So this morning after church, we went to a local Mom and Pop place for breakfast.  As we sat waiting for our food,  I recognized one of the gentlemen at the front door of the restaurant.

That is a feis dad,  I thought to myself.  The GC thought she recognized him too.  We are at a small place in the middle of nowhere, no Irish Dance schools for literally miles,  and yet, there are other dance parents a few tables away.

So, after I ate,  I stopped by their table to say hi.  The man had reconized me also so we made quick small talk. ‘What school’ I asked,  and here comes the awkward part…

Our new school is a ‘spin off’ of another area school.  I don’t know all the details,  and don’t really care to know,  but as you can imagine, there are some ‘feelings and emotions’ that go along with a teacher leaving one school to start another…  And now back to the restaurant….

You know what school they said,  the ‘parent’ school of where ours ‘started’.  I told them the school we had just left and then said,  but we just switched to,  and mumbled the name of our new school and smiled.

They laughed,  but I had to wonder what they knew and what their opinions were, but I just said,  ‘just checking the color of the grass’.  I told them I would see them in 6 months and we went our separate ways.

So far, so good and sideways smiles…

Well, we have had two classes at the new school and I am very impressed with things so far. The GC likes it and is learning new things already. They seem very organized and, as we say in the Navy, ‘hit the deckplates running.’ On the second night of class, the teacher gave us a school decal window sticker for the car… I know, you are saying, so what’s the big deal? We were with the other school for four years, never had the opportunity to buy, never mind have given to us, any logo gear for the school. I offered to make the old school a website and they said no, the new school has one already, and did I tell you they have only been open for about 2 weeks? This is not a slam, at least not intentionally, on the old school, just a positive endorsement for the new. We have only had 2 classes.

And sideways smiles… ? It was bound to happen. We ran into some of the old school Moms at a local sandwich shop and we caught that awkward smile and hello. It was friendly enough but there was something in there that said, ‘you traitor’ or maybe, ‘is the grass really greener?’ It was hard to tell.

Anyway, another practice on Sunday will end our first week at the new place. I assume we will fall into the routine soon enough and these updates will end. So far though, I think we made the right decision.

On a side note, I had a dream that the GC’s old teacher was a school teacher for me and I was dreading going to the class. Obviously I am harboring some guilt…. damn Catholic upbringing ;)

A Feis Mom, a can of worms and me….

For those of you who read Confeissions of a feis Mom, a recent post referred to a feis Mom in southern Ohio who was facing a can of worms. Truth be told, I am that Mom, except I am not a Mom, or a woman for that matter, and the author was trying to protect my anonymity in a time of decision.

We were debating about changing dance schools, and this past weekend, we took the plunge. We heard there was a new school opening in our area, an opportunity that had never presented itself, and we were intrigued. I won’t say we were disappointed with the school we were attending, and no, I will not name names, at least not intentionally, but there were things that my OCD side had less patience for, lets just put it that way.

So, when the girl child(GC) mentioned the new school and that her friend was moving, and she wanted to move too, unless of course her friend changed her mind, we attended the open house with trepidation. We had gone through numerous heart-to-hearts with the GC about what if it does not work out, and how are you going to feel about seeing Instructor X at a feis after leaving her, and 4 years is a long time to just up and move, and you can’t compete for 6 months, and…. well, you get the idea. So we went…

Within ten minutes of chatting with one of the assistants, the wife woman(WW) and I realized that this was an opportunity we should take advantage of. My OCD side was impressed, the rates were cheaper, they had all the right answers, yada, yada, yada…. We signed up on the spot.

The next part was a little dicey, having to call the current teacher, and the WW said I could handle it. I thought a sincerely worded email might do the trick and she said, ‘no, you call’. ‘If you have an opinion on how it should be done, you do it” I replied, so she did. She handled it very well and I got a little choked up as I listened. I mean, 4 years is a long time and the instructor helped the GC love Irish Dance. Honestly, I was a little sad. The teacher handled it very well, asked questions and ended by wishing us luck. Well done I thought.

We found out later that if you are going to leave a dance school for another school, and you may be the first of a few, it is good to be the first to call the instructor. The second call (as we found out later) did not go as smoothly. I am afraid there will be more and I dont envy the callers.

