2641 South Hanley Rd. St. Louis, MO 63144

Phone: 314.369.7350    Email:

MT’s Oireachtas Guide for

Solo, Traditional Set, and Ceili Dancers


The 2019 Mid-America Oireachtas will take place November 29, 30, and December 1, in Louisville, Kentucky.  All competitions will take place in the Kentucky International Convention Center.  The address for the Convention Center is 221 S 4th St., Louisville, KY 40202.  There will be six stages, all located on the Upper Concourse.  I am attaching the floorplan showing the locations of the stages; however the program book should also include a complete layout showing the location of stages, vendors, concessions, etc.  Please note:  No outside food or beverage will be allowed in the venue.  This policy will be enforced by the convention center.


The website for the 2019 Mid-America Oireachtas is

This website includes parking info for the different hotels as well as convention center.  It also includes visitor info to Louisville attractions.

The Facebook page for the 2019 Oireachtas has up-to-the-minute updates and information, so be sure and check it often:


MT will have dancers competing each day (Fri, Sat, and Sun), so I hope you can watch, support, encourage, and cheer on your follow MT dancers.  All dancers who recall are included in the awards ceremony.  Solo awards are at the end of the day at the conclusion of all competitions.  Even if your dancer doesn’t recall, you should attend awards to cheer on our MT teammates.  In addition, I encourage you all to sit together at the nightly award ceremonies to support, root for, and applaud your fellow teammates.  Parents – if anyone gets seats, please post or text around!!! We are all cheerleaders for each other, so please show your MT Spirit for your teammates!






Parents, no photos or taping of competitions is allowed.  Any form of unauthorized photography which has the capability to capture a dancer's image whilst in motion, using electronic or manual means e.g. mobile phone, standard camera, video camera, cine camera, commercial film, with or without flash enhancement, is expressly forbidden in competition. 


Dancers, please wear your MT track jacket with MT shorts/skort/pants throughout the weekend.  On your competition day, be sure to wear your MT feiswear (black MT tank or 2019 Oireachtas tank, and MT shorts/skort/pants) and track jacket.  On your scheduled practice day, please wear your 2019 MT Oireachtas shirt/tank.  Parents, please show your school spirit as well as your support for our dancers, and sport your MT gear as well!  Show your MT Pride all weekend long! 


Daily Admission: An admission fee of $50 per family was previously paid with your entry fees.  This entitles family members and guests unlimited access to the venue throughout the weekend.   Doors open at 5:00pm on Thursday and 6:00am on Friday-Sunday.


Program Book:   

The 2019 Oireachtas Program Book will be available for purchase for $25 (cash only) at the program sales booth at the Convention Center (Upper Concourse) at the following times:

Thursday:  4-8:30pm

Friday:  7am-7pm

Saturday: 7am-6pm

Sunday: 7am-1pm

When you purchase the program book, be sure to confirm your dancer’s information (stage, start time, competitor start number per round).  Be sure to mark your name on the cover so someone else doesn’t pick up your book by accident. 


Solo and Trad Set Competitor Number Pick Up: Solo and Trad Set dancers can pick up their competitor numbers at the program sales area in the Convention Center – Upper Concourse.  Don’t lose your number, as it is the actual number your dancer will be wearing for each dance.  A $20 fee will be charged by the Oireachtas Committee if they have to re-print a number.  Competitor numbers not picked up the day before the competition will be available at the stage for Round 1 of that particular competition. 

Thursday 4-8:30pm (pick up for Friday competitions only)

Friday 7am-7pm (pick up for Saturday competitions only)

Saturday 7am-6pm (pick up for Sunday competitions only)


Ceili Team Competitor Number: Our Ceili Teams will receive their numbers the morning of ceili competitions from Meghan. 


Awards: Awards for solos AND ceili teams will take place on Stages C & D. The air wall will be removed between the two stages so everyone can view results on both stages.  Awards for trad sets will take place on Stage D following their individual competitions (NOT at the very end of the day like solos).  Please check schedule for times of awards each day. 

