16 June 2008

Indianapolis, I Love Your Feis

Saturday found us at the Indianapolis Convention Center participating in the Indianapolis Feis. It is a very well organized, fun event.

The Convention Center is big enough to hold several stages and still have plenty of room for everyone to spread out, so that's how the feis was arranged. Each stage had some relatively comfy chairs to sit in for viewing the competition, but each stage also had plenty of empty room around it for competitors and families to spread out a blanket and dump all of their flotsam, such as dress bags, shoe bags, wig cases, American Girl dolls dressed in Irish Dance costumes, lucky stuffed animals, etc. etc.

AND, better yet, all of Thalia's dances were on a single stage, and all of AnnaBeth's dances were on a single stage. No moving around! No having to check 2 signs per child to see how each stage was moving! AND, extra special bonus, Thalia and Annabeth's stages were side by side. So I parked our stuff in the area between the 2 stages, and was actually able to watch both girls dance all of their dances. This has never happened before. It was so cool.

Actually, AnnaBeth ended up switching stages. Her stage was still slogging through dance after dance after dance, and another nearby stage was totally empty -- all dances were done. So, in a fit of flexibility and organization, the Powers That Be took a few groups over to the empty stage and had them compete there. PRESTO -- everyone gets done more quickly! Which was probably good, because AnnaBeth was starting to fall apart -- it was a long day. Her wig was starting to hurt her head, she hadn't eaten enough (although there was a nice selection of food vendors, plus we had brought some snacks -- she was simply too nervous and excited to eat).

Thalia placed in all of her dances, which is to say that she is now qualified to dance at Novice level because she got a 1st, 2nd or 3rd in everything she danced plus there were 5 or more competitors in each dance. Here are the goals Thalia had for Irish Dance as of about 2 weeks ago: "I'd like to make it into Novice, and I'd like to place 1st in something." Okay, CHECK THAT OFF! Both have been accomplished. She's worked hard, doing extra conditioning to help her technique. It's paid off.

Plus, super-duper bonus, she was a gracious winner. This was particularly important since AnnaBeth got a 3rd, then a bunch of 4ths and 5ths. AnnaBeth had a bit of a meltdown over that; we have had several talks about how it's pretty good to get 4th place out of 2 dozen competitors, even if 4th place doesn't put you into Novice.


The competition started at 9am. First Feis rotated with Beginner 1, neither of which had a hard shoe category. Beginner 2 rotated with Novice and Open. We ended up being there until about 3pm. Next year take chairs to put in camping area, plus something to wear at lunch time.

We will be returning next year. It was a fantastic feis.

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