was free which is always nice!

We arrived in the late morning and found more than adequate parking. Looks like we got there about the same time that the beginners and advanced beginners were finishing up which helped with potential congestion with the PC/OCs arriving.

Venue

The event was held at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church and school in their cafeteria. Unlike last year, there was plenty of seating. The organizers removed the round tables at the back of the room and put additional rows of chairs which alleviated much of the ‘camping’ and bottlenecks witnessed last year.

Food

The concessions were run by parent volunteers and some of the older dancers. There were plenty of selections including premade sandwiches, fruit, granola bars, and homemade baked goods. It was nice not to be overcharged for a bottle or water or a banana. You could also bring your own food in which is always a plus!

Stage/Music

There were 3 stages in the morning for the grade levels with one musician. In the afternoon for the PC/OC level, the tape was removed and it became one stage. The stage was not raised and was made of plywood and was not covered in any marley.

Judges

As always, the PC/OC competitions had three judges. The judges seemed very attentive to the dancers even after a long morning of grade level competitions.

Vendors

This was a small feis so I didn’t expect an elaborate selection of vendors. The one there did have a great selection of all the basics and then some.

Results

The results for champions took a little longer that what I expected since the grade levels were done but then again, it can feel like an eternity when you have a bunch of dancers standing around full of nervous energy!

Thankfully, they posted a recall list which I am learning is not always the case. This alleviated the stress for the dancers and the parents when the awards were called. The presentation of the awards was about 15 minutes after the recall list was posted in the atrium of the school. There was not a formal podium instead there were numbers taped to the floor. That was quickly overlooked when the dancers realized that the top 3 were going to get sashes!

Awards were given for individual rounds as well as the overall placement. The dancer placing in the individual rounds were given a nice angel clip board which went with the Feis Name, Holy Angels. The championship awards were a silver tray and for the top three, itunes gift cards and a sash.

Conclusion

This was really a no frill feis but it accomplished the basic purpose which is to provide an opportunity for children to dance, gain feedback from the judges and for the lucky few advance. Over all, I would rank this feis an 8.5.

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2 Comments

Cyndy miller

The one thing that makes this feis special and reason it is run no frills is that it is a charity fundraising feis the school runs. They used to have a special session as part of their other feis as a charity event and in the past year have made it it’s own event. With that in mind, we seem not to mind being no frills

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Irish Dance Mom

We attended the Holy Angels Feis this year, held May 23, 2015. The feis was held at the Sports Connection, a roomy indoor sports facility, which seemed to work well. My daughter is in Prelims and was in one of the last groups to dance. Because grades where held in the morning, followed by Open Championships, followed by Prelims, the building really wasn’t crowded at all. There were at least two vendors ( I suspect it was actually three), one selling t-shirts in the parking lot and one or two selling feis accessories indoors. For a feis this size (approximately 300 dancers) this was more than adequate.

The stage was Oireachtas sized which provided good practice for this Fall! The stage was well maintained and we only saw one fall, a younger dancer who was able to regain her composure and re-dance. She ultimately won her competition.

Champ awards were held under a tent just outside the building. My daughter’s competition was very large, so the tent was a bit cramped for this purpose. Trophies were awarded to the place dancers with the top dancers receiving larger trophies than the other placed dancers. There were sashes for the top three dancers and round medals were issued for the top three dancers in each round. The feis also gave each dancer a colorful Hawaiian lei which was fun and festive!

The only complaint I had about Holy Angels and it has been addressed by other parents (dancers?) on the Irish dance bulletin boards is that this feis, as with many Southern feisanna, automatically lumps Prelims into double age groups, even when it isn’t warranted. It is then up to the feis committee’s discretion as to whether or not they will split into individual age groups. My daughter’s competition had 20 dancers with ten in each of the two age groups. The feis opted not to split the competition. This means at least one U13 or one U14 dancer missed out on a qualifying 1st and the U13 dancers were lumped with older, likely more experienced dancers.

We were told upon arriving, that there would be a recall list posted on the wall, but nothing was ever posted. I’m not sure if they were short-handed or something was lost in communication, but no recalls were posted. It wasn’t the end of the world, as we are used to just reporting for awards and finding out as the numbers are called if my dancer placed. I do like the idea of a recall list though and was looking forward to seeing how this works.

For prelims, I recommend this feis if you are local or if you have a dancer who is in the older of two merged age groups. For Open Champ and grades, go for it. This is a well-run feis:-)

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