John Whelan Kennelly Memorial Feis 2016

Hello everyone! 
So far, we (kids and I) have gotten sick twice in 2016! In other words, I've been so busy taking care of my kids, myself, and my home that I haven't had much time or energy to update this blog or even work on some writing. Now that we are all feeling better, I'm hoping to change that! ;) 

The John Kennelly Memorial Feis was on Sunday January 17 in Sacramento, CA. The weather was AWFUL, especially on the drive home, but my husband drove carefully and safely, so we were fine. It was really special to have the kids at the Feis with me this time; I think they enjoyed it and they behaved really well, so we were proud of them. :) The Feis itself, however, I didn't care for! The adults had to dance on the weird high stage against a black backdrop, so since we were all mostly in black, we blended in! My husband took some videos, but you can't really see me dancing because my whole outfit, tights and all, was all black! It was so dumb, really. It was literally the worst place for the adult dancers to dance. Then there was a musician below the stage who was playing the accordion, but for some reason the Feis people piped the sound through tall speakers behind us on the stage so it sounded odd.....

I compete in the Adult beginner and novice levels and there were hardly any adults....which was such a bummer. We had no stage manager and all these younger dancers kept coming up to the stage and asking for a stage manager. The judges were a little random and the judging itself seemed a bit arbitrary. I danced against two or three other women, sometimes against just one. I am most proud of my Hard Jig, in which I placed first out of two. I danced six dances in total and received medals for each. Here are my results: 

Reel: 3rd out of 4
Light Jig: 3rd out of 4
Slip Jig: 2nd out of 3
Single Jig: 4th out of 4 (I thought this had gone well too! D:) 
Hard Jig: 1st out of 2
Novice Trad Set Blackbird: 2nd out of 2 (I was so nervous!) 

I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on myself about the Feis, since I had just gotten over being really sick. Even after I danced, I felt ill and I think I overdid it. I hadn't been able to practice much beforehand since the kids and I had been sick. I am really glad I went and I am so grateful to my husband for all the hard work and support that day. The kids were really cute at the Feis and waved at me on the stage. :D 

The next day, however, I was a little upset about the Feis and the world of adult competing. I felt as though we weren't taken seriously and I didn't feel like I had accomplished much. There was something off about the whole Feis, and my friend from my class agreed. She danced with me and I am so glad she was there too, but we both didn't like the Feis. I ended up writing an email to my ADCRG and he called later to talk about it, which was so kind and supportive. We talked about how hard it is for adults to compete in Feiseanna, since there are few adults who even compete around here! At this rate, my friend and I would be spending all this time and money on Feiseanna where we wouldn't even move up, no matter what our scores were. I don't want to drop down and dance against teenagers and younger adults; I don't have anything against people who do, but I am a mom of three children and I am proud of being an adult dancer. My life and body are different from teenagers and I don't really need too much pressure in my already busy life. 

So, he suggested I focus on our upcoming Grade Exams (with Scary Gary!! I can't wait to meet him!!) and only go to Feiseanna with a lot of adults. I think that is better for my wallet and my time. I have been really enjoying our classes lately since we've been reviewing for the Grade Exams and my ADCRG said my technique has improved! I am only planning to dance Grades 1 and 2, which are the Reel, Light Jig, Slip Jig, and Single Jig. Since it has to be 40 bars for the exams, we've added a little extra step to each, which has been fun but I need to make sure I remember them! The floor in the dance studio has been redone and it looks great. I am excited to start doing more hard shoe dances again; we've taken a little break from them because of the Grade Exams, but I want to work on my Blackbird set again! 

This is a big year for our dance school and I am looking forward to all the fun things we have planned! To my dancer friends, how are you all doing with your dancing? :) 

Take care, friends! 


  1. Congrats on your Treble Jig! Plus you were sick so I think your results were still really great!

    I feel you on the whole lack of adult competitors. It seems like only certain competitions draw big numbers. It seems like ones that offer a championship like the regular dancers get, I was at a feis last weekend where all my friends who still compete in adults were there for a championship. 13 people! It's too bad it's not always like that.

    Good luck to you in the coming months! I have a few months before my next feis. Everything is in Novice now so I'm working on getting everything good enough to place!

    1. Hey Kay! It's great to hear from you! :)

      Thank you! I felt really good about that one. I taught myself most of it (from videos of my TCRG dancing it) and I loved it right away. It feels great. Yeah, being sick literally the whole week before a Feis is awful; I felt so ill after dancing.

      I agree that certain competitions draw more adults. I was at a Feis last November and there were tons of adults! Lately, the numbers have been almost non-existent. There was a Feis last weekend and there were only one or two adults signed up. I wouldn't have been able to make it, but still....that's so lame. It was in San Francisco, which is close to me, and there are so many dance schools in the city! Where are all the adults??? That's great that they were dancing against that many people!! :) I'd like to compete in the Oireachtas this year in the adult comp, so we'll see.

      Thank you, dear!! Same to you!! Congrats on getting into Novice; how exciting! My school is putting on a Feis in April, so that'll be my next one. I have Grade Exams this upcoming weekend, so I've got to work hard this week for those! :)

      I always look forward to reading your posts! Thanks for commenting on mine. :)


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