Forum: Irish / Irish - Beginners

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Your First Feis (karma: 1)
By ridrpac
On Sun Oct 03, 2010 05:10 PM

I thought it might be fun to share how YOUR first feis went. I'll start-

October 2009- my teacher decided that she would register our school into a small organization called NAIDF. I debated on whether I should go or not, being nervous and unsure of myself, but my friend convinced me that I should. I went there, a 2hr 30 minute drive from my studio, and was unsure of what to expect. I was dancing group dance and 3 solos. We won the group-came in 1st, and did really well in my solos too.

Sorry if there was already a post on this, delete mine if there was or give me a link to the existing!

25 Replies to Your First Feis

re: Your First Feis
By RAID_Babemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Oct 03, 2010 05:18 PM
My first Feis was when I was 12. It was in my old dance school's Feis and it was in late May. I decided that it was time to compete after not competing for 6 years. I did all my Beginner dances and I think I may have done St. Patrick's Day, but I can't remember now. I recieved a 3rd for my Beginner Treble Jig and a Highly Commended for my Beginner Reel. My mum made my dress, and it almost matched my school colours. I was chuffed that I had a propper dress, I adored it. And she made me a special headband to go with it.
re: Your First Feis
By reeldancer123
On Sun Oct 03, 2010 05:37 PM
My first was in St.Louis, at the gateway feis. I was nine.


I remember mom taking forreevverr to curl my hair. I had my beginner dress and was so nervous. I danced reel, slip jig, and light jig. I ended up placing 2nd in reel and slip jig.
re: Your First Feis
By onegirlbandmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Oct 03, 2010 09:14 PM
I was 21 at my first feis. I danced in the 11&O category! There were 3 dancers in the First Feis Category and 6 in the Beginner Category. I won 1st place in Reel, Light Jig, Hop Jig, Slip Jig, and Treble Jig. I didn't compete Hornpipe or St. Pat's. I also won 1st in the First Feis reel trophy and 2nd in the Beginner Reel Trophy.

I remember having extreme Jello legs and being really nervous. I was absolutely shocked at my marks as I didn't think I had done that well. I also remember packing up after and wanting to run back on stage and do it all over again! I was addicted! It will be three years this December!
re: Your First Feis
By rosalinde
On Mon Oct 04, 2010 03:18 AM
I had my first feis eight months after starting Irish Dance, in 2004 when I was 28. I'd bought a bun wig and I had made myself a simple Riverdance style dress (our school didn't have school dresses back then so beginners just wore something simple) with black tights.

I did Beginner Reel, Slip Jig, Single Jig, Light Jig, and Treble Jig; messed up my Slip Jig (couldn't remember the steps anymore) and placed second and third in the other dances, which I was very pleased with.

I'd already been a competitive Highland Dancer for years so I knew I'd enjoy being on the competition stage, but I was surprised at how nervous I was -- I'd grown past nerves in Highland so the butterflies in my stomach were a surprise.

I remember getting my first look at proper (if by today's standards old-fashioned) solo dresses and thinking, "I gotta get myself one of those!" Well, three years later I'd qualified to wear one. It was awesome.

Oh, memories ....
re: Your First Feis
By irshdncr12659
On Mon Oct 04, 2010 08:00 AM
My first feis was Utah State Championships and Feis 2006. I had been at my school for 4 months, and was dancing beginner 1 because I had been at a non competitive school for 3 1/2 years before going to a competitive one. It was so much fun because basically everyone from my school was there! I placed and moved up in every dance! It was a great first feis :)
re: Your First Feis
By CelticFeet392
On Mon Oct 04, 2010 08:28 AM
My first feis was the 2010 Two Rivers Feile in Des Moines, Iowa. My school (Foy Irish Dancers) hosted it. I was 14. I danced the reel, light jig, slip jig, single jig, and hornpipe. I placed first in all my soft shoe dances and second in my hornpipe.
What was really fun about my first feis is that my teacher said I could skip beginner 1 and just register for my next feis as beginner 2! I was so excited and now, one feis later, I'll be moving up to Novice in January! :D
re: Your First Feis
By reel_faerie85member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Oct 04, 2010 04:38 PM
I can't remember my 1st feis, it was with an organisation called St Patricks Irish Dance Association and I was possibly 7 maybe 8. I won 2 medals one was definately light jig but it wasn't a high placing. I don't remember much else.

