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Subject: Are we starting to see a turn in feiseanna? (more inside)


Author:
Its too bad
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Date Posted: 05:06:54 08/15/17 Tue

It's starting to feel like we are seeing more signs that we are pricing people out of dance and competitions. Entry numbers have been low on many competitions over the last several months, but now with Coogan not being held and no information on Gray occurring this fall, it looks as the days of abundant New England competitions may be starting to decline.

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Replies:
[> Subject: Can't speak for others, but know we are doing fewer NE feiseanna because it's the same local judges at every time. We prefer new faces with fresh opinions so feel we are better off doing less, flying to double feis out-of-region


Author:
just us
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Date Posted: 06:54:16 08/15/17 Tue


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[> Subject: Hard to say - and if you look at champ numbers for 2017 and 2016, some feiseanna had increases in champ dancers (Boston Teacher Feis) while others have had decreases in champ dancers (Dongan, Cape Cod). So many factors determine feis attendance. In my opinion, cost has not increase that much from last year to this year to make a difference.


Author:
DM
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Date Posted: 07:39:39 08/15/17 Tue


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[> Subject: I was JUST going to post that it seems like the days of weekly NER feseanna are over. Could be that these schools (Gray, Coogan) are relatively small and the cost of putting on a feis (relative to fewer people signing up) is just too high to make it worth it. We are really sorry to see these two go (at least this year). Would prefer NER feseanna pre-Oireachtas than out of region. Didn't there used to be a Harney fall feis as well?


Author:
NER mom
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Date Posted: 08:06:59 08/15/17 Tue


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[> Subject: Cost is a major factor it seems.. entry 75 ish them gas and a hotel easily $500 per Feis.. many people can not do that if going out of state.. like Maine and And other Feis of you posted start times or an idea of time more people would enter we stay away to avoid hotel expense if 3 hour drive


Author:
Dd
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Date Posted: 10:20:36 08/15/17 Tue

Ff

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[> [> Subject: For us the drawback of doing NE feis is poor stage quality and same judges


Author:
Please hire stage co to build safe, appropriate sized stages
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Date Posted: 22:47:03 08/15/17 Tue


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[> Subject: We are doing fewer as we are having to redirect entry/overnight costs toward paying for overnights for college tours. We are being very selective of those we do and are going out of region to have different judges. Tired of the same NE judges at each feis.


Author:
Prioritizing
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Date Posted: 10:32:18 08/15/17 Tue


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[> Subject: I'm wondering if it's time to leverage resources across schools (more inside)


Author:
Could we just need a change in approach?
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Date Posted: 05:06:41 08/16/17 Wed

If schools partnered to rent one venue across a Saturday and Sunday and shared good stages and out of region judges could it turn things around? Each day could be branded a separate feis. The costs for out of region adjudicators could be shared and it would potentially draw more out of region competitors who are looking for a double feis weekend to make it worth the drive.

Maybe it's time for schools/feis committees to look to partner versus cancel. I don't claim to know all the ins and outs of hosting a feis, or the challenges feis committees face.

Just throwing out an idea versus a complaint. I hate to see what has made our region great (feis availability) go by the wayside.

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[> [> Subject: NE already has several double-feis weekends, and while they do not share a venue they almost always team up to hire judges and split their travel expenses. I'm not sure sharing a venue would produce any additional savings since these are normally rented by the day.


Author:
longtime feis volunteer
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Date Posted: 05:21:37 08/16/17 Wed


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[> [> [> Subject: Hmm. That might be true for schools, but for hotels, Sunday ballroom costs are often discounted quite a bit if both days are taken - Saturdays are a bigger day for hotels so if you book the weekend it's a bonus for them (plus a 2-day event will normally mean more overnight guests for the hotel). Might be worth looking into


Author:
Former event planner
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Date Posted: 05:39:42 08/16/17 Wed


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[> [> [> [> Subject: Since many venues in NE use schools, I wonder if that would reduce costs even further.


Author:
Venue
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Date Posted: 07:10:48 08/16/17 Wed


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[> [> Subject: I like this idea. Other regions do this (we've done double-feis weekends in Texas a few times). While we do have some double feis weekends (actually very few anymore that are BOTH NER feises as opposed to MAR/NER feises--i.e. O'Rourke/Shamrock), there is not a lot of coordination between them. They are sometimes in different states altogether (CT and MA) or across the state (McInerney/Forbes last Fall). There is no real pooling of resources as the poster suggests, which would be MUCH better.


