The Night Before
In your dance bag you will want to make sure you have:
- An extra pair of poodle socks
- Your softshoes and hardshoes
- Some black electrical tape (for your hardshoes)
- Some healthy snacks (like Powerbars for energy, or
maybe some fruit in little baggies)
- A water bottle
- An Ace bandage - you never know what will happen!
- Poodle sock glue (works wonders!)
- A tape of Irish dance music to listen to in the car
to make sure you've got the music just right in your head
- A pen to write down all your stages and competition numbers
- A safety pin to pin your number on (or some thread
that matches the color of your dress)
- Some money for the vendors
What you want to make sure you do:
- Have your dress/kilt hanging somewhere where you'll
find it first thing when you wake up
- Put your dance bag by the front door so you don't forget it
- Practice each of your dances 3-4 times to music. It's
the display of your steps that matters now (are your feet
crossed? Are your toes pointed?) and your timing.
- Girls take a shower early so your mom can curl your
hair before it gets too late and make sure your hair
is completely dry before you start curling! If you
do it when the hair is still wet, the results will be disasterous!
Also use Spike curlers. The regular kind get stuck in your
hair and it makes the curls a mess.
- Go to sleep a little earlier than usual in case you're
really worked up (as most dancers get!)
Take things slow. Get up early enough so that you
don't have to rush. Eat something for breakfast and try
to keep yourself as calm as possible. Don't worry about
what will happen that day!
Once you've eaten, some things you want to do are:
- Fill up your water bottle with ice and water, then
stick it by the door so you don't forget it (because if you
don't you WILL forget it! I always do.)
- Go put on your dancing costume
- If you want to save time, put your poodle socks and
softshoes on before you leave for the feis and then wear
sandals over them when you go out. (Boys can do this too
if they want with their shoes.)
- Leave your house early, giving yourself enough time
to reach the feis at least 30 minutes before the solo
At the feis:
- Go to the registration desk and get your number
- Get your competition #'s and stages off of your number card and write them down
- Pin or string the number to your costume
- Go check out the locations of your stages so you have
a mental picture of where you need to travel between dances
- Go to your first stage and listen to the music (if
solos have begun already.) It's imperative that you get
used to the music they're playing for your competition
because it will probably differ from the music you danced to
- Practice your dance to the music that's being played
once or twice
When it's your turn to compete:
- Check in at your stage when your competition number
is up on the board. Make sure you get there early and check
in early so they don't mark you as not there!
- Try to look as secure as possible walking onto the stage;
don't look like you're about to pee your pants even if you
feel like you are! ;)
- Walk onto the stage with your feet crossed, one in
front of the other. This makes you look more confident and
makes the judge think you know what you're doing
- Stand in line with your feet crossed, your back straight,
and your shoulders back. Look like the champion you are!
- DON'T TALK IN LINE!!!
- When it's your turn to compete, step forward and to your
left with your feet crossed one in front of the other. Try
to smile. Remember to point your toe on the 5-7th beat
and get up onto your tippy toes on the 8th beat. Then dance your heart out!
- Eye contact with the judge is important. This shows
confidence on your part
- RELAX! Smile and have a good time! Put some serious
spirit into your dancing! You're doing something you love
so show it!
- When you're done, make sure you're facing the judge.
Give a nice, deep bow with a great big SMILE and walk
back into line with your feet crossed, one in front of the
- Walk off the stage with your feet crossed also and rigid arms.
Never let yourself look sloppy until you're off the stage.
Things to always remember:
- Be prepared to lose. We all like to win, but
sometimes you just don't. Don't go in thinking to yourself that
you will just die if you don't place. Just being there
at the feis is an accomplishment!
- Dance for the fun of it. Always tell yourself
"Even if I don't place, I'll still have fun." You don't
have to get first place to be the best dancer. If you have
your heart in it, you're a champion in my book!
- Try to relax and have a good time while you're competing.
No one is watching you to laugh at you. All the other dancers
watching you are mentally cheering you on! They know what it
feels like to be in your shoes.
- And if you're a beginner,
don't be intimidated by the older, more advanced dancers.
You'll be as good or better than them someday! If you feel
like you really want to do those pretty steps, try not to.
Just be good at your own steps. I have that problem all the time.
It's not fancy steps that make the good dancer, it's the
dancer that does the simple steps good. I've seen dancers
doing really advanced steps who execute them pitifully.
Be good along the way and don't wish yourself into another
level to be like them!
If you're a beginner looking to my feis tips for
help, I hope they gave you a little insight! I wish
you all of the best at your next feis and don't forget
to HAVE FUN!!!!!! :)