Have an observant side? Have a creative side? Have a penchant for writing or using words like penchant to communicate your thoughts? Are you snarky or sarcastic (not required). Do you get bored waiting around between dances at a feis and are looking for something to fill the time? Boy, have I got a deal for you!
What The Feis is looking for people to contribute reviews for the feiseanna they attend. There are really no requirements, just recommendations, so anyone can do it!
You do not need to use your real name, and we can, if you wish, set up a nom de plume (that’s French for fake name to hide your identity, or something like that) on What The Feis for you to write under.
What is in a review?
I have mostly used the same format since I started writing these, gathering info I thought would be useful to others, but fresh ideas are always welcome. I try to cover:
Name, date, venue name, city, state and zip. I also list which # it is if I can find that info (like 3rd annual). If available, I try to add in a link to the feis website and a link to the venue website. Also whether you are reviewing the grades level comps or the champ level comps.
Description of the venue, parking availability, room to move around, number and size of stages (I just eyeball it), condition of stages and if they were swept or mopped during the day, available seating, room for camping, etc… Lastly a score on a 1 – 10 scale on what you thought of the venue.
Number of judges compared to the number of dances your dancer(s) had. For example, danced 4 times had 1 judge for all 4, which in my book is bad. That could be affected by comps moving quickly, limited number of judges etc… which should be noted if discover the reason. Add in a score on a 1 – 10 scale on what you thought of the judging.
Number of musicians compared to the number of stages. For example if each had there own, or if the musician was shared. I actually saw one feis where one musician sat in the corner joining 4 stages which caused some delays on some of the stages. Also note things like ‘musical confusion’ where musicians are to close together, and the quality of the music. There are occasional ‘crappy musician’ comments. Add in your score.
Availability, price and type of food, whether it is all convention center food, healthy alternatives etc… Whether they allow coolers and outside food is good to know if available. The availability of beer is something SOME people want to know. I always seem to have to drive right after the ones that do have it. :( Add in your score.
Type of vendors, the ones that are feis related like wigs and things, or fun like woolen knits and tchotchkes (aka chachkies…. a Yiddish word in an Irish Dance post… I crack me up) from Ireland. Add in a link to the list if it is on the site. Add in your score.
Where the results were posted in relation to the stages, if they were printed or handwritten, if they included dancer names (which has become a topic of conversation for security-minded parents) or just had the dancer number, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, how long they took to get posted. I also include if I found any electronic posting and how it compared to the hard copies. There have been feiseanna where I know on my mobile device via efeis quicker than the results get to the board in the venue. Add in your score.
Time between dances, time to results, whether the same comp was grouped close together or spread out throughout the day, how long lunch took, etc… Add in your score.
I use a two part scoring system with a Feis Score consisting of the average of the Judging, Music, Results and Flow scores, the things the feis committee has control over. Then I combine all the elements for an overall average score.
I will add that in for you. Basically a scale of 1 – 10 poll where readers can tell what they thought.
So what do you think, wanna help?
That is it, and that is just a suggestion. You can use all of it, some of it, or you might have completely different thoughts on what should be captured. I am all for anything that can be shared to help other dance parents.
If you are interested, contact me and let me know, or send questions if you have any.