This note is designed to help you and your child get through your first Feis and enjoy it as well. A Feis is
a Gaelic word for a competition or a festival. It is pronounced 'fesh'.
When your child is ready for their first feis you will be given an entry form and I will already have ticked
the boxes for the dance your child is capable of performing. They do not always need to go in every dance that I have ticked.
This is just an indication of what your child is capable of performing. Send the entry off making sure that you have enclosed
all the info needed by the organiser, eg age, dances, school. Write in your diary the date and place of the Feis and the dances
your child is doing as it is easy to forget further down the line.
On the day of the Feis please remember not to stress, no matter what happens it will all be okay!
The Feis is a chance for your child to go on stage and show you all the wonderful things they have
been learning in class. Sometimes children get nervous and forget their dance but that is fine, we get
them to come back and have another try. All the teachers who run the competitions are very kind to
the new ones and we always look after them.
When you arrive at the Feis (usually 30 mins prior to start time) you will need to collect a competition
number from a table that will be set up for this purpose. Pin this number on your child's waist or
attach it on a ribbon around their waist.
You will be given a program so that you know which section your child will be competing in and
who they will be dancing with. It is also a nice souvenir to keep.
When your child's section is called they come over to the marshaling area where they will be put in
line. Please don't wait in this area as it can become congested and sometimes if you are nervous for your child this will be
conveyed to them and they might have a last minute panic! There will be a teacher or a parent looking after the dancers in the
When your child has danced they will come off stage and can sit with you. Listen out for their next section and then send
them up to the marshaling area again. When they have completed all their dances you will need to wait for the results to be
called. All the children receive at least one prize which will be either a ribbon or a medal. If your child misses their name or
number being called please don't hesitate to come forward to me and I can get things sorted out.
Hair must be neat and tidy for a feis. We find that the side bun is the best option for the majority of dancers. There is a tutorial
on the ReelNews page showing you how to do the bun (click "Simpson Academy how to videos). If your child’s hair is too
short to be placed in a bun then it just needs to be neatly brushed. Please note that wigs and hair pieces are not permitted in
Shoes and socks
Please ensure that shoes have been polished before the Feis. If in doubt always bring hard and soft shoes to the Feis if your
child is at that level. Dancers must wear the proper Irish dance socks. Please keep competition socks separate from those
worn to class so they stay lovely and white. Irish dance socks can be purchased on the day from one of the vendors.
Costumes are available for hire prior to each feis. Monica will let you know when and where the dress hire will take place.
The boys usually wear dark long pants with matching socks so that they blend in. A shirt, which can be any colour in either a
microfibre or cotton blend. Ties can also be worn or a vest. Please check with me so that we can make sure your son is
comfortable with their costume
Makeup and fake tan is not be permitted for any dancer in the first two grades (beginner and primary) up to and including the
Under 12 age group, this is a worldwide rule.
All children will place in at least one dance so they all go home with something special. However, after that the prizes are
usually awarded for the top half of the competition, this will vary from Feis to Feis. Most children don't€™t have a clue if they
have come first or towards the end of the competition. This is the beauty of the little beginners. As parents I am sure that you
will tell your child they are the most wonderful dancers in the whole wide world regardless of where they place
At most Feis you will find a canteen supplying drinks, snacks and food.
If possible it is best to leave younger siblings at home. The competitions may run for several hours and this can be very boring
for a little one who will be expected to sit still and quiet for a long time. The length that you are required at a Feis can vary
between one hour and three hours so it is best to come prepared.
I attend the majority of Feis's in Canberra but will always let parents know when I will not be going. Please feel that you can
come and see me if you have questions, no matter how silly you might think they are, usually they're not! I also love to say
hello to my dancers and tell them how great they are. If time allows I will run them through their dance or have one of my
seniors do this. I am always at the side of the stage for the ones who are doing their first dance (this is called novice). I usually
call out when to start so they feel confident.
Experience tells me that most children LOVE doing competitions and even the shiest children gain confidence as they enter
more competitions. The main ingredient for a successful Feis is for Mum or Dad to be calm and enjoy the day. There are
always lots of experienced Mums who can give you a hand because at one stage we have all been new Mums and have been in