MEGHAN TORNO SCHOOL OF IRISH DANCE 

2641 South Hanley Rd. St. Louis, MO 63144

Phone: 314.369.7350    Email: dublinaire1@aol.com

Feis levels, age and judging 

FEIS LEVELS

 

Our school is located in the Mid-America Region and advancing in levels requires competing in this region. Five or more dancers are required to be present in the competition (except for first feis & beginner 1).

Below you will find the general rules & guidelines for when your dancer can move levels based on MT requirements. 

First Feis and Beginner 1 Levels (2 steps, 2 at a time)

A First Feis dancer is a dancer who is competing in a feis for the very first time. Once a dancer competes in a First Feis competition (Light Jig, Reel, or Slip Jig), he/she must move into Beginner 1 at the next feis. A Beginner must move into the Advanced Beginner/Beginner 2 category the next calendar year. 

 

MT School standards require dancers to win a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a particular dance or for the one-year time period to lapse before moving to Advanced Beginner.  Requirements:  beginner skirt, blouse, cape, soft shoes, bun wig, scrunchie and bow, spankies, poodle socks.  Earrings cannot be worn by dancers U10 and younger.  

 

First Feis Dancers: Attend 1-2 classes/week on a regular basis and attend feis workshops when offered. 

 

Beginner 1: Recommends attending 2 classes/week.

 

Advanced Beginner/Beginner 2 (2 steps, 2 at a time)

A dancer who has been dancing for more than one year and who has not won a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in Advanced Beginner.  A dancer remains in Advanced Beginner until he/she wins 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a particular dance.  A dancer moves into Novice only in the dance(s) he/she has won 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, and may move up no later than January 1st of the next year. 

 

Requirements: beginner skirt, blouse, cape or blue school dress, soft shoes, hard shoes, wig, headband (if full wig) or blue scrunchie and white bow (if bun wig), spankies, poodle socks.  Earrings cannot be worn by dancers U10 and younger.    

 

*Recommends 1-2 classes/week. 

 

Novice (2 steps, 2 at a time)

 

A dancer who has won 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a dance in Advanced Beginner must move into Novice in that particular dance the next year.  A dancer who wins 1st in Novice in a particular dance must move into Prizewinner in that dance no later than January 1st of the next year. 

 

Requirements:  must purchase blue school dress with matching headband until qualified for solo dress.  If wearing bun wig, blue scrunchie and white bow.  Please email Meghan when you are qualified and interested in purchasing a solo costume.  Whether it is a used dress at a feis or off dance-again.com, or you're considering buying a brand new dress custom made, it is imperative that you consult Meghan before purchase.  Dresses cannot be purchased to be worn at competitions and shows without Meghan’s permission. 

 

*Recommends attending 2 classes/week.

 

Prizewinner (2 steps, 2 at a time)

A dancer who has previously won a 1st in Novice in a particular dance. 

 

Requirements: Solo dress strongly encouraged for Prizewinner competitions. See note above regarding solo costumes.   

 

*Recommends attending 2-3 classes/week.

 

Preliminary Championship

A dancer who wins 1st place in each of the Prizewinner dances (reel, slip jig, treble jig, and hornpipe) can move into Preliminary Championships with teacher’s permission. 

 

Requirements:  Solo dress required. 

 

*Must attend 3 classes/week.

 

Open Championship

The most advanced level.  A dancer who wins two 1st place awards in PC in one calendar year moves up to Open Championships. 

 

Requirements: Solo dress required. 

 

*Must attend 3 classes/week.

 

NOTES: 

  • Preliminary and Open Championship levels are for the more serious competitors and require very dedicated dancers.

  • Private lessons are available for dancers of all levels, but these are not a replacement for class.  A dancer should take at least 2 solo classes a week before private lessons are an option, except for extenuating circumstances.

  • In all cases, there must be at least five competitors in a competition in order for dancer to advance to the next level. 

 

 

FEIS AGE

Your child’s feis age is determined by her age as of January 1st of the present year.  For example, if a dancer is 8 years old on January 1st and will be turning 9 on January 2nd, he/she

 

will dance in the Under 9 category for the entire year.  If you are 8 on January 1st, the feis system considers you 8 up to, and including December 31st.  The Under 9 category includes anyone who will be turning 9 on any date during the calendar year.  A dancer remains in the same age group for the entire year and does not move to the next age group once he/she has had a birthday.  No one changes age groups until January 1st of the following year. 

 

HOW ARE IRISH DANCE COMPETITIONS JUDGED?

A judge marks scores for each dancer’s technique, timing, poise, and presentation, and then awards placements proportionate to the number of entries and to the degree of proficiency shown.  Judging is somewhat subjective, and results will vary.

Basic Irish dance skills include (but are not limited to):

  • Good timing (meaning the dance movements match the rhythm of the music)

  • Pointed toes with arched feet, and toes out

  • Legs crossed (so that it looks like one knee is hiding behind the other), and legs turned out (so that it looks like the feet are pointed away from each other)

  • Upright upper body carriage with arms straight at the dancer’s sides, chin level, eyes forward and shoulders back

  • Graceful and energetic movement, including high elevation on the toes and snappy legs which kick the dancer’s bum if crossing from behind to in front or vice versa

  • Well-executed jumps, which incorporate all of the above principles, and an overall sense of “lift” throughout a dance

  • Confident and pleasant affect (smile!)
     

For each competition, a dancer must perform two steps in sequence.  Competitors will dance two or three at a time, and will typically be lined up next to dancers from other schools.  Therefore, competitors will not be performing the same steps as the dancer(s) next to them on stage.