Forum: Irish / Irish - Beginners

The talent and feises thing
By Hungarydances90
On Thu Jun 19, 2014 01:52 PM

Hi everyone.
So i recently went to a feis and didnt do very well (it was horrible) and it was my first feis. I am an adult beginner and honestly, i am not very talented. I am not anti-talented or something but i was not born to do this and it rarely looks good. So i really dont feel like going to feises anymore and getting disapointed all over again but my school is very competitive and so are everyone in it and they have been trying to convince me to keep compeeting? I just dont want to get disapointed many times and give up. So what do you think? How do you feel about feise?

15 Replies to The talent and feises thing

re: The talent and feises thing
By StrattonBlack
On Thu Jun 19, 2014 05:19 PM
I'm the mom of a dancer, but I would say at least try one more. My daughter can go to one feis and bring home five medals and two trophies. She can go to the next and bring home one fifth place out of seven dances with no other placements. A lot of it depends on how well she's rested, eaten, her 'rituals' have been followed that day, if she's hydrated, etc. So it may have just been an off day...try one more! Best of luck to you!! :)
re: The talent and feises thing
By essie1
On Thu Jun 19, 2014 05:59 PM
I would not lose heart, each feis you compete in have different jugdes who will looks for different things in your foot work, my daughter can attend a competetion one week get a 1st, attend another feis the week after, do the same dances and get nowhere, so just enjoy your next couple of feises and relax, a teacher from another school who also has jugded my daughter at competitions told my daughter that the way she was walking out onto the stage to starting her dances showed them she was lacking in confidences and it made her dance better. Good luck and keep trying.
re: The talent and feises thing
By hannicamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 19, 2014 06:20 PM
It was your first feis, those ones are bound to not be your best moment. Mine I came dead last in everything. The second one was my best feis ever, and I won everything. But my fifth feis I did terrible again.

Sooo yeah try one more. I like feisanna cause I get to see the other adult irish dancers. However if it is making you hate irish dance maybe find a studio where you don't have to compete. As adults the fun should out weight the competitive side.
re: The talent and feises thing
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:06 PM
I would not give up on feising yet! It's a great way to meet up with other adults.

You are only a beginner and at your first feis. That is a time for nerves (my knees were literally shaking as I was waiting to dance) and not having your best performance.

Also you say you don't have talent for it. How can you tell at this point? Irish dance is definitely a skill, and takes lots of practice and training. It is rare for someone to be good at it right from the start. Some people are lucky to have lovely feet or turn out because that is how they are made, but the rest do us have to work very hard to look decent.

I love to go to competitions because they challenge me to work hard and keep improving.

Only you can decide if you want to keep competing, but I would suggest trying it a few more times before you decide to give it up.
re: The talent and feises thing (karma: 1)
By saoirse3473member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jun 20, 2014 01:55 AM
I'm not an adult dancer, but I will say this from a competitive dancer's prospective. A phrase you consistently need to remind yourself of is this; hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

There will always be girls/boys who will be naturally talented. And starting out at an older age only emphasizes that for you even more when you feel like it hasn't "clicked" yet. But understand this, talent only goes so far. And truth be told, there are even World Champs who aren't naturally talented; many of them were the underdogs as small children who were tired of placing behind the girls who were talented from the start. And sometimes, you can even see it in the dancing. But don't ever let your "lack of talent" keep you from going against those who are talented in competition.

Don't let this get you down. In fact, use it as motivation. Work harder so that you can defeat the odds of winning against girls who are "naturals".

Hang in there, and don't lose hope! And maybe try competing just for fun. Sounds tough (as we all get in that mindset of "I want to do well") but maybe you should re-set your standards away from "I want to place this high in each of my comps" to "I want dance this well" instead. It might really help with your motivation too.

Best of luck to you!!!!!
re: The talent and feises thing
By criosamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jun 20, 2014 06:44 AM
why did you feel the feis was horrible? simply because you didn't place? or were there other aspects that added into the horrible feeling? (nerves? feeling overwhelmed? mean/rude people? travel problems? something else?)

