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Date Posted: 05:22:16 08/03/17 Thu
Author: more inside
Subject: First, please concern yourself about your own dancer would be the best advice. Second, the above post is not entirely correct. The MidAtlantic region AND the Western region both have 3 firsts in one calendar year as a requisite to move up to OC from PC; however,
In reply to: ? 's message, "Moving up?" on 23:23:17 08/02/17 Wed

if the firsts are earned over two years, then as soon as the third first is acquired, the dancer must move into OC. The Western region requires the move immediately following the third first, even within the same calendar year, the MidAtlantic Region allows for a dancer to remain in PC for the entire year, provided the firsts are earned that same year.

If a dancer goes out of region, he/she must observe the rules of the region. This is where it gets sticky and there's some confusion (and am sure someone will argue this), but if the there are two firsts and they were earned across two years, the dancer would have to dance OC in the other region. There are dancers who will knowingly do this in order to "accidentally" move up (the feis will require them to dance OC) - many TCs in the MidAtlantic region require their PC dancers not to dance out of region for this reason; yet there are exceptions - this leads to the next point.

A TC does have and can use discretion and have a dancer compete at a higher level. That is there. The numbers that are in place are minimum requirements, mainly for parents. They were enacted over the years to give TCs more control over moving dancers.

Historically, it was understood that dancers remained at a level for an entire year, regardless of the number of firsts, etc. earned. The number of firsts to earn was dependent on the TC, there was no real requisite for moving. Complaints (more so on the boards, side stage arguments, and beleaguering TCs at classes) lead to including these numbers.

It is understood, that a TC can employ his or her discretion when it comes to having dancers move up (or down, in some cases) based on the judgement of the ability of the dancer.

So, to answer the OP, YES, a TC can move a dancer into OC without having the required firsts. Is it done often, no. However, there are those occasions where a TC can see that the ability of a dancer is there or in other cases. For example, although TCs in the MidAtlantic region will have dancers remain in the region to earn their third first, the TCs may also allow older dancers (17+) to go out of region to dance OC in either the NER or SR, in order to compete at NANS if the dancer is ending dancing to go to college. These instances occur. There are also instances when dancers from other forms come into Irish dancing with a skill array that exceeds the beginner through prizewinner levels, and a TC may have those dancer begin in Prelim and quickly move to OC.

Another situation that occurs, is the use of double age groups in some feiseanna or the top age groups; in those cases, some TCs do view that if a dancer was second to another who was of another age, then technically (for some TCs, that is) the dancer was "first" for own age.

Something to remember, if the TC moves a dancer into OC, that dancer, must remain in OC for a minimum of two years; if the dancer doesn't place first, second, or third, then the TC can move the dancer back to prelim.

There is no other penalty for any dancer moving without the listed minimum requirements and no other TC is going to lodge a complaint against any other TC for moving up a dancer. For a parent to do so would be unseemly, and rather petty. Odds of the complaint about a dancer moving up will not be upheld, where a complaint about a dancer remaining in a level far beyond might be (by the way, committees always contact the TCs about these things when people email complaints - they will verify).

In the end, worry about your own dancer and not what a TC or other family is doing. If you get all wrapped up in what others are doing, you will never truly enjoy it for your dancer.

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