The Michigan Feis was held on September 14th, 2013 at the Muskegon Catholic Central High School in Muskegon, Michigan.
This is the second review for this feis. To see last years review, look here.
Venue – This is the third time we have done a feis at Muskegon Catholic and unlike some of the other feiseanna located in schools, we like this feis.
There were 4 stages in different areas of the school, 2 in one gym, 1 in the auditorium on the schools auditorium stage, and the PC/OC stage in another gym at the far end of the school. If by chance you had dancers on stages 3 or 4 and one of the other stages, especially stage 1 (OC/PC) you probably did not enjoy the layout as much, since dances moved quickly and it was a few minute walk between the stages.
Stage size was excellent and as far as I could tell were about 32 x 32 feet each. Stages 3 and 4 were about 20 feet apart, so there was plenty of room around the stages and plenty of chairs for the dancers to wait for their dances.
I saw one fall, and I did not see any floor cleanup or mopping, but we were there only a short time and left before lunch, so there may have been stage maintenance done.
Seating in the gyms used the gym bleachers and seemed adequate. The auditorium used auditorium seating and was also fine. Camping was in the bleachers, and in the hallways, and although some of the halls got a little tight in spots, it wasn’t bad.
Results were down the hall, half way to stage 1, and awards were in the hallway at the front of the building, so that wasn’t as convenient as other feiseanna where they are right next to each other, but it wasn’t horrible.
Parking was adequate, but the lots near the door, as you would imagine, filled up quickly. We got their at 9ish and ended up parking around the building, and had a 5 minute walk to the front door. There was a drop zone where a parent and the dancer could be dropped off to avoid the walking.
Vendors were in the hallway between stages 3 and 4 at the front of the building, and stage 2 half way down the hallway to stage 1. There were only a few vendors and they tucked themselves up against the wall pretty well. George the shoe guy set up in a side hall, and didn’t block pedestrian flow at all.
Venue Score: 8
Judges – The girl child danced 3 times and was judged by 1 judge. Not great but TGC rotated through all her dances REALLY fast, and I do not see how they could have rotated all stages that quickly.
If I knew all judges were completely objective, and used the same baseline to judge all comps, 1 judge would be OK. I do feel however, they should try to get at least 2 judges to see each age comp, so dancers have a more chances, even if the judging is unintentionally subjective. NOTE: I am not insinuating the judging at this feis was subjective.
Judge Score: 6.5
Music – Each stage had their own musician which is always the best way to do it. We are in the gym with stages 3 and 4, and from where I was sitting, there was a lot of music bleed over between the stages. I asked TGC what she thought and she said she had a hard time hearing the music on stage, and that the left was better than the right. She also said she saw the judge signaling that she could not hear very well.
Musician Score: 7
Food – Wasn’t there for lunch so I am not going to score this, but a cursory glance and it looked like the same set up as last year.
Food Score: NA
Vendors – I only saw George from Ballinvilla, the hair stuff lady and the tshirt guy. This is the Irish Music Festival Feis though and there is LOTS of vendors if you go to the festival. A little lame for a feis though.
Vendor Score: 6
Results – WOW! Best I have even seen. From the end of the dance to the wall, less than 10 minutes. For one, I would say it was around 5 minutes. It is a FeisWorx feis, but results were not posted there, although it really did not matter unless you didn’t want to walk down the hall.
Results Score: 10
Feis Flow – Excellent! We started dancing at 1115 and were done with 3 dances and had results in less than an hour. Age comps were kept together so there was only one or two dances between each of TGC’s dances. Moved really quick. Mix that with the quick results… outstanding.
Feis Flow Score: 10
Remember, scoring is in 2 parts, the feis score consisting of Judges, Music, Results and Flow and then the overall WTF rating for all items.
Feis Score – 8.375 (which really benefited from the results and flow scores).
And the WTF Rating – a 7.92
We’ve been attending this feis since it’s inception. In the past I have had dancers in both gyms and its not fun trying to run to see both.
Stages ran fast – but as a stage monitor I would like to have a checking in next system set up. The now and next is good but to get the dancers ready and keep things moving I was calling out their numbers to get the next group to sign in.
Results were amazing but they placed up to 6th place on the wall. My kidlet got a 6th in one dance, it was posted, thankfully I took a photo because her TCRG does a sticker board for the dancers medals/placements. If it’s posted, give them a ribbon or something. The results ARE up on Quickfeis which seems to be where you’ll find, Great Lakes, Akron and Michigan – Oireachtas from the past year is there as well. The past years results from Michigan from 2011 and 2012 are there too.
Food – didn’t have any because I have to bring my own do to a gluten free diet and being a diabetic.
Judges – While I know the stage I was working on did get four judges I know that some groups only saw one or two of those AD’s because the stages were moving so fast. My kidlet had two AD’s for her dances and placed in everything – not where she wanted but placed in everything so that’s a plus in mom’s book.
While I love to help out at our school feiseanna – I can’t spend four hours at a stage doing a job. I missed seeing my kidlet dance at least twice. I have sent feedback that the blocks should be 2 hours like other feiseanna. So I think next year, I’ll be sitting in the bleachers enjoying my kidlet’s last year of competition.
I am delayed in leaving a response, but wanted to add that we loved this feis! We drove 4 hours to get there and pulled dd out of school early (neither of which we typically do) but I thought it was worth it.
The feis ran smoothly and quickly, results were lightning fast, awards were generous (I have a young novice dancer, so that’s a big plus for us!), and volunteers were friendly and helpful.
The one complaint I had was judge rotation. My dancer did 6 dances and only had 2 judges, one of whom judged 4 of her dances. I would have liked to have seen more frequent rotation, even if it had slowed things down a little.
Like the previous poster, we did note the issue with results being posted through 6th place, but awards only given out through 5th. My dancer was impacted by this in one dance, but took in stride since she won medals in other dances. However, that could have been an ugly situation for someone who had only gotten a 6th in one dance. So it would be nice if the feis kept results and awards consistent, I think.
But overall, it was a great feis — we will be back!!