I've noticed the last few years as I've shifted from feising to performances, that I love the camaraderie of dancing, I don't mind dancing in front of crowds, but I really hate all the stress of getting ready - it feels like hours of prep just to be onstage for 30 minutes or less. (my pre-show stress is never helped by the fact that I'm a huge procrastinator and always running late).

so depending on my mood/stress level on the day, I can really enjoy a performance/festival, and the next one I'll swear was the most horrible experience ever and I'm never going to do a gig again.

as far as the talent/placement aspect... give it time? the more you dance/practice, the better you'll get.

is winning a medal the only thing that will keep you from being disappointed feis after feis? maybe come up with different goals to keep from being disappointed - focus on something you can improve in your dancing or feising ("I got a better score/good comment from the judge!" or "I didn't forget any dances!" which was my actual goal for many a feis) instead of always going home dejected because you didn't place top 3

so, all that to say, maybe give it a second chance? feising isn't for everyone though, and if after time you realize it's not for you, don't feel forced into it. if it's a local feis, just go on and cheer on your friends and enjoy the day in your own way
re: The talent and feises thing (karma: 1)
By boleyngrrl
On Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:02 PM
If you need another voice telling you to keep going, I'll chime in!

Results in ID vary a lot. Each judge has things that he or she likes. For instance, one particular judge hates my style (I'm rather low on my toes and he has given me the same comment of up on toes for 18 years now). I constantly place low when he judges, but I accept it because if I see him on my panel I know that I'm probably not going to do well. There's one judge who loves my style, and whenever I see her on the panel I'm pretty happy about it. It's possible that you had a judge who didn't like your style. It's possible the judge was asleep (no joke). It's also possible that you just had an off day. They happen to everyone.

Don't let that ruin what could be the start of something fun. When you walked off that stage, did you think you had done the best you could? That's all we can ask of ourselves--to do the best we can and be happy with how we danced, no matter the score.

I don't think it's just the fact that your school is competitive as to why they're trying to encourage you to continue. I think they don't want you to get down. They don't want you to be sad. If you quit because of one bad result, then that's what you're left with. You don't remember all the fun practices, the laughter with friends, the feeling of getting a move you've been working on, or the praise of your teacher. You just remember that one negative experience.

Don't rely on results. For now, set goals. Like, I want to do my jig with perfect crossing by September. I want to be able to do springs without my heels hitting the ground or knees bending for 2 minutes by my next competition. Just little things like that. It might take some time, but you'll start noticing improvements and you'll have a way more positive view of the whole situation.

Good luck and I hope this helps!!! Don't give up, you can do this! :)
re: The talent and feises thing
By Realtreble
On Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:25 PM
It is said you must do something 10,000 times in order to do it well. As a beginner, you probably haven't reached that benchmark yet. You have my respect and esteem for attempting Irish dance as an adult. Then, to enter a feis where you are evaluated as a dancer takes even more courage!

I have to echo the comments above: 1) you are too new to know if dance or competition is something you aren't able to do, 2) a feis simply tells you how you did on one day in front of one judge--a different day or a different judge might get different results. Finally, 3) set small, specific goals for your dancing. No one, not even a repeat World Champion, gets to the podium without lots of work and addressing issues with dancing.

I encourage you to set this goal for your next feis: come off the stage feeling you danced your best in that competition on that day. You can't control the judging. You can't control the competitors who show up at the feis. You can only control your dancing and your outlook. Give competition a few more tries before you decide it is or is not for you.
re: The talent and feises thing (karma: 1)
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jun 21, 2014 07:58 PM
My TC always says that for feisanna you need to set goals that have nothing to do with placing. You can't control what the judge thinks of your dancing. You can't control how the other dancers do that day. What you can control is you. Set a goal like: I will dance all of my dances without forgetting my steps. I will keep my arms down by my sides. I will keep my heels off the floor. I will use the stage and smile.