Recalled dancers and teams should be dressed and ready to quickly proceed to either Stage C or D once their competition is called.


Results: Full results will be posted online ( directly after the awards ceremony is finished each evening. Hard copy results will NOT be sold at the event.


Video: DRC Video/DanceBug will be capturing all Solo Recall Sets, Traditional Sets & Team competitions.  Families may purchase these videos at the DRC Video/DanceBug vendor booth. 


Photography: ​Shamrock Photos will be offering studio portraits and photos of the awards ceremonies.  Families may purchase photos at the Shamrock Vendor booth.


Vendors: Throughout the weekend, a large variety of Irish dance vendors will be set up in case you need any last minute items (socks, sock glue, shoelaces, bobby pins, earrings, etc.)  Vendors will be located on the Upper Concourse.  The vendors will be open at 4pm on Thursday and then from 7:00am until the awards ceremony begins for the rest of the weekend.


First Aid: There will be a first aid station available at the venue staffed by an EMT.


Mass: Mass will be held on Saturday afternoon at 4:30 on Stage F.


Lost & Found: Lost & found items can be turned in to the program sales table.





Meghan and Doxey will hold a scheduled practice each afternoon/evening for the dancers competing the next day.  There will be general practice rooms open to anyone on the Main Concourse (1st floor) in the convention center all weekend long (M100, M103, M104, M107).  This year, for the very first time, private practice rooms were available to rent by schools competing at the Oireachtas.   PLEASE KNOW THAT I RENTED OUR OWN PRACTICE ROOM ONLY TO BE USED BY OUR MT SCHOOL.  OUR PRACTICE ROOM IS L009 ON THE LOWER LEVEL OF THE CONVENTION CENTER, AND WILL BE AVAILABLE TO MT ONLY FROM FRIDAY AT 6AM UNTIL SATURDAY NIGHT AT 9PM.  Only a few schools will have their own practice room, so I am hoping that having our own space will greatly benefit our MT dancers.   Dancers, please take advantage of this opportunity (our room will be the dimensions of the Oireachtas stage); and families please do so as well to have a home base for the weekend!  Please note that dancers are not permitted to wear hard shoes in the practice room, or anywhere on the Lower Concourse (soft shoes or socks only for dancers), SO BRING DANCE SNEAKERS along with soft shoes of course.  Also note that practice rooms will remain unlocked throughout the weekend, so please do not keep valuables in there when our room is empty (or not being used).  There may be availability for our room on Thursday as well, I will verify when arriving.


These practices will be short easy run-throughs, not rigorous workouts.  For the most part, the practice has already been done at classes and at home; the evening practice is to mentally prepare our dancers and get them focused for the next day.


Our practices are scheduled at the following times; however, we will notify a parent scheduled to be at each practice if there is a change to the practice schedule time.   Please note that competitions often do not run on time, so these practice times can only be estimated.  Please be ready to go at the scheduled time.  Practice times are below:


  • Thursday practice (for Friday solo dancers) – 5pm – Meghan will text you to confirm practice location.

  • Friday practice (for Saturday ceili teams and trad sets) – 3pm for Ceilis; however, we will contact a parent scheduled to be at the practice if the time needs to change due to Friday competitors. HEIDY WILL SEND OUT MORE DETAILED INFO FOR TEAMS. 

  • Trad Set practice will follow ceili practice ~ 4pm.  Please note TCRG’s are required to work a stage, so Doxey will be working Stage B from 9:30am til Lunch on Friday morning.  So, if you need her during those hours, you can find her there. I have been assigned as a Judge Escort for the day on Friday instead of working a stage. I will therefore escort my panel of judges throughout the day whenever they move (breakfast to their first stage, then end of Round 2 to lunch, then lunch to Round 3, and end of round 3 to sign off room).  I will be available during the competitions – but in between I have to do my required Judge Escort duties.

  •  Saturday (for Sunday solo dancers) – plan on a 4pm practice, but once again, we will contact a parent scheduled to be at the practice if the time needs to change due to Saturday competitors.

