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Irish - Feiseanna
First Feis EVER?? In Prizewinner - Help!
By reelgirl59 Comments: 11, member since Sat Sep 13, 2014
On Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:37 PM

Next month I will be doing my first feis - I'm super excited and super nervous at the same time. My teacher put me in the Prizewinner level and I'm not really sure what to expect. What are some tips for competing in this level? How much should I practice over the next month? Just any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!!!!

3 Replies to First Feis EVER?? In Prizewinner - Help!

re: First Feis EVER?? In Prizewinner - Help!
By Lil_Irish_Dance Comments: 29, member since Thu Sep 03, 2015
On Sat Sep 19, 2015 08:55 AM
I just competed in Prizewinner for the 1st time in the last few months, so I know how you feel. One thing to make sure of is that you have the basics down; your feet are crossed, you turned out, you point you toes on everything, and you stand up straight. This will help you place. If your trying to win 1st, then you have to step it up a level to make yourself stand out from the other dancers. I would practice for an hour every day a month before to work on the parts that were hard for me. 2 weeks before, I bumped it up to two hours. The three days before the feis, I you take a break and rest. Also, make sure you get plenty of sleep, it really helps.
re: First Feis EVER?? In Prizewinner - Help! (karma: 1)
By IrishLizzymember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3559, member since Wed Jul 28, 2004
On Sat Sep 19, 2015 09:08 AM
First off, congratulations on your upcoming first feis and being put into prizewinner. Your teacher must see a lot of potential in you to allow you to skip over three levels. :D

Have you ever been to a feis to watch? If not, the first thing you'll need to do is pick up your number at the registration table. Then you can go find your stage (there should be a stage schedule so you'll know which one you're on) and see where they are in the comps. Give yourself time to warm up, put your wig on if you're wearing one, get your socks and dress on, etc. When it's almost time for your first dance the stage monitor will alert everyone that that competition is starting soon, this is usually done by a number being held up or crossing off numbers on the board. (Sorry if this is getting confusing!) At that point go up to the stage monitor and show her your competitor number and she'll cross you off the list. Then you wait side stage until they shuffle you up on stage. Depending on your age group you'll dance with one or two other dancers. Usually older age groups dance two at a time. Make sure you're ready to pick up after the set of dancers in front of you are done dancing-start dancing as soon as they're done. When you finish bow to the judge and walk back to your spot in line. Once all dancers have finished everyone will bow to the judge and then to the musician and walk off stage. You'll repeat this process for each dance you're entered in.

Eventually your results will be posted and you can check to see if your number is listed. If it is, you go to the awards table and show them your number and they will give you whatever awards you've won. You can also get your results sheets here, this will show you what scores you earned in each dance and show the judges comments. Depending on the feis, you may need to pay for this sheet.

So that's what you can expect to happen at a feis. Tips for competing in this level? I would definitely recommend getting up on stage and being confident, if you're nervous don't let it show. If you mess up, do not stop; the only time you stop is if the judge tells you to by ringing a bell. Make sure you're hydrated, water will keep your energy up. Eat something too! A lot of dancers can't eat the day of a feis because of nerves, but it's really important to give your body natural sources of energy.

As far as practicing goes, it's a definite must. How many classes are you in a week? That will help determine how many days you should practice. If you have one day of class a week then you'll need more practice time at home, but if you have three days of classes then I would suggest one or two days of at home practice. I think at your level, 4-5 days of dancing is a good start. For your at home practices go through all the things your teacher has corrected you on in class. If s/he's told you to cross more in your second treble jig step, then work on that. If s/he's told you to turn out more then work on turn out exercises.

I know this is a lot of information, but I hope it helps. Feel free to ask more questions :)
re: First Feis EVER?? In Prizewinner - Help!
By StrattonBlack Comments: 59, member since Mon Apr 22, 2013
On Wed Sep 23, 2015 03:08 PM
One suggestion of mine would be to try to observe the next level up from you (but still your age group) at a feis. When my daughter moved into Prelim last year we were stunned at the level of competition. Then when we went to NANs in July, our eyes were really opened to what level of dancing she was competing against. It will show you what you are striving for and where your dancing needs to be.
Remember that confidence is half the battle. If your teacher has put you there, they believe you are ready!
Best of luck!!!