That way, no matter how you place, you have the opportunity to succeed and have a great feis.
re: The talent and feises thing
By Hungarydances90
On Sun Jun 22, 2014 02:30 PM
Thank you all very much :) I am not completely convinced but I guess it will take time :) I might do another feis when I feel like it and when I am not so disappointed and all. Still, you all restored some of the hope! This is why I love our crazy little community! :)
re: The talent and feises thing
By MissSlipjig
On Sun Jun 22, 2014 03:08 PM
I just did a feis yesterday and came home empty-handed. However, I am in the BEST shape of my life and would not be in such good physical condition if I weren't competing. The hope of winning is powerful motivation to work hard. And even if you don't win the competition, you still win by looking good and feeling great!
re: The talent and feises thing
By sweetpea185
On Sun Jun 22, 2014 06:36 PM
"Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard."

This is a popular quote in the irish dance community, because many believe it's true. If winning is something you greatly desire and you work harder and more efficiently than your competition, not longer, but on the right things, then there's no way you can't improve. And not doing well in your first feis is something most people deal with!! I did horribly at my first feis. Some people do poorly in their first two, five, or fifteen feiseanna! So don't stress too much if you didn't get the results you wanted the first time around. There's no one who can win if they quit after one try.

I'm on a 6-month school change ban right now, and I honestly miss competing so much. Maybe it's because I'm a naturally very competitive person, but I think it's mostly so much fun. If competing isn't enjoyable for you, well, that's one thing. But if you know you truly do enjoy it, then I would forget about placings and just go there for the heck of it!
re: The talent and feises thing
By newdresswanted
On Mon Jun 23, 2014 03:45 AM
I started competing in my mid 20s and to be honest I hated it to start took me quite a few comps to get the hang of it. If you really didn't enjoy it maybe give comps a break for a month or two and then try again. For some people competitions may not be their thing but I don't think you can rule it out on one comp
re: The talent and feises thing
By ghilliegirlan
On Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:34 PM
I agree with everyone else in that you should give it a few more tries, not right away necessarily but sometime in a few months. Competing itself takes practice, which is completely different than practicing dance, it takes practice to know how to walk on and leave the stage, how to sign in, how long it will take the group ahead of you to finish dancing before your up. You need practice at competing for it not to be nerve wrecking, worrying about when to get to a Feis, when to get dressed, when to walk on stage, how much you should practice before going on stage etc. once you work these things out and they're different for everyone feising won't feel as scary. I want to agree with the quote that everyone is talking about. Not to sound self-centered but I was the naturally talented one at my first competitions, I started in U11 beginner but had been doing other types of dancing since I was three, so I crushed the competition with all firsts. But let me tell you that I was STILL terrified of competing, my first probably 4 feises made me horribly nervous but then I got into a groove and started loving it. But as for the talent thing, I did VERY well through beginner, AB and novice and then moved up to open and placed DEAD LAST in almost everything. It was a huge wake up call that all these girls who I had been outplacing were suddenly crushing me! The awkward girl from beginner had a flawless slip jig and the meek girl In AB dominated the stage like she owned it, why you ask? Because they worked their butts off, they recognized their weaknesses and fixed them while I was playing off my strengths, and when they improved suddenly my strengths weren't cutting it anymore, I had to relearn how to practice my weaknesses because that is what makes you a better dancer. Don't see the things your bad at as flaws but rather as things to improve, sometimes placing low is better than placing well because it motivates you to improve.
re: The talent and feises thing
By rosalinde
On Wed Sep 03, 2014 04:43 AM
My 2 cents as a teacher of an adult group:

Two of my dancers (age 45+) did their first feis about 1.5 years ago. They danced in the O35 age group, but they still felt intimidated by the younger dancers. Their results weren't too good and they were really doubting whether this whole feis-thing was for them.
And that is fine by me. They gave it a try at least. But last June one of the ladies tried again and placed 3rd in her Slip Jig. But most of all she felt more relaxed because she'd been on stage before, and she enjoyed it much more. The other lady came to the feis and was our feis-mommy/bag-watcher/hair-fixer/shoulder-to-cry-on.

Tl;dr > Don't nix the option of feising right away. Let it rest, keep dancing, talk to your TC, and, I don't know, try again next year or so?


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