Fitting in feising
Feising is fun and super important as Irish dancers but let’s face it, going to feiseanna can be pricey too – especially when you have to travel to most feiseanna like we do (but we’re working on that). We’ve put together 10 tips on how to fit (more) feiseanna into your life and get the most value out of your feis trips.
- Get some travel buddies. Sharing driving and hotels with another dance family can cut your spending in half and double your fun. Going to feiseanna with friends and classmates can also help share the duties of keeping track of stages and awards all weekend.
- Tag it on to a regular vacation. If you plan on taking a family trip somewhere anyway, see if there is a feis in the area you can add on or work around.
- Plan ahead. Look at the next 12 months of feiseanna and pick where you want to go. Start planning and saving early. Knowing where you’re going and how much you need to spend well in advance will help with decision making along the way. Make sure you save the date for anything local so you don’t miss out on your most affordable opportunities.
- Find the back-to-backs. Finding opportunities for two feis in one weekend will double your value. Keep in mind, sometimes back-to-back feiseanna aren’t in the same city (Montreal and Ottawa feiseanna for example) but are within driving distance so look closely.
- Fundraise. Whether you do one-off fundraisers or have something on the go all the time, fundraising can help make attending feiseanna a few times a year more realistic.
- Save on specials. Most feiseanna offer fun, extra competitions. These are great for practicing different skills and working on performance. But, if money is tight, skip the specials and save by just registering for the core dances needed to move up levels.
- Hit a grocery store and eat-in. Being away for feiseanna usually means three to four days of food and that can add up when you’re eating out the whole time. Before you leave home, and when you reach a new feis city, hit a grocery store and buy food to make yourself all weekend. This is another expense you can split with another dance family. Save on bulk items and turn supper into a hotel-room-hang.
- Follow the feiseanna you’re attending on social media and take their advice. Most feiseanna arrange a discount for local hotels or restaurants. Follow along for updates and make sure to pay attention to dates that room booking blocks end.
- Register on time. Most feiseanna will allow you to register until just a week or two before but last minute registration also means paying late fees. If you know you’re going to a feis, register nice and early to avoid getting hit with fees.
- This is the most crucial tip. Are you ready? Before you head out to any feiseanna, make sure to head to the studio and practice. The best way to make your feis trips valuable and worthwhile is to put the work in ahead of time. Before committing to spending money and using travel time, make sure that same commitment was made in dance class.
What have you done to fit feising into your life? Leave a comment and share your ideas.
For a full list of feiseanna, visit northamericanfeiscommission.org.