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  • Feis Dad:
  • 04 February 2015

Attending your first feis for the ‘traditional’ sports parents.

If your child is venturing into Irish Dance after years in other sports, there are some things you should know.

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Before you even say it, yes, Irish dance is a sport. When I say 'traditional' sports, I mean the ones that most people think of when you say 'kids sports', you know, football (American), soccer (or football depending on your geographic location), baseball, wrestling, swimming, etc... For those parents who are going to their first feis, and who are use to being 'traditional' sporting event parents, there are some things you may want to know. I threw some sporting terms in to help make the transition easier wink

  • You do not need to bring chairs to set up next to the 'sideline, in the outfield, behind the backstop', etc... to view your child during the competition. There should be some seating or viewing areas designated.
  • Backing your van or SUV up to the 'sidelines' for tailgating is particularly frowned upon, especially if it is indoors.
  • Hand painted signs for your favorite 'player'(dancer), while not necessarily outlawed, would also be frowned upon, and could block the view of other spectators. Same goes for big foam fingers, foam hats and banners you are hoping to display on ESPN.
  • Cheering, screaming and cat calls are generally frowned upon. Quiet observance and a 'golf-clap' at completion are the accepted forms of showing approval.
  • Yelling, 'dancer, dancer, dancer, REEEEEEEEEL dancer.... she can't jig, she can't jig, she can't jig' similar to how Cameron did at the baseball game in Ferris Bueller... nope, never, uh uh.
  • Don't jeer or get in the umpire's(aka judge or adjudicator) face. This should be avoided at all costs even if you think "she is old and needs glasses".
  • Vuvuzelas and other noise making devices, um, no, just no.
  • If you decide painting your face in school colors, painting the dancers name or number on your bare chest, or across the bare chests of family members or school parents... do I really have to say it?
  • Don't bad mouth other dancers or their uniforms(solo outfits), ever. You will see these people again.
  • Light-hearted smack talk among parents is ok if it is mutual, and not in earshot of those who wouldn't 'get it'. By the way, a lot of people don't get it.
  • On the rare occasion you attend an event with alcoholic beverages, moderation, somewhere away from the viewing area is suggested.
  • In the event your dancer falls, don't run out onto the field(stage) to assist. Give your dancer a chance to recover. If they really need you, someone will let you know when it is ok.
  • If your dancer does not perform to your expectations, get over it. It's not about you, the money you spent to get them there, etc... It is about the effort, the dance, and the life lessons.

There are others I have missed I am sure. General rule of thumb, if it is OK at a rugby match, think before you strike. If it is appropriate at a tennis match or golf game, you are probably OK wink

'Very good, fast service.'

Karen - Ireland
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