Saturday, March 5, 2011


The annual Class Feis.  
A "Feis" is a competition for Irish Dance.  Usually different schools travel to a single location and compete on various stages in front of multiple judges.  Since most of the students come to Mary's school, Tir na nOg, as first time dancers traveling in the mainland European circuit to compete can be a bit intimidating.  To get dancers comfortable, and also give them a hunger for the competition, Mary hosts a feis each year for just the local students of her school.  She invites an outside judge, or adjudicator, from Ireland and the students compete against each other, according to their age or level.  She runs it just like a feis so that students can really get the feel of a competition in a more comfortable atmosphere - EXCEPT.... you're allowed to take photos and videos DURING the competition (something strictly forbidden at all feisanna not only because of the distraction, but also because different schools will sometimes try to "steal" dancers steps) AND she also has a family and a freestyle competition.  THe family competition is just that - families get up and do a little dance with their dancers.  The freestyle competition is for Intermediate and Open (the two highest levels) to compete in.  They can form teams, they chose the music, the steps/choreography, and the costumes.  It is a big hit every year with the dancers - this year Mary put the competition right after the beginners so that more people were encouraged to stay and not leave right after their results.  This meant it was Sarah's very first dance of the day.  Sarah competed with her best friend, Hannah, and Hannah's 3 sisters.  Leisha is also an Intermediate dancer, and the two little ones, while only beginners, got to participate because their big sisters were both performing.
Here is the video from their freestyle dance - which (in my humble opinion) should have placed first, but they walked away content with 3rd.  
(above - all the open and intermediate dancers BEFORE they got all sweaty competing.  Mary is on the far right, and the young lady not in a dress had a broken toe and couldn't dance)
For this competition Sarah participated in not only Intermediate dances, but some open as well.  And, I would just like to add that the 2 girls she mainly danced against were both girls who qualified and are going to World's!!  Sarah held her own and even ended up placing ahead of them in her reel! (Left, that blur is Sarah in the air - but I love that I caught Mary's concentration as she watches all her dancers side stage)
Sarah surprised herself my placing FIRST in her Open Reel.  I am putting a video of her performance on this blog.  I am hoping since only visitors of my blog will be able to see it that I'll be allowed to leave it up so her grandparents and family in the states can see her dance.  GO SARAH GO!

Here is the RESULTS picture - look at Sarah's smile - she couldn't believe it!

(Above) this is Sarah's heavy shoe trophy dance - the sound quality is poor and the image is small - sorry, but again I couldn't put it up on youtube for the already mentioned reasons. (Below) Look at Sarah up on toe!
The last competition was the team competition.  Sarah's 4-hand took first!
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