Please be sure your dancer is ready to go at the start of the practice.  There will be limited time, so shoes should be on and double knotted.  The practices will start in soft shoes, unless you are doing traditional set only, then please start in dance sneakers.

Those doing both ceili and trad set, ceilis will be run first, so please be ready to go with soft shoes on.  Girls, please wear poodle socks for every practice AND MT GEAR for every practice and all weekend long!

Note:  Dancers may get to the practice area early and warm up on their own.  Actually, MT dancers may use a practice area at any time throughout the weekend and of course our own practice room as well; therefore, it would be a good idea to pack an iPod and Bluetooth speaker in order to run through/practice in addition to the required practice.  



Competition Day!!!!


Providing the Look: The appearance of the dancer is critical!!  We want to be sure that each dancer has the perfect look, so it’s important to reapply make-up and ‘touch up’ hair between rounds and before Awards.  No polish on nails (only clear).


Dancers’ feet should look neat and tidy.  Make sure your dancer doesn’t have long straps hanging over the buckling of hard shoes; if the straps are too long, please remember to trim these straps so that they are not sticking out or flapping.  Polish both pairs of shoes.  There should be no holes in the soft shoes.  Make sure the laces in both pairs of shoes are in good condition and tucked in prior to dancing.  And….remember to wear a brand new pair of poodle socks (NOT too long/high and GLUE THEM).  Hard shoes should be taped with black and white tape as shown on MT FB Parent Page – see instructional video there.


Day of Competition: On the day of your competition, dancers should be completely dressed (in makeup and wig) one hour prior to their competition start time.  Solo dancers do not have to check in for any solo round unless there is a change to the set dance and/or speed printed on the back of their competitor number. If a change needs to be made to the set dance and/or speed, then the dancer must check in for the set round only and make that change. 


Note: Please make sure dancers have numbers neatly pinned (if using safety pins).  Do not use ribbon/yarn/elastic to hold on your number.  If using a number clip, make sure it is securely on there!


Important Reminder: If a dancer falls to the stage while dancing on stage, whether in solos, trad set, or ceili, the adjudicator must ring the bell to stop the performance of the dancers on stage.    Dancers so affected will be permitted to re-dance and will be marked then at the discretion of each individual adjudicator.  So, dancers must keep dancing UNLESS they hear a bell ring.




Dancers DO NOT need to check in for any solo round unless there is a change to the set dance and/or speed printed on the back of the competitor’s number.  If a change needs to be made to the set dance and/or set speed, then dancers must check in for the set round to make that change.

Each round will begin with a different starting number.  The starting numbers for each round will be printed in the program book.   Competitors must dance in numerical order (starting with the designated start numbers as listed in the program).  Even if you are near the end of a round, you should be ready and at stage by the time the competition starts.  The stage monitors will not wait for missing dancers and you cannot dance out of order.  Dancers, please make sure you are well stretched, and continue to warm up during your wait time.   You don’t want to be stiff.  


Dancers, please check in with me (or Doxey/Margaret) prior to lining up side stage for your competition, and then again immediately when you come off stage after your dance each round.  We will go over with each dancer how they performed and what they need to do in their next round.  If the schedule allows, we will be in the front row watching.  Remember though, as you Oireachtas veterans know, we will be running back and forth from stage to stage.


Rounds 1, 2, and 3 for all solo competitions are to be danced for a different panel of 3 adjudicators for a total of 9.  All competitors must be presented to the adjudicators in full costume after each of the first two rounds for a number check (more info on number check is below).  Competitors must dance in numerical order as listed in the Oireachtas program book.  The Oireachtas Committee will ensure that no dancers from the same school dance on stage at the same time at the Oireachtas.

For solos, all soft shoe rounds will be danced 2 at a time and all hard shoe rounds will be danced 3 at a time for ages up until under 15; and ages under 16 and older will dance the hard shoe round 2 at a time.  


Solo recalls will be announced at the stage listed in the schedule for Round 3.  Dancers receiving a recall (top 50%) will perform their set dance, and in all recall rounds, dancers will perform their set dance one at a time. 