Author:
Great idea.
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Date Posted: 07:42:23 08/16/17 Wed


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[> [> Subject: Our experience with double-feis weekends in other regions is that it is in one venue and judges are assigned champs one day and grades the next so you don't get them 2 days in a row; in NE almost certain to have the same judges 2 days in a row


Author:
just our experience
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Date Posted: 10:17:27 08/16/17 Wed


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[> [> [> Subject: Yes--as it now stands--one feis in CT and one in MA--double feis weekend but same judges at both feises. The way you describe it, they COULD actually switch the same set of judges so that champs would get two different sets of judges. Such a good idea.


Author:
Would love to see this
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Date Posted: 10:34:39 08/16/17 Wed


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[> Subject: I like what the southern region does- 2nd chance feises, some on same day- but only if different judges


Author:
worth a cheap flight
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Date Posted: 19:14:50 08/16/17 Wed


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[> Subject: No one has mentioned the elephant in the room, so I will. We don't feis very often because of the shenanigans. Love the dance, hate the politics.


Author:
Bottom line
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Date Posted: 03:48:34 08/18/17 Fri


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[> [> Subject: I completely agree with you. That combined with the same judges all the time, combined with the cost....not worth it.


Author:
Sick of the drtama
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Date Posted: 19:40:30 08/18/17 Fri


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[> [> [> Subject: I wish we didn't have to feis but mandatory for champs to do them prior to majors and the O at our school.


Author:
Dance mom
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Date Posted: 17:37:04 08/20/17 Sun


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[> [> [> Subject: New to ID


Author:
Dm
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Date Posted: 11:19:04 08/21/17 Mon

Daughter still in grades - do politics only tend to insert themselves at a higher level or do they extend into grades as well?

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[> [> [> [> Subject: They can, depending on enmity between schools/judges and bad behavior on the part of parents (recording, for example).


Author:
Shouldn't be this way but it is
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Date Posted: 18:21:56 08/21/17 Mon


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[> Subject: No info on Gray? I hope they will have it! Always like to go


Author:
I
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Date Posted: 05:58:23 08/18/17 Fri


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[> [> Subject: Not listed on NAFC. Not listed on Gray website. Gray school split last year, so I'm pretty sure Gray is now only doing the Spring feis.


Author:
**
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Date Posted: 08:18:35 08/18/17 Fri


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[> [> [> Subject: I must have missed that. What's the other school called?


Author:
wondering
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Date Posted: 18:06:29 08/20/17 Sun


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[> [> [> [> Subject: Ashurst Academy


Author:
Newtown
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Date Posted: 19:17:22 08/20/17 Sun


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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Thanks.


Author:
wondering no more
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Date Posted: 04:43:35 08/23/17 Wed


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[> [> [> [> Subject: Understandable how you would miss that because it was not dramatic, very amicable and clean split


Author:
Gives me hope
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Date Posted: 18:47:21 08/23/17 Wed


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[> Subject: Several feiseanna in upstate NY have disappeared as well. I think we're up to 3 gone now in recent years. Too expensive for the low numbers.


Author:
Only the biggies seem to survive
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Date Posted: 21:01:08 08/21/17 Mon


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[> Subject: Ran Torrington Feis for years


Author:
Former Torrington Feis Registrar
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Date Posted: 14:50:13 10/08/17 Sun

When the Torrington Feis was run by McArdle School, I was the feis registrar (I'm Jack's wife). McArdle School is small and in a rural area, so we always used a school rather than hotel (heck, we don't even have one nearby) to keep costs down. Dancers' families were wonderful volunteers and worked very hard, but being a small school, we also had to heavily rely on family and friends. School rental costs ran up over the years, and liability concerns increased - those hard shoes on school floors, especially in the hallways. We loved our feis - the homeyness of it - remember the mini pumpkins? - but finally retired from the feis business. The Irish dancer population was slowing down, a direct result of the newness of the Riverdance years having passed by, so it was a good time to stop, I think. Jack and I have many fond memories - and a few nightmares! - of those years and the many families that passed through our doors year after year. My hat is off to all schools who continue to hold their own feis year after year.

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