Tag Archive for: 2T

Gem City Feis 2013

gcLogoThe Gem City Feis was held on October 12th, 2013 at the Dayton Airport Expo Center in Vandalia, OH.

This is my second year reviewing this feis although we have been here a few times. You can see the last review here.

Venue – As I said last year, the Expo Center is a great venue for a feis. People at the feis even commented that it was their favorite venue. However, last year I also said “probably could have taped off a bigger area for camping then they actually did, since the camping filled up and became difficult to navigate in and out of, but the annoyance was minor” and maybe I was a little too subtle. There is a ton of open area that could have been used for camping, but they taped off the same inadequate area this year and people were openly irritated. TAPE OFF A BIGGER CAMPING AREA IN 2014 PLEASE!

There, got that off my chest. Other than that, it was great!

There were 5 stages again this year and stages 1 & 2 (the OC/PC stages) were huge, 32 x 32 as far as I could tell. The remaining stages were all 24 x 24 and were bigger than the average stage I see at other feiseanna. Each stage had lots of chairs for the audience.

I saw a few slips but did see the staff mopping the stages (at least the one that we were on) at lunch, and the monitors were very good at cleaning up any foreign objects that happened to fall off dancers while they danced.

Parking, as last year, was plentiful but if you didn’t get there early, like at 8am, you were going to have to park out a ways. There is a drop zone available though.

Venue Score: 7.5 (down a little from last year due to camping situation)

Judges – The girl child had three dances and was judged by two different judges. Generally I would say that was not great, but on our stage they rotated a few times during the morning comps and it just so happened that the same judge rotated back to judge her again in the afternoon. One of the Moms told me that on her stage, her dancer had the same judge for 4 dances. I think that is unacceptable and could give unfair advantage (or disadvantage) to the dancers.

Judge Score: 5

Music – All stages had their own music and were spaced well enough so as not to bleed over.

On a side note, the nice lady at the concession stand told me she did not realize there was live music at these events. Oh, and that the music was very repetitive. We may not see her work the stand next year 😉

Musician Score: 9

Food – Same menu as last year, burgers, brats and dogs, pretzels, pizza, salad, sandwiches, drinks and some breakfast items. The food prices were good but the drink prices were (IMHO) very high. $4 or $5 sandwiches and the quality was ok, but a soda was $2.50 for a bottle. They had beer, but I did not see the price on that.

Food Score: 8.5

Vendors – Vendors were the standard list which you can see here. George the shoe guy, the wig ladies, the Zuca couple from Georgia, the ribbon lady, one Irish swag guy who sold sweatshirts, posters and a few other things, t-shirt vendor and a photographer.

The only noticeable change (to me) was that the feis t-shirts were not pre-printed like last year, and you could ‘customize’ them a bit, otherwise same-o same-o.

Vendor Score: 8.5

Results – Results were posted on the wall in about 15 minutes and that is excellent in my opinion. No apparent Twitter or Facebook posts, but I did not search very hard for them, so if any of you saw them, please let me know.

gemAwards were right next to the results and were divided by comps instead of by stages, not sure if that helped or not, but TGC never had to wait long for her awards.

I also like the gems that some of the dancers get for 1st place, nice touch.

The other thing I liked is that they had comments ready to be picked up within about 30 minutes of the dancers being finished. Not sure that was in every case, but it was in ours.

Results Score: 9.5

Feis Flow – Feis flow was just OK. They had 10 age comps on our stage and they all did the same dance before starting the next dance. I know that is how it usually goes, but with comps having sometimes over 20 dancers, it made for a long wait between dances. I think this wears on the dancers. I know it wears on the parents.

This venue is so large I think they could add a stage or two to help spread the comps out a little. I say that with the caveat that I do not know availability of judges, musicians etc… so this may not be an option, but it would be nice.

All that being said, we started around 11 and were done a little after 3ish with an hour lunch in there, so it was not horrible, but we got there early in case things went quick… you know how that goes, long day.

Feis Flow Score: 7


The feis score consists of Judging, Music, Results and Flow and the overall includes everything.

Feis Score: 7.625

Overall Score (aka the WTF Rating): 7.85

What did you think?

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West Virginia Feis

The West Virginia Feis was held on March 23 and 24th, 2013 at Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Pittsburgh Airport in Pittsburgh, PA. Since the feis was held in PA, I have listed it under both PA and WV reviews.

Please add your feis rating for the West Virginia Feis at the bottom of this review!

NOTE: This review focuses on Saturday only for this two day feis. OC and PC stages and judging therefore are not included in the review.

Venue – This is the second feis I have attended at the Hyatt, and for the last one, I said it ‘wasn’t terrible as a feis venue’, and I still go by that, HOWEVER, I liked it a lot less this time than the last. There were four performance stages, and while I peeked in on the fourth, most of my time was spent in the large ballroom with the three stages. As in my last review for this venue, stages were good size and had sufficient chairs for viewers. The traffic area around the stages was not adequate and moving was difficult, especially since some people congregated on the back wall and in front of the doors into the stage area.

When the hard shoe dances started, the noise carryover between the stages was distracting to me in the viewing seats, but I cannot speak for the dancers on stage.

