3143 Feiseanna & Competitions Feiseanna & Competitions

What To Know Before You Enter Your First Irish Dance Feis...

Are You Worried About Competing In Your First Feis? Here’s a few tips to help you through your first feis.

Your first feis can be daunting for both pupil and parent, so hopefully we’ll be able to talk you through it and make those early feis days a little less stressful. Any pupil can take part in the Kelly Hendry school class feis and you will all be informed of this feis before the event. for this type of competition the child does not NEED a costume or even the correct shoes, its open to everyone so all children can compete and experience a feis environment.

When your child is ready to compete in an outside school feis things are slightly different. This competition will be run by another local teacher or feis organiser. It will be held in a venue somewhere in the north east as Commission have a rule which prevents dancers from competing outside their region until they are in intermediate or open grades. You can speak to kelly about your child’s progression if you would like them to start competing in such competitions, or she will inform you when the are ready.

Usually there will be a syllabus sent out to Kelly or your teacher a few weeks in advance of the feis in question, and it will be displayed at the class (if your child dances in the after school clubs you can ask Kelly about the syllabus as it will not be displayed here unless requested). It is then up to you to put your child's/children’s name and other relevant information on the entry form before the closing date.

In Irish dancing the grades are BEGINNERS, PRIMARY, INTERMEDIATE AND OPEN.

All dancers in their first feis dance in beginners. You must also pay your fee’s before this date, if you are unsure which dances your child should be entered in then you can ask at your Irish Dance Class. Once you know what dances they are in you can calculate the amount to pay by using the pricing section in the program provided for that feis. You might also find it helpful to make a note of the address of the feis which you will also find on the program, as this will give you plenty of time to get your A-Z out and make sure you know where it is. You an also talk to some of the parents of more experienced dancers as they will probably be able to give you these directions and they’ll be pleased to help with any other questions you might have.

Once kelly or your teacher has sent off all the entries and fee’s, a timetable will be issued (usually a week or two before the feis). Make a note of which hall/hall’s your child will be dancing in and the start times.


Be aware that your child might be dancing in different halls during the day, so study the timetable well and ask one of the more experienced “feis mammy’s” for help.

The day before the feis you will find it helpful to organise all your child’s things in advance to avoid added stress on the day. Remember your child may experience nerves in their first few feis’ so its important to keep calm so they don’t get stressed. Here’s some things to remember:

Your Feis Check List

  • Costume
  • Wig
  • Hair Grips
  • Makeup
  • Soft Shoes
  • Hard Shoes
  • Socks
  • Sock Glue
  • Tiara or Hair-Band
  • Pin for number
  • Big Knickers (make sure they cover your belly-button)
  • Supportive Bra
  • Sports Drinks
  • Energy Foods
  • Notepad & pen or Feis Record Book for results