GREAT LAKES FEIS
First – remember this is supposed to be fun! So don’t pressure anyone to win and get a medal – just make sure everyone enjoys themselves.
Second – relax – Feising is a long process. So come prepared. Bring something to help you relax, like music, books, puzzles, games, … anything that helps you get distracted a bit until it’s time to compete
Finally, take some time to enjoy the other things that are going on – there is an art competition, you can see displayed at the registration table in the afternoon. There are others dancing at different levels that are always interesting to watch. And you can always volunteer to help the feis move along smoother – just visit the volunteer booth – they will gladly give you something to do!
Dancers are athletes, and that means they need to take care of themselves in order to do well. Below are some tips to help any dancer do their best the day of the feis:
· Get a good night’s rest
· Bring all your stuff to the feis – you would hate to be there and realize that you need something that is in your bag at home.
· Warm up – the worst thing you can do is to go on stage, and dance your heart out without a proper warm-up. Not only will you not be dancing your best, but you could end up injuring yourself! So before you dance, go through the warm-up exercises your teacher has taught you.
· Stretch – all dancers should try to stretch a good 20 minutes before dancing. Not only will it make your dancing better, but this too will avoid injuries. A good tip is to have some relaxing music and close your eyes while you stretch.
· Foot care – there is not enough that can be said about taking good care of your feet.
o The night before, make sure your nails are clipped, and any injuries (blisters, scratches, …) are properly taken care of
o Massaging your feet will also stretch the muscles and can also avoid painful cramps and injuries
o The morning of the feis, wash your feet again, put on deodorant (lightly – as this will prevent sweating which is the main cause of blisters), and put on clean socks.
· Shoe care
o Make sure your shoes fit right! You want shoes that do not hurt when you are standing. Also, if your shoes are a little loose, put on extra socks.
o Do not polish shoes the day of the feis – you might get shoe polish on your soles which will make them slippery. Also, shoe polish takes hours to dry, and you don’t want black marks on your white socks! So polish your shoes the night before.
o Do not dance in new hard shoes – they need to be broken in first!
· Listen to your musician – before you go on stage, listen to your musician’s style. Make sure to find the beat. That way, when you go on stage, you won’t be surprised by the style of music you need to dance to.
· Visualize – go through your dance with your eyes closed – just imagine yourself doing the best dance possible. This will also help you avoid your mind going “blank” when you are on stage. Go through all your steps.
· Cool down – you might be very excited after competing, but here again, if you want to avoid injuries, spend a few minutes cooling down.
· Pins or ribbon for card
· Girls: wigs
· Girls: extra poodle socks
· Girls: sock glue
· Girls: make-up (for competitors aged over 10 only!)
· Picnic blanket
· Folding lawn chair
· Something to read or pass the time (cards, book, …)
· Money (lunch, vendors, …)
· Sense of humor
· Tons of patience !