Your Questions

Dance Classes Your Questions

What is a feis:
Feis (pronounced 'fesh') is a Gaelic word which, strictly translated means festival. In our usage, it could more accurately be described as a competition.

How do I know what age group and what dances to enter my child in?
Dancing category "age" is determined by your child's age on January 1st of the current year. Your teacher will inform you of the dances that your child will be doing in this competition.

What are the costume requirements for a Feis?
Plan on wearing either your school costume a black skirt and leotard, poodle socks, and dancing shoes. The Irish tradition of dance also suggests curled hair for the girls, so your dancer looks like an Irish Colleen! Boys wear shirts, black dress pants.

Do I REALLY have to curl my child's hair?
It is not an official rule that the girls' hair be curled, but it is rather standard in Irish dance competitions. The judge is looking for a neat appearance: neat hair, clean socks, clean uniform, etc., and points could be deducted for a sloppy appearance. Some dancers purchase wigs or hair pieces this make life a lot easier for parents and dancers and are now commonly worn within Irish dancing. Please see your teacher for recommendations.

Here's a few tips to help you through your first feis.....

As a beginner dancing in front of an audience can be quite daunting. All Dancers dancing for the O'Connor Academy can take part in our annual class feis. It is great to do this as it will give each dancer the experience of dancing in a competition and confidence in dancing in front of an audience.

You can always speak to Angela about your child's progression if you would like them to start competing in open feiseanna (competitions), which would be organised by an outside dancing school in a different venue. Angela will also inform you when she feels your child is ready. Please see our News & Events page for a list of feiseanna.

Angela will have all the information about the different competitions taking place so please speak to her to find out more. All dancers in their first feis dance in beginners. For your information in Irish dancing the grades are beginners, primary, intermediate and open. Your child will need to place in top three to move up to primary level, top two to move to intermediate and get a first place to move to open championship level.

It is important to be organised for feis's but don't worry this will come naturally after some practise you may experience nerves in their first few feis' so it's important to keep calm so they don't get stressed. Here's some things to remember:


  • Costume
  • Wigs
  • Hair grips
  • Makeup
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Sock Glue (sounds strange but is just a mild glue which keeps socks up, can usually be purchased from one of the vendors at the feis)
  • Tiara/hair-band
  • Pin for number
  • Under shorts (make sure they cover the belly button!)
  • Sports drinks
  • Energy food such as pasta or fruit
  • Notepad and pen to record your child's competition results