My recent 1st feis (on my dancing return) was in Mansfield at the Gallagher O'Connor Feis and somewhere on here are my results and I got some medals and trophies.
TBH I don't pay attention to what I get anymore I always have to ask my TC what I placed.
re: Your First Feis
By amidsmom
On Mon Oct 04, 2010 06:28 PM
My first feis I was U9. It was the Dayton Feis and I'd been dancing about 10 months. At the time Beginners only did Reel and Light Jig and I placed 2nd in both. I also did a 3 hand with a pair of twins. They ended up on the wrong sides at the end with their arms around my neck.
DDs first feis she was U10. It was Queen City and she'd been dancing for 11 months. She got first in her Reel. For her Light Jig she slipped and fell, but jumped right back up right on time. She got last place though and the judge said stopped dancing. I think she got fourth in her Slip Jig.
She is dancing with the same school I did and I always teased her when she did that three hand about not strangling her partners.
re: Your First Feis
By ceiliqueen23member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:27 AM
my first feis was the detroit feis first week of june 2009 I was 25 and had started step classes at the end of april I only competed in the light jig because it was all I had learned and recieved silver which i was very happy about since there was more then 2 competitors. :) now I'm hooked!!!!!!
re: Your First Feis
By leaps4lifemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Oct 07, 2010 03:25 PM
hmmy first feis was at Queen city, and I had was 11. I got a first in my reel, Light Jig, Slip jig, and hornpipe! Let's just say I moved up quickly
re: Your First Feis
By SamCartermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Oct 07, 2010 03:37 PM
My first feis was back in Feb 2000. I danced in 13&O (and I was well over 13) reel, light jig, single jig, slip jig and hornpipe. I know I placed in hornpipe (3rd I think) and I think I also placed in 2 of the softshoe dances, but it's all a bit fuzzy. I wore a white blouse, pleated black skirt and poodle socks. I bought a banana clip wig because my hair is so fine and a pain to curl.
re: Your First Feis
By Hop_123member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Oct 07, 2010 04:13 PM
Edited by Hop_123 (173279) on 2010-10-07 16:14:37
My first feis was in 2006, at the ripe age of 43! I felt a bit like a leprechaun in the green vest.

I did reel, light jig, hornpipe, and 2 hand. I got a first in my hornpipe (out of two!) I was so nervous before my reel, and right after, that my knees were literally shaking. I remember one of the other first feising adults saying she was so nervous, she thought she was going to pee her pants!

It was also my dtr's first feis! She was 11.
re: Your First Feis
By Sweet_Annabelle
On Thu Oct 07, 2010 05:02 PM
I believe my first feis was in 2002. They were holding a mini-feis in the same hotel (at the same time) where our region's oireachats was that year. Needless to say it was totally chaotic. I was in my 20's and entered the adult category. I was so nervous that I ended up only dancing one hard shoe dance (can't remember which one it was now). I think I got some sort of medal, but not anything very high. I was nursing some sort of injury at the time and went to the feis telling myself that I wasn't going to compete, but then it looked like so much fun so I did anyway.
re: Your First Feis
By Damhnaitmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:52 AM
I was 15 at my first feis and I was competing in Novice due to previous Irish dance experience I had before I joined my current school. I was so nervous, and I remember thinking that I wish I could join an older version of the "first feis" category because I was so afraid I would mess up stage registration or something, ha ha. But I caught on pretty quick, though.
re: Your First Feis
By califeisgirl
On Sun Oct 24, 2010 01:01 PM
Oh boy is this a story:
My first feis was a comedy of errors.
There was no time table so my teacher told all of us to be there around 8:30. It was our first feis as a school, so most of us were beginners. It was 1998 or 1999 and I was 16. My mom and I set out, but her car was broken so we were taking my grandpa's old truck, which runs on diesel. My hair didn't come out in curls, but rather a big permy mess. We had to find more gas on the way out there and couldn't find any place that sold diesel. Then, when we finally made it to the venue, the truck didn't fit in the underground parking lot. I had to buy poodle socks, and we didn't know how much they would be, so my mom gives me a wad of cash and sends me on ahead while she tries to find a place to park. So finally I get inside and have no idea what to do at all. This was near the start of the Riverdance craze, so the hotel is packed with dancers and beginner competitions have at least 30 dancers in them, some ages were split into A, B and C groups.I buy my socks, at that time they were still tiny ankle socks! But we didn't know there was an admission charge, so I in the hotel with all my mom's cash and she's trying to buy a wristband with the quarters out of her purse.
Anyway, this story could go on and on, but finally I dance my soft shoe dances and my two first feis special dances and then we wait for results. This is pre-Feisworx, so the results are written out by hand by some poor souls in a room some where and it would take hours (that is not an exaggeration) to post. And they missed on of mine, so we are waiting and waiting. I hide out under a table in the awards room and meet my first feis friend, a dancer named Michelle who is now on my facebook. I come home completely empty-handed (looking back I was probably completely off time and had gaps in between my knees you could drive a semi-truck through.) With a look of true concern my dancer teacher asks me if I will be in class next week and I give him a confused look back and say "of course I will be..."
Needless to say, I had a good time ;)
re: Your First Feis
By DinkleToes
On Mon Oct 25, 2010 01:16 AM
My first feis was...two days ago! Good grief, I don't think I was even nervous until right when we got to the hotel where it was being hosted, and then I found that I was shaking.

I had such an amazing time, though. Once they found out that it was my first feis (as adult beginner, and dancing by myself in the category), all of the stage monitors were offering to help and count me off and such. The judge counted me off himself for my single jig! I was fairly aghast at this, but it startled me into dancing at the right time at least haha.

