First ever open platform feis in Texas a success

By Richard Tew

Photo by George McBroom,

Dancers from around Houston and from as far away as Oklahoma City came to compete at the first ever “open platform” feis held in Clear Lake Saturday, December 13.

“Open platform” is different than other “closed platform” feises held around the Houston area and other parts of Texas in that they allow all Irish dancers and teachers to participate and not just those belonging to the feis organization’s membership.

Currently, there are two open platform schools in Texas: The Tew Academy of Irish Dance and the recently-launched Melara Irish Dance Academy, both in Houston.

The dancers at these feises are normally adorned in more modest attire, putting the focus squarely on technique and dance presentation and less on the costume-based “look” popularized by other organizations. Simple skirts and tops, natural hair and smiles and most importantly, solid dancing are the order of the day here.

Dancers from around the Houston area along with dancers from Oklahoma City came out to the Premier Dance Academy studios in Clear Lake for this auspicious occasion.

A fun, supportive and festive time was had by all.

The next feises are are already being planned for 2015 including a feis in New Orleans April 18, another Clear Lake feis June 20 and one in Dallas in the Fall of 2015.

Open platform has a lot of opportunities for would-be teachers and judges, not always afforded to adherents by closed platform organizations. If you are interested in learning more about what open platform has to offer teachers, judges and students, email Richard Tew at

Dancers are evaluated by a judge who grades them on such things as carriage, form, style, timing and execution.


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