Camping spots were available in the meeting rooms around the ballroom. Hallways were clearly marked “NO CAMPING” but I saw plenty of people camped right beneath the signs. Camping in the seats around the stages seemed to be at a minimum however, which was nice (at least on stage 3 where we were).

For the last feis I thought the biggest venue ‘issue’ was the concession set up. For this feis, use of the hallways WAS WORSE. This was not helped by the people who did not appear to notice the ‘NO CAMPING’ signs.

Feis results were posted in the hall between the ballroom and the lobby, where the concessions happened to end, which made for an issue of the lunch crowd versus the results crowd. On top of that, there were vendors across from the results, which severely constricted flow. At lunch time that area came to a literal standstill, the rest of the time it was just horrible.

There were also vendors on both sides of the big hallway adjacent to the ballroom, so it was slower traffic through there. The hallway on the end of the ballroom did not really have vendors and might have made a better results area (my opinion only, since I have never set up a feis).

Parking was plentiful but may have involved a bit of a walk depending on when you arrived. There was a way to pull right up to the hotel to drop off dancers and gear though. The feis did pay for parking which was cool and saved me $13.

Venue Score: 5.5 (sorry the results-vendor hall made it worse this time)

Judges – Same as the last time, daughter danced four dances and was judged by three different judges.

Judge Score: 9

Music – Each stage had their own musicians, otherwise pretty standard.

Musician Score: 8

Food – Same as for the last feis, breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, pretzels, pizza, salad, drinks and sundries… all apparently reasonably priced but we did not eat at the feis so I cannot speak to the quality.

Food Score: 6

Vendors – They had an airbrush artist which I had not seen at a feis before and I thought was a nice addition. Otherwise the standard feis tshirt guy, shoe booth, jewelry, feis and Irish themed apparel, knit goods, the wig stuff, nic-nacs, paddywacks, etc…

Vendor Score: 8.5

Results – Another negative. My daughter danced her first dance at 9 and the results were out at 930, not terrible but not great. After that though, it trended toward terrible taking about 90 minutes for the next 2 results and over an hour for the last (not sure how long since we went out to lunch and came back). A caveat, my daughters comps had nearly 30 dancers.

Results Score: 4

Feis Flow – As for the last feis here, I thought the feis flow was pretty good. There appeared to 5 or 6 dances between each of my daughters so there was time for rest between each although I did see 1 dancer from another age group what appeared to be back to back dances.

From my viewpoint the flow was handled really well and things were kept moving.

Feis Flow Score: 8.5

And the WTF Rating – a 7.07.

What did you think?

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Great Lakes Feis Review

The Great Lakes Feis was held on August 19th, 2012 at The Lansing Center, Lansing, MI.

Venue – The venue was great and and all the stages were in the same huge room. The champs at one end of the venue and everyone else at the other. I made it sound bigger than it is, and it isn’t THAT big, but there was good separation. The stages were a good size, had good seating and room between. The camping was very plentiful so the ‘camping squatters’ were annoying. You know them, the ones who set up in the viewing seats and spread out their stuff.

Parking was available a short walk from the center and was about $2 an hour where we parked.

Judges – Two different judges rotated through my daughters 4 dances, so rotation was OK. We had one judge view soft shoe, and another viewed hard shoe dances, and my daughter didn’t place in soft and placed really well in hard shoe.

We have all experienced the judge that appears to have a preference for a style (or something that puts our children at a perceived disadvantage) and I sort of felt that occurred this weekend, so I wonder if there is a way they can switch judges between dances and not ‘shoes.’ I guess we all go thorough that once in a while. One of the positive things about this feis is another reason they probably couldn’t do it for this feis (see Feis Flow below).

Music – Like Niagara Falls last week, there was a musician at each stage and the musician at our stage took very short breaks, and only a few of them, so music was continuous. Great job on the musicians.

Food – Typical convention center food at typical convention center prices. They did have salad and wraps that were not bad, and added some healthy to the normal convention fare.

Vendors – Standard vendors, the feis tshirt guy, George the shoe guy, some wigs, clips, crowns and hair accessories etc… There was some nice Irish gift things, more jewelry than usual, Guinness shirts and Irish swag. If you are interested, you can view the vendor list.

Results – well done. I would say the results were out in under 20 – 30 minutes for most dances. Also like Niagara Falls, the folks giving out the awards pulled up results on computer monitors. Well run. Same suggestion I made for Niagara Falls I make to you guys? Ever consider tweeting the results? I say that hoping I didn’t miss them.

Feis Flow – I thought this feis was very well run for a different reason than last weeks. They grouped the dances by age, grouped so tight that there was only one dance between my daughters dances. If it wasn’t for the fact the lunch break fell in there we would have been done in about an hour, but instead, she was the first dance after lunch, but we were still done by 1.

Good thing about this, as long as you have a system for knowing when you will start, you won’t be there to long, but if you plan wrong, you may miss your whole set. The bad thing, other than maybe missing your set, is the potential to have poorer judge rotation (see above).

They had a lunch break, but at least on our stage it was kept to about an hour so that was 0good.

And the WTF Rating – Overall I was impressed and give this feis a 8.5.