Random Info & Things I've Figured Out ...

This entire page ...

... is really just a spin-off of the Trivia I posted on the Tally page (which is itself Trivia of a statistical sort when you think about it!) ...  Here's that trivia:

As the 2010 season began, Missy could say that 54% of the time, she placed in the top six dancers overall.    40% of the time, she placed overall in the top five dancers.  14% of the time she placed in the top three.

How things have changed, midway thru the 2010 season ...  58% of the time, top six dancers overall.  43% of the time, top five overall.  16% of the time, she places in the top three.  Missy wanted to know how many times she placed in the top four (four being her favorite number) and I told her we would figure it out when we got home.  SHE has gone to bed, like by 10:00 she was out! but I figured I'd go ahead and add it in ... that answer is more than a quarter -- 28%  -- of the time. 

At the end of the 2010 season ... 60% of the time she finishes in the top six overall.  44%, top five.  29%, top four.  16%, top three.  In 2010, she placed a total of 38 times, since beginning with Nugent (which includes 3 Feisianna in 2009), she has placed 41 times.  Those 41 break down as:  6 seconds, 11 thirds, 10 fourths, 12 fifths and 2 honorable mentions.  

Trivia related to Missy's dancing ...
  • She began competing in 2003, with the Akron/Cleveland Feis weekend.
  • In 2004, she moved to Advanced Beginner, and attained her required first-second-or-third medal in each of her dances in short order.  Although qualified to move up very early in the season, she remained at the Advanced Beginner level for all of that competition season and moved up to Novice competitions in 2005. 
  • As that first year at Novice drew to a close and the new season started in October of 2005, she rapidly moved all of her dances to Open/Prizewinner except one, the Slip Jig in which she needed one more first. 
  • In June of 2007 -- 15 months after starting Novice level -- she finally moved her Slip Jig up as well and moved fully into Open/Prizewinner level. 
  • Over the remainder of 2007 and the course of 2008, she attained enough placements to move to Preliminary Championships by the NAFC rules, but not by her TCRG's rules.
  • In January of 2009, for multiple reasons which are irrelevant to the discussion, she switched dance schools and began dancing with Nugent School of Irish Dance.  She spent virtually all of 2009 under a competition ban for switching schools and returned to Feis'ing in August of 2009.
  • Since returning to competition in August of 2009 and thru June 26, 2010, in addition to two Honorable Mentions in the Treble Reel, she has earned ...
    • 2nd place - Treble Reel, Open Jig, Open Jig, Treble Reel
    • 3rd place - Set Dance, Set Dance, Treble Reel, Set Dance, Set Dance
    • 4th place - Treble Reel, Treble Jig, Treble Reel, Set Dance, Treble Jig
    • 5th place - Reel, Treble Reel, Set Dance, Set Dance, Reel, Hornpipe

General FAQ

Not related specifically to Missy, this is information I've gathered over the years and/or things I've been asked frequently.

Is it prizewinner or open?

Both?  Depending on the part of the country you're in, though, you may mean two different groups entirely!  The ranks go thusly:

  • First Feis

  • Beginner

  • Advanced Beginner or Beginner II

  • Novice

  • Open/Prizewinner

  • Preliminary Championship aka Prelim

  • Championship or Open Championship

In some places, if you say "Open" they think you mean Champions.   Here in the Midwest, although we are trying to change our ways of thinking from "Open" to "Prizewinner" usually if you say "Open" most people will think you mean Prizewinner. 

Is it a solo dress or an open dress?

When Missy started dancing, it was an "Open dress" and you had to earn it.  You didn't get it till you were at least partially in Open.  Over time it became a "Solo dress" instead of "Open" because dancers were getting them earlier and earlier.  These days you see lots of  Advanced Beginners wearing solos and it's a rarity to see a dancer in Novice without one. 

When Missy first started, they were still wearing the elaborately embroidered panel-skirt dresses.  By the time she qualified for one, they were wearing geometrics and getting away from embroidery.  Then came the swoop skirts and belled sleeves, the Renaissance stage and the 3-d dresses with fluttering butterflies and moving flowers.  Nowadays you've got maribou feathers, pompoms, fringe, faux fur, yards of lace, gallons of sequins, fortunes in Swarovskis; skirts are no longer stiffened, weighted panels -- well, they might be gladiator panels! -- there's also soft skirts, balloon skirts and one piece skirts, petticoats, tutus and good grief, just dozens of skirt variations.  Lately, dresses are going to the extremes -- heavily embellished and more reminiscent of a beauty pageant costume or an ice skating outfit ... or elegant and understated.

