Friday we headed over to the 5th annual Gem City Feis in Dayton, Ohio. It's about 6 hours away, which is far enough to watch both Narnia movies on a laptop in the backseat. And it rained the ENTIRE WAY.
But it's a pretty easy drive, given that the directions can be summed up as: "Head west on I70 until you get to Dayton, then find your hotel."
We once again stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Huber Heights, using a free night from the stay-2-get-one-free promo. The room wasn't quite as nice as last year, the pool was freezing cold, and the whirlpool was broken. Boo, hiss. I'm not sure whether we'll be back. We saw at least 3 other feis-going families there, so they did pull in some business from the feis.
It was about a 10 minutes drive up to the Airport Exposition Center on Saturday morning. The Exposition Center looks like this:
and has gobs of free parking.
We set up camp with our New Camp Chairs (we're getting so hardcore with the feising)
And the chairs came with handy medal-holders for the kids to store their medals in.
The feis a nicely laid out area for used dresses, and we tried on gobs since we are in the market.
I really, really liked this one, but it cut into her windpipe:
You can say all you want about Siopa Rince and Swarovski crystals, but I look at these sleeves and think Hamburglar:
Oh, oops, I forgot that I was going to try to stick to positive comments. We'll skip over the purple one that had skirt panels that were apparently made from those lead aprons they put over you at the dentist's before x-rays ("hey, you could curl this a few times to make up for skipping weight lifting this morning!").
This one was nice; we sent the photo to our teacher to see what she thinks:
Okay, anyway, what about the feis itself? It got off to a late start because of a large accident south of town that caught a lot of competitors in the traffic stoppage. Which was nice for those competitors, but we knew we'd all be paying for it at the other end of the day. The competitions kept moving at a fairly brisk pace -- many of Annabeth's were danced 3 at a time -- but we still didn't finish until AFTER the beginning of the Ohio State football game, which was shocking. Also, they didn't have little televisions in the lobby this year for the more football-oriented to watch (definitely an attraction last year).
The people were helpful and friendly. One of the kids commented afterwards that Irish Dance is interesting because the dancers all sit together chattering and wishing each other luck, and then get up and compete against each other. At least, that's the way it goes in the midwest. I imagine the tone of the competition varies by location.
In spite of missing a week and a half of classes, and hanging around the house sick, Thalia earned some 1st place medals, and placed in all of her dances. Annabeth placed in all dances except one, but 1st place still eluded her.
We stuck around this time to pick up our results. We got the actual, handwritten notes from the adjuticators. Here are Thalia's:
Okay, that last one is definitely "watch your ending" (that was on Trad. Set -- she did Job of Journeywork). And on the 3rd one down (which was Light Jig) I think it recommends to "raise ..." something or other, possibly something that starts with a T or a J or some other letter. The other 2 are total mysteries. Remind me to never volunteer to enter this stuff on computer -- I have new respect for the people who put this stuff together to email out to us, or put it on Feisworx. Also, the judges have a split second to jot some pithy remark down before going on to the next dancer, so I'm not complaining about that -- I'm just fascinated to see what this stuff actually looks like. You learn something new at every feis.
Also, since it bugs me that the results for the grades (beginners through prizewinners) weren't posted online last year, I thought it would be clever to photograph the results sheets and post them online. Except my camera batteries conked out after 3 pictures. Oops -- too many dress pictures, I guess. Here's what I got:
Overall, another great feis by this group. During the day I saw volunteers walking around analyzing what they could do better for next year -- pretty cool how they're trying to continuously improve. And we'll be back next year to see what's new!