Monday, September 22, 2014

10 more things I learned at a Feis

Might make this a two part entry. I have other dance related things but I don't want this entry to become a novel. So let's start off with my feis experience.

10. Irish Heritage Festivals are really cool.
This feis was on a college campus's lacrosse field so it was a lot bigger than the one I went to in August. There were five stages instead of two! Not to mention that there was food, vendors, art and soda bread, and pipe and drumming competitions. There was even a live band (more on that next). There were people camped out everywhere. It made my family's camp chairs look tame. It was insanity, but it was really, really cool to be a part of. I'm almost sad that I won't go to another outdoor feis until June.

9. If your stage is next to a live band, you're probably screwed.
Unfortunately this happened during my hornpipe. Even with the musician having his accordion miked, I couldn't really hear and I got off at the almost the same exact place as last time. Which is frustrating because when I do it at class or at home I do it fine! The judge was very understanding and helpful and he counted over the noise.

8. Judges can be quite pleasant.
I've had two really great experiences so far. Judges that have been very warm and positive. The hornpipe judge could have let me crash and burn and he didn't. This competition I got my marks right away. The judge who watched my reel said I had good timing and hornpipe guy could have said SO many bad things. All he wrote was to watch my turnout which we all know is god awful (even though TC says it's improving)

7. Vendors are awesome! But have self control!
The first feis I went to had no vendors for whatever reason, but there were so many goodies at this one! There was everything dance or Irish related and then some. I looked at so many things! I almost bought a sparkly tiara and bracelets! But...I held back for now. I think my parents and my husband (who had to work and wasn't there) would have judged if I dropped a hundred dollars on feis swag. I ended up buying gaffers tape (Because electrical tape is annoying and scraps off) and a magnet for my car.

6.There is no easy way to get into Long Island.
Remember how I made the no more than two hours to a feis rule? Well...honestly it might be easier to drive more than that somewhere in upstate New York than trying to get around New York City. I'll be honest, it was a hot button issue with the parents who were the cheerleaders/dress zippers/photographers for the weekend and felt that it was too dangerous to go myself. The drive in wasn't so bad, but driving home around 4-6 was a bit more tricky. I'm honestly not sure if I would go to this one again because while it was a fun day and a great learning experience...

5. Don't ever, ever expect to have competition.
While I wasn't the only adult, I was the only one in my category...again. The other person who I was supposed to dance against didn't show. Granted the weather was a bit questionable in the morning but I was still disappointed. As I said in a previous entry, I want to earn those first places. I know a win is a win but I'm getting to the point where I would be happy to come in last if I could be with more than just myself. There was an adult in the advanced category and I don't want to sound pretentious but...besides knowing a slow hornpipe I didn't understand the difference. Maybe she's been at it longer? Either way, nice to not be the only adult, but sad that I was lonely.

4. Doherty-Petri is a huge dance school.
Okay I know, I was in Long Island were they hail. I know that I also was dancing when all the Prizewinners and older champ dancers were so I got to see more girls actively practicing. While I didn't see Melanie or Julia, holy crap I saw like 20 of their classmates. I am happy my school is small, though I imagine that the camaraderie is probably spectacular.

3. I might need to start taking a smaller bag.
My feis bag is really big. It has anything someone could possibly need. However if I ever have to go to one of these without my parents or JB I probably would struggle. That or I need to swap out my shoe boxes with bags or's clunky and heavy. That and I would like a real dress bag someday. I looked at one yesterday but there was no price on it. So I'm good at the moment.

2. I've got a long way to go...
I will talk about this more in my other entry but I while I've come along way since April, I think I need to be reminded that I'm still a beginner. As much as I want to dance at the Oireachtas or be a champion dancer, I'm not there yet. It was really fun to watch those girls dance beautifully in the much more elaborate wigs and dresses. I even got to see some great set dances! I know I will get someday. :)

1. ...I still need to be proud of where I've come from
This time last year I didn't even know about Nassau County or much about competitive Irish Dance at all. I'm proud that I'm doing something I love and that people think I'm doing it pretty well for only being at it for 5 months. I'm doing better than that other girl who decided not to come and better than I did a month ago. I'm excited for the future. :)

My poof sucked this time around. I think I have to get one of those "bump it" things.
Still awesome to get the hardware even when I'm alone!

No competitions in October, so nothing but hard work and practice until November 8th!


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