Over time, too, the cost of a solo dress has gone from $350 for a made-to-order "cookie cutter" thru a then-staggering $1500 for an elaborate custom-made dress ... to today when $350 will (on average) get you a used dress in probably-craptastic shape with prices ranging thru several thousand for a custom-made dress which, depending on where you get it, might not even really give you all that much say in what you get. 

In order to advance from one level to the next ...

First, keep in mind that your TCRG may have requirements that are unique to your school.  The following are the NAFC minimum requirements for advancement in the Mid-America Region -- these rules may not be the same in your region (if it's not Mid-America).

Italicized quotes below are verbatim from the NAFC standardized syllabi for the Mid-America Region.  You can click here and view this document in its entirety on the NAFC website.  You can also click here to go to the NAFC website and choose your region's standardized syllabi for 2010. 

  • First Feis to Beginner - complete "First Feis" and move into Beginner or Beginner II

    • The First Feis level has been established for dancers who are competing in their very first Feis. Once a dancer competes in the First Feis category, the dancer must move into Beginner 1 or Beginner 2.

  • Beginner to Advanced Beginner - complete one season of Feisianna at Beginner level

    • A dancer who has been dancing for less than one year. A Beginner 1 must move to Beginner 2 no later then January 1st of the dancers second year of instruction, or may move to Beginner 2 earlier with teacherís permission and provided that the Feis has not closed to changes. Note: a Beginner 1 dancer who starts in September, may continue as a Beginner 1 until December of the following year (16 months) before moving into Beginner 2.

  • Advanced Beginner to Novice - earn a first, second or third place rank in each of the five core dances -- Reel, Jig, Slip Jig, Treble Jig, Hornpipe (Optional: Treble Reel and Set Dance, neither of which count for advancement)

    • A dancer who has been dancing for more than one year and who has not won a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, in Beginner 2. A dancer who has won a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a Beginner 2 dance must move into Novice in that dance no later than January 1st of the next calendar year or with teacherís permission as soon as the next Feis (if said Feis has not closed to changes).

  • Novice to Open/Prizewinner - earn a first place medal in each of the four core dances - Reel, Slip Jig, Treble Jig, Hornpipe (Optional: Treble Reel and Set Dance, neither of which count for advancement)

    • A dancer moves into Prizewinner as a result of placing 1st place as indicated in Novice.

  • Open/Prizewinner to Preliminary Champion - earn a first place in each of the four core dances - Reel, SLip Jig, Treble Jig, Hornpipe (Optional: Treble Reel and Set Dance, neither of which count for advancement)

    • A dancer who wins 1st place in each of the Open dances (reel, slip-jig, treble jig, and hornpipe) can move into Preliminary Championships with teacherís permission.

  • Preliminary Champion to Open Champion - Two first places in one calendar year

    • A dancer who wins two First Place awards in one calendar year will move on to Open Championship the following year, or as soon as the second win is achieved, in any age category, in the following years. Only in the case of back-to-back Feiseanna (successive days), in which case the first win in the first Feis will not change the dancerís status for the second Feis. Placing in a Regional or National Oireachtas does not change the status of a competitor.

  • And in case you were wondering ...

    • A dancer who has not received a legitimate placing (sufficient competitors within the normal placing scale)along with a dancer who has not placed in Open championships for two consecutive years, may return to their previous competition level. For example, an Open Championship dancer that does not place in two consecutive years may return to Preliminary Championships, the same as a Preliminary dancer who does not place can return to Prizewinner.

Which group is my dancer in?  How do I decipher this crap?

Your dancer's group is determined based on both age and skill level.  See the above for skill level, and the below for age limit caps for each skill level. 

To determine which age group, it's really very simple!  What's your dancer's age on January 1 of the year? 

  1. If your dancer is (for instance) 11 on January 1, 2010, then they are in the "under 12" age group because on January 1, they were under 12.  It doesn't matter if on January 2 they turn 12, they are still in the under 12 group for the balance of the year.

What's with those age levels, anyhow?   

  1. First Feis caps with an under-11 group and everyone else over 11 at First Feis level is in the ď11 & overĒ group.

  2. Beginners cap at under-12 and the rest are in the 12 & over group.

  3. Advanced Beginners cap out with under-13 and then the rest are lumped into the 13 & over group.

  4. Novice caps with under-15, and then a 15 & over group.

  5. Open/Prizewinner also caps at under-15 and then 15 & over.

  6. Preliminary caps at under-17 and the 17 & over group.

  7. Championship caps with under-18 and then an 18 & over group.

More to come as I think of it or stumble across it wherever I posted it previously!



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