Our school is proud to offer levels of Irish Dancing for ever child, from beginning to championship level, and for dancers who are looking to perform, compete or just Irish Dance for fun and exercise! If you or your dancer is ready to compete in a feis, this information will be helpful to you!
Below you'll find information on what a feis is, where to register and how to prepare. If your dancer is competiing in their very first feis, make sure to download the first feis information packet. If you are unsure if your dancer is ready, Meghan is always happy to talk more about feising and what your dancer can do to prepare for competition.
WHAT IS A FEIS?
The Gaelic word feis (pronounced “fesh”) means festival, but it is more commonly used to describe a sanctioned Irish dance competition. A feis is a gathering of dancers for competition, each representing various Irish Dance Schools from across the country. Dancers perform the steps they learned in class against other dancers of the same age and skill level. They perform one-or-two-at-a-time in front of a judge to live music. It is the way for your dancer to advance through the different levels of Irish dance (First Feis, Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Novice, Prizewinner, Preliminary Championship, and Open Championship) and reach their goals in competition. A feis is to Irish dance classes what a soccer game is to practice.
Because the MT School of Irish Dance is certified with An Coimisiun le Rince Gaelacha (the governing body of Irish dance headquartered in Dublin, Ireland), MT School students have the privilege of competing in feiseanna (plural form of feis). These competitions are held throughout North America and Canada on weekends throughout the year. A complete feis listing is available on the North American Feis Commission’s website www.northamericanfeiscommission.org. There are currently six feiseanna available annually in St. Louis, as well as dozens throughout the Midwest. Feiseanna are not only enjoyable family activities that gives your dancer the opportunity to test her skills, but they are also opportunities to meet other dancers from all over the country, learn valuable life lessons such as good sportsmanship, and celebrate the Irish culture and heritage.
Feiseanna may also offer competition opportunities in one or more other aspects of Irish culture: music performance, art, Irish language, crafts, or soda bread baking, to name a few. The goal of this publication is to help prepare dancers and families from the MT School of Irish Dance as they embark upon the exciting adventure of competitive dance.
HOW TO REGISTER FOR A FEIS
Most feiseanna offer online registration at either www.feisworx.com, www.efeis.com, or www.quickfeis.com. Please visit each site (quickfeis, feisworx) to set up your free account, so you are prepared to register when the time comes.
FULL LIST OF NORTH AMERICAN FEIS COMPEITIONS
FEIS REGISTRATION WEBSITES
STL FEIS REGISTRATION
St. Louis Feis Registration is on the following sites:
St. Louis Irish Arts Feis & St. Louis Winterfeis (February): www.feisworx.com
St. Louis An Samhra Feis & Friendship Feis (July): www.quickfeis.com
Missouri State Championships Feis & Greater St. Louis Feis (August): www.feisworx.com
TRAVELING FOR A FEIS
All dancers who have competed in their first feis are welcome to travel and participate in any feis around the country. Feisanna are help across the country almost every weekend of the year. An out of town feis is a great way for dancers to get more practice competing, and to move up in feis levels.
Our families always have a great time traveling for feising. Some of our favorite place to feis are Kansas City, Chicago, Little Rock, Memphis, Indianapolis, New Orleans and more!
For a full list of all Feisanna throughout the year, visit https://www.northamericanfeiscommission.org/schedule.
Important Feis Tips to Remember!
Help your child practice at home (with music and dance shoes) in the days and weeks leading up to the feis.
Competing in a feis is a learning experience. For many dancers, it takes a few competitions before they feel comfortable.
A feis is an excellent chance for a dancer to perform in front of an audience and get feedback on how to improve by Irish dance judges from around the country/world.
Remember that a feis is supposed to be a fun experience! Set your goals high, but remember, you will not always win or even place…and that is okay! Everyone has an off day, so just keep your head high and learn how to make improvements for the next feis!
Dance for the fun and excitement of it! Always know that even if you don’t place, you should still have fun! And…I will be proud of you no matter what place you get as long as you gave 100%!
Be comfortable and confident in your steps. It is not the steps that help you win, but the way that the steps are executed that really get you the points.
Finally, and most importantly, your dancer should have fun!
Click here for a full overview of feis levels and MT School requirements per level.