In any case, it was awesome...and hey, I got firsts in all my dances! Plus, I got to meet other awesome dancers from the region...now, to work on that pesky slip jig step that I messed up...
re: Your First Feis
By novicedancer1991member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Oct 29, 2010 03:40 PM
My first feis was in 2006. I was fourteen and a half, and had been dancing for just over half a year. The feis was in my hometown (not hosted by my school though). I don't really remember being nervous, but I was very jealous of my younger sister because she was borrowing an actual dress, and I just was wearing a skirt and blouse. I was doing the reel, light jig and slip jig. In my reel, I completley blanked out and made up most of it on the spot(my mother did the same thing with the same steps at her first feis four years later). I thought I'd done really well in my other dances, though. I got third out of four people in all three dances which was a bit of a dissapointment. I think all three of the people I competed against quit within a year or two after that. :(
re: Your First Feis
By EireLibramember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Oct 29, 2010 03:45 PM
My first feis was when I was six years old, back in '87 or '88. It was in the Bay Area, and I was dancing for the Deely School of Irish Dance.

My sweet teacher, Kathleen Deely gave me and my little 4-yo sister each a really pretty Tara Brooch for our costumes that day as a good luck present.

My mom warned us that this was our first feis, so we shouldn't expect to win anything. We both won first place in our reels though! I think I still have the medal somewhere!
re: Your First Feis
By QueensJennmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Oct 29, 2010 05:49 PM
It was February 23, 2001. The Mary Woodgate Feis, in Mississauga. I was dancing for the Shamrock Academy out of Burlington, ON.

I was 14 years old, and I was dancing in Beginner 12&O. I remember we got there at 8am. And for some reason, we were on first.

And we were dancing on the championship stage. It was huge!

I remember sitting in line as my mom ripped the curlers out of my hair. The girl next to me was wearing a dress from the Woodgate school. Seven years later, long after I'd stopped dancing, Shamrock and Woodgate would merge to form the Woodgate-Shamrock Academy, with many champions on the international stage. At that moment, though, Shamrock was still a very small school with no champions at all.

In quick succession I danced my Reel, Slip Jig, and Light Jig. Reel and Light Jig went perfectly, but I seem to recall I made a big error in the Slip Jig, and ended up on the wrong side of the stage, essentially dancing my step backward. I knew I would not do well in that dance, even though there were only two of us dancing it.

When I went to check results, I found that I had not placed in Reel. I was disappointed, but not surprised: my mom had told me to not expect to get anything my first time out. Later, I would find out that I'd done it perfectly, but I'd been disqualified for doing leaps.

A few minutes later, however, Slip Jig was posted, and I had gotten second place! Not too bad, for completely messing it up!

And then, Light Jig: I WON! I couldn't believe it! Talk about a morale booster!!

Then I had to wait. And wait. And WAIT for Treble Jig. What I didn't know was that my teacher had entered me in Novice Treble Jig. I thought I was still in Beginner (I didn't know that there's no hardshoe in Beginner.) I had not yet learned Hornpipe.

Finally, it was time. If I recall correctly, there were 27 people in my competition.

Let me repeat: 27 people. Novice Treble Jig. First timer feis.

I got 3rd. :D
re: Your First Feis
By brea247
On Thu Nov 11, 2010 09:28 PM
you get disqualified for doing leaps?? Because at my first feis I didnt place in reel and I did leaps.... and I thought I did pretty good too
re: Your First Feis
By irishfeislovemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Dec 04, 2010 08:22 PM
My first feis was this past October and I was 17 at the time. I was dancing agaisnt 10 year olds and felt like a tool. I did ID at a non-comp school for 4 years too. I won my single jig, 2nd in slip jig, 4th in treble jig, (all out of 7)and 1st in my FF light jig and 2nd in my FF reel, but I won the FF reel trophy (out of two for all first feis stuff). I felt very confident, I was more nervous at the second one
re: Your First Feis
By Neilsmum
On Sun Dec 05, 2010 03:34 AM
My son did his first feis at the age of six and won all his dances. A teacher from another school wanted to "buy" him but his teacher said no :) She gave him a beautiful silver tie pin in the shape of two little hard shoes to remember his first feis. beautiful memories!
re: Your First Feis
By girlwithacoin
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:11 AM
Edited by girlwithacoin (221165) on 2010-12-06 11:12:07
My first feis was in the summer of 1996, and I was 6. It was an outdoor feis in an old amusement park turned arts park and we competed on the "Cuddle Up" stage. I think I competed in 3 dances... and places in some variation of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd? I also remember having a super short pixie cut and being really excited to wear my frilly fold over lace socks!
re: Your First Feis
By Becca
On Mon Dec 06, 2010 03:29 PM
My first feis was in 2005 at the Boise Feis by the River. I was in the 9&10 age group.

I danced reel, slip jig, and treble jig, and was signed up to do light jig. Missed light, messed up on treble, but won 1st in slip jig and 2nd in reel.

Becca
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