Note: As you may have noted from the Oireachtas schedule, there are some very large solo competitions this year.  There is a finite amount of time in the day, so in order to have the award ceremony commence at a reasonable time, round 2 of the largest competitions will begin before round 1 is complete.  

Please be assured that there is time between round 1 and when they will dance in round 2, but that dancers should make their way over to their next stage for round 2 as soon as possible.   

Awards will not begin before the published time each day. There is plenty of seating available at the award stages. Families can get dinner or relax in their rooms prior to awards and not worry they will be late.


Number Check: The number check procedure will take place again this year following each solo competition.  This is to eliminate score mix-ups, allowing the judges to double check and make sure they wrote the correct score next to the correct competitor.  The dancers will go back on stage for the number check after their group has finished dancing (IN FULL COSTUME AND SHOES, STANDING JUST AS THEY WOULD BEFORE STARTING THEIR DANCE).  This will take place immediately after each of their first two rounds have finished dancing.  Please listen to announcements at each stage as groups will vary based on competition size.  Please make sure your dancer(s) know not to leave the room until after they go back up for their number check.  The stage monitors should be assisting with this procedure.  Number checks take place after Round 1 and 2 only.


While on Stage!  

You will be on stage with two other dancers (sometimes three), and you must show the judges that YOU are the best.  Catch the judges’ eye by having an outstanding and amazing first step.  And….no matter how tired you are on that third step, fight through it all the way to the very end.  Give it all you have, and leave nothing left.   Remember, be confident in yourself!  Have good stage presence and walk on that stage as if you are the world champion!


Please know that judging begins the moment dancers approach the edge of the stage (even when you are waiting to dance!) until the moment the dancers leave the stage area and are no longer in the judges’ view.   Dancers should remember to arrive prepared at the stage in plenty of time (warmed up, shoes double knotted, costume zipped and ready, hair done, etc), remain quiet & respectful of the dancers currently competing!  Everything counts and judges can be influenced by a dancer’s reactions to their own dancing, so have a pleasant smile as you leave the stage and save your emotions until you are out of the dancehall!





All ceili team competitions will be on Saturday morning, so your dancer’s ceili practice will be Friday (see practice info above).  Your Team Mom (Heidy) will be sending you a detailed email explaining where to meet, what time, what to come wearing, what to bring, etc.  It is extremely important that you read and follow the instructions closely.

Day of Competition  

*The U10 Girls Ceilis will dance on Stage B starting at 9am. 

*The U12 Girls Ceili will dance on Stage B starting at 10:30am. 

*The U15 Girls Ceili will dance on Stage E starting at 9am.


Ceili Results and Awards: Following the ceili competitions, early to mid-afternoon, recall lists (the top 50% of ceili teams) will be posted between Stages D & E.    All ceili teams on the recall lists will receive their awards at the awards ceremony starting at 5:30 on Stages C/D. 


Costume checklist for Ceili Dancers:

❏ Ceili Dress with cape

❏ Ceili Wig

❏ Tank Top / Sports bra for tanning

❏ Long loose fitting PJ pants for after tanning

❏ Loose fitting shoes / flip-flops for after tanning

❏ Tank Top / Sports bra for under ceili dress

❏ White spankies

❏ Soft shoes (NEW white laces)

❏ Hard shoes

❏ Ceili headband

❏ New Poodle socks (and extra pair for practice the night before)

❏ Blue ceili earrings

❏ Bobby pins (large and small that match hair) ~ approx. 20

❏ New hair rubber bands (at least 2)

❏ Hair spray

❏ Large donut and poof comb

❏ Shoe polish

  • Make up remover wipes (for U12 and U15 Teams)

  • Mascara (for U12 and U15 Teams)

  • NO polish on nails (clear only)




All traditional set competitions will take place on Saturday afternoon, so your dancer’s trad set practice will be Friday (see practice info above).   All Traditional Set Competitions will be after Team Competitions are finished on Saturday afternoon.


The schedule shows that all trad set competitions will start immediately after the lunch break for each stage, so please pay close attention to your dancer’s stage:


*Trad Set U9 competition is scheduled to start at 1:30 on Stage E (Ava B, Elise, Zoe, and Teagan)

*Trad Set U12 competition is scheduled to start at 2:30 on Stage A (Rory Z)

*Trad Sets U15/U16 competition is scheduled to start at 3:15 on Stage A (Aidan)


Each competition will begin with a different starting number.  The starting numbers for each round will be printed in the program book.  Competitors will dance in numerical order (starting with the designated start numbers).  Even if you are near the end of a round, you should be ready by the time the competition starts.  Traditional Set Competitions move very quickly, and are danced three at time on stage.  The stage monitors will not wait for missing dancers and you cannot dance out of order.  Dancers, please make sure you are well stretched, and continue to warm up during your wait time.   You don’t want to be stiff.  


While on stage: Trad set competitions will be danced 3 at a time, so you will be on stage with two other dancers.  Remember, you must show the judges that YOU are the best.  Catch the judges’ eye by having an outstanding and amazing opening to your set.  And…. fight through the set all the way to the very end, showing those judges you can end it as amazing as you started it.  Timing and beats are key in traditional set.  Get every single beat out, loud and clear!  Give it all you have, and leave nothing left.   Remember, be confident in yourself!  Have good stage presence and walk on that stage as if you are the world champion. 


Traditional Set Recalls and Awards: Following each trad set competition, recall lists (the top 50% of competition) will be posted between Stages D and E.  Awards for Traditional Set competitions will take place on STAGE D following their competitions (NOT at the end of the entire day like Solo and Ceili Awards).   Be sure to check the Saturday schedule for the correct time for results for each trad set competition. 


Overall Oireachtas Packing Checklist for Dancers:

  • COSTUME(S) – Make certain you have capes too

  • SPANKIES – For each costume

  • TANK TOP/SPORTS BRA – for under costume

  • NEW POODLE SOCKS – One pair per competition round

  • HAIR ACCESSORIES – For each costume

  • EARRINGS – For each costume

  • SHOE LACES – NEW white laces for soft shoes. 

  • SOFT SHOES – Polished, no holes

  • Black and white electrical tape for hard shoes

  • HARD SHOES – Polished

  • SLIP-ON SHOES – When walking outside or around the halls

  • SAFETY PINS – Bring plenty!

  • BOBBY PINS – Bring plenty that match your dancer’s hair color (small and large)







  • DUCT TAPE – For hard shoes if necessary to avoid slipping (but make sure tape doesn’t show, and don’t use too much to muffle the sound) OR GAFFERS TAPE and scissors

  • MT track jacket, pants/shorts/skort, MT Oireachtas shirt/tank, and MT feiswear

  • Loose fitting PJ pants for after tanning

  • MUSIC – Practice music and Ipod/Bluetooth speaker

  • TRAVEL ALARM CLOCK – You don’t want to miss the big day!

  • MAKE-UP – For touch-ups


  • FIRST AID – Bandages and any other blister aids

  • SNACKS – Water, healthy snacks, breakfast items

  • MT Lanyards (if you have one from previous year’s Oireachtas)

  • ? – Anything else that might come in handy

  • SMILE – Your best asset!



Stay Healthy!

From today until the Oireachtas, be sure your dancer takes proper care of herself by eating HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS foods, drinking plenty of fluids, getting plenty of rest, and bundling up sufficiently when going outside.  Good hygiene, constant hand washing, and hand sanitizers will also help.   The Oireachtas weekend may seem like a big slumber party to the dancers, but they have worked too hard for this event to be tired and not dance their very best.  Please be sure your dancer gets plenty of sleep and proper nutrition throughout the weekend.  Don’t go without a light breakfast the morning of the competition.  Rise and shine early enough to eat, digest and wake up before you have to dance.  You will have no energy if you dance on an empty stomach.  Oatmeal and bananas are good suggestions.