Well, the can of worms is open….. the grass, as of now is greener… a few days will tell.

Akron Feis Review

OK, short and sweet, this was the second year I attended the Akron Feis and it is the second year I didn’t like it.

Lets lay it out, the performances are in a barn, unless you are champion level, then you get the AC room. Sure, its a cement floor big barn, but its a barn. It was hot, and a bit smelly and I think it wore on the dancers. On the positive, the camping was adequate.

Concessions – I have to give them a thumbs up. Prices were good and the people were friendly. If there is any downside, it is that it was fair food, but who doesn’t like fair food?

Swag – not too much, a nice jewelry booth and a few Irish things, some tshirts but other than that, limited.

So whats the issue? This year, actually worse than the year before was the scoring. It took literally hours from the dance to the results. EVERYONE was complaining. Mix that with the heat, and the barn etc…. not good.

This post is being written a week after the feis, but I still feel the same. Sorry Akron, we aren’t going back.

An idea… buying and selling solo dresses

I am working on an idea designed to help when buying and selling solo dresses.

I know, I know, there are A LOT of dress selling sites, but I have not found anything where a buyer could list what they are looking for so that a seller search easily and then could contact the buyer.

If such a site existed, would you, as a buyer post what you are looking for, OR, as a seller, appreciate the fact that they could search a wish list to hopefully find a buyer faster? Oh, and did I mention listing and searching would be FREE.

There is more to it than that, but just wondering if the base idea has any merit/

Thoughts and opinions appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Categories: Ideas     

Buckeye Feis Review

I decided that reviewing the most recent feis I attended may be good subject matter for this site. I planned on covering what I thought about the Buckeye Feis this past weekend, including the food, parking, dresses, etc…. but it appears that @IrishDanceMom02 beat me too it. For a great review of the 3rd Annual Buckeye Feis, see her blog post.

There were a few things I was interested in that @IrishDanceMom02 didn’t mention that I thought I would briefly cover. First, the judging. The judges changed frequently which is good. If a judge stays on one stage too long it can harm (or help) a dancers chances for scoring well if the judge happens to have particular style they look for. I know, I have seen it happen. I liked the fact that for the six dances the girl child did, there were 3 different judges, giving all the dancers more even odds.

The music was good and I saw at least 2, and sometimes 3 musicians on a stage. I didn’t look at all the stages but the ones in my area were well covered with fiddles or accordions, sometimes a mix of both, but nary an iPod playing dance music to be found.

And who doesn’t go for the shopping? The SWAG at the event was unfortunately limited, and besides the obligatory shoe, wig and socks tables, there was only one one Irish SWAG table. Being that I am 1st generation Irish American, I really enjoy the Irish SWAG so I was a bit disappointed.

The other thing I thought was missing that would bring more Dads to these events was beer, but I will leave that can of worms for another post.

I need your opinion….

Seems like there are A LOT of Irish Dance websites out there, so am I spinning my wheels, or would that be reels?  :)

This could really go lots of ways, my first thought would be a resource for parents, maybe describe the dances, the history, how feis’ work etc….

I also thought a community might be nice, a place for schools to have forums on feis topics, a member section where school members could interact with other schools, and maybe even give an area for parents to blog.

Or maybe I could be the directory for all things Irish Dance and instead, group links to all the other good info that is already out there into a usable searchable format, kind of like the Google of Irish Dance… OK, I know that Google already is that but it might just work anyway.

So what do you think? Do any of these ideas sound appealing or maybe you have realized that something in the community is missing and I can build that here. I value any inputs and I am still interested in chatting with folks who might want to help.

Thanks in advance and Happy St. Patrick’ Day!


About What The Feis

As of right now, March 13th, 2011, What The Feis (WTF for you people in the know) is just a concept. My original idea was to have it be a guide for new Feis Parents but my blue-sky idea is having it be the ultimate reference for everything Irish Dance.

In addition to a history lesson, a reference, a glossary, a list of schools, a schedule and a community, my goal is to have links, discussions, classifieds, member sections etc… kind of like a Feis Facebook Plus.

Here is where you come in. To make this work, I need help from people who know things about Irish Dance. I am getting there but as a Feis Dad I am way behind the power curve. So, if you want to help, contact me at any of the below:

Let’s see what we can do with this :)