The 7th Annual Lynn Academy Spring Feis was held on Sunday May 4th 2014 at the Stamford High School in Stamford, CT.
This Feis was held at Stamford High School, which was a very large school. The first problem when we arrived was that the entry doors to the Feis were not clearly marked. We parked on the side of the school and went around to the front to find the main doors locked, and still no signage pointing to where we did need to enter. We continued to walk around the outside of the school and gathered a few more confused souls before we luckily found a random door open. Once in the school signage was no better. We happened to get lucky and found a helpful volunteer who walked us to where we needed to be.
The feis had 8 stages in 3 different places. My daughter danced in the large gym which housed stages 1-5. The school was so expansive that I didn’t even see where the other 3 stages were located. In the large gym there were 3 connected stages on one side, and the other 2 were connected on the other side of the gym.
My biggest concern with this Feis was the way that the comps were run. My daughter danced 4 dances, on 3 different stages. This was done to rotate through the judges I believe, instead of having the judges themselves move. My daughter started on stage 1, danced and then had to wait for 2 comps on stage 2 to run before she danced there. It was the same way between each dance. There was quite a bit of downtime in between each dance, which is hard with a young kid who is easily distracted. It took her about 1.5hrs to get through her 4 dances. By far the longest of the 15 or so feisanna she has competed in.
Despite it being a large school it appeared that most camping was done in the gym with the comps, there were people and bags EVERYWHERE, making it difficult to get around, especially after having to change stages between each dance. Also, there was not a single chair to be had. All spectators had to view the ground level stages standing up.
My daughter danced 4 times for 3 different judges due to the stage rotation that I mentioned above. One issue I had with the judges was that they arrived late, which in turn got the comps off to a late start. The judges did provide decent comments with their marks.
In the gym that my daughter danced in there were 2 musicians for the 5 stages that were in there. One for the 3 combined stages, and a second for the other 2 combined stages. Because of the setup the music was bleeding from one area to another and it seemed to cause some regular issues with the dancers.
The only food I saw was dipping dots, though having a mid morning start meant we didn’t go in search of food. However, the dancers each got a chocolate pop with their medals which the kids enjoyed.
There were quite a few vendors here, more than most Feisanna that we have attended. There were multiple shoe vendors, hair accessories, wigs, Irish jewelry, Irish apparel etc.
Results & Awards
Results for most of the dances seemed to come out after an extended period, which I will attribute mostly to the great distance that the runners would need to travel from stages to the tabulation room. Honestly, about a 5 minute walk. The medals themselves were nice, with different colored ribbons to distinguish placement.
The flow was not very good. As I said from the start it was a constant battle to figure out where you had to be, and the distance between the stages and the results and awards was quite far. The comps got started off late, and certainly didn’t catch up throughout the morning.
With some changes I feel that this could be a much better feis. More(any) signage, no stage rotation, and results/awards closer to comps.
With all this in mind I